University of Cambridge > > CamCREES seminars (Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies) > Soviet Novel vs Soviet Reality, from Platonov to Aitmatov

Soviet Novel vs Soviet Reality, from Platonov to Aitmatov

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  • UserHamid Ismailov (Writer, journalist, BBC World Service writer-in-residence)
  • ClockTuesday 08 November 2011, 17:00-19:00
  • HouseLatimer Room, Clare College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mel Bach.

Tea and coffee available from 16:45

“Born in an ancient city in what is now Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek novelist and poet who was forced to leave his home in Tashkent when his writing brought him to the attention of government officials. Under threat of arrest he moved to London and joined the BBC World Service, where he is now Head of the Central Asian Service.

“Hamid is a prolific writer of poetry and prose, and his books have been published in Uzbek,... Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages – but his work is still banned in Uzbekistan. His novel The Railway (Железная дорога) was translated into English in 2006 and praised by critics as “a work of rare beauty”.”—BBC website

Hamid Ismailov’s lecture at Cambridge will consider whether the Soviet novel in fact existed—and if so, in what form(s). One of Ismailov’s reasons for writing the acclaimed ‘Railway’ was his feeling that the connection between Soviet reality and Soviet literature varied in different languages. He will explore Soviet novels in non-Russian languages that addressed only the people who spoke them: Uzbeks, Georgians, Moldavans, and more.

Photo from Hamid Ismailov’s official site,

This talk is part of the CamCREES seminars (Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies) series.

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