In the spring of 2015, the House of Russian Abroad hosted a presentation of a book with the intriguing title "In Search of the Lost East by Yu. N. Zavadovsky: an Essay on Life and Creativity; an autobiographical novel "(Moscow, Vikmo-M Publishing House, 2014, 512 p.). The book has several authors, but the main author and protagonist is Yuri Nikolaevich Zavadovsky (1909-1979), a well - known orientalist, professor, who devoted the last 25 years of his bright and rich life to Russian science. Among the authors of the book are relatives, friends, junior colleagues and students of the outstanding scientist.
The book consists of several parts, which differ both in content and genre. "Essay on life and creativity" under the title " The Life line of Yuri Zavadovsky "(pp. 9-244) was compiled by co-authors: S. Y. Zavadovskaya, the eldest daughter of the scientist, and E. B. Smagina, an Oriental historian, a student and colleague of Yuri Nikolaevich. This
the section is an important component of the entire book, it sets the reader up for a certain perception of the life path and scientific search that led the future Orientalist through the turbulent events of the XX century. In this essay, the "connection of times" is traced with particular clarity, which was not interrupted between generations of the scientist's ancestors and descendants. The story covers the pedigree of the main character's large and extensive family: his emigration from Russia in the 1920s, the historical events in which he participated-the Second World War, the Resistance Movement in occupied France, and the difficult path of returning to his native land.
The surviving documents and traditions of the family allowed its younger generation to trace the history of the family of Yu. N. Zavadovsky in time and space - from the depths of the distant XVII century.and across the borders of Russia and Europe. Delving deeper into the maze of these kinship ties, the reader meets well-known statesmen, scientists, clergy, writers, poets and artists, with whom the life paths of the Zavadovsky family crossed.
What circumstances shape the future orientalist's fate? His teenage years in Paris - meeting the North Africans, Berbers and Arabs who lived in the neighborhood and aroused his interest? The advice of a close family friend of the artist Ivan Bilibin to "go to orientalists"?
A novice orientalist will be interested in learning about the daily life and activities of students of the National School of Living Oriental Languages in Paris (now the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, ENALCO), the works of classics of the French School of Oriental studies - Louis Massignon, Marcel Cohen, William Marsay and many others.
The appointment of Yuri Zavadovsky to the diplomatic service opens the way for a young graduate of the National School to the Arab East. "Essay on life and creativity" includes memories of Yuri Nikolaevich and his relatives about their stay in Baghdad, Beirut, Tunis, Cairo, about the peculiarities of life and everyday life of French diplomats in the Arab East in the first half of the XX century, about meetings with Russian emigrants who found themselves in these distant countries.
Of particular interest are diary entries about trips to the Egyptian "hinterland", to Saudi Arabia (the city of Jeddah) in 1945 with a detailed description of the life and lifestyle of the population of these little-known areas of the Arab world at that time.
Post-war travels in the Sahara and work in Egypt gave the scientist the opportunity to begin studying the language of the Berber population of North Africa and the dialect of Nubians in the Nile Valley. On all his routes as a diplomat-from Casablanca to the Red Sea coast - Yuri Nikolaevich collects and processes linguistic and ethnographic material. In the future, these field works will serve as the basis for his fundamental works on Arabic studies, on the languages of ancient and modern peoples of Africa (a special section of the book is devoted to the scientific heritage of Yu. N. Zavadovsky-pp. 464-493).
The difficult path of the scientist to his homeland ran through European centers of Oriental studies: work on Arabic manuscripts in the Vatican Library, lectures on Arabic studies and the defense of his doctoral dissertation at Charles University in Prague...
The return of Yuri Nikolaevich and his family to the USSR (the first years they lived in Tashkent) was a new encounter with the East. He begins research and translation of the works of medieval scholars of Central Asia, meets with contemporary artists of Uzbekistan. There are translations of Avicenna's medical treatise, an analysis of Oriental themes in the works of the famous artist of Uzbekistan AN. Volkova (p. 449-452).
Moving to Moscow and working at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences allowed Yuri Nikolaevich to complete and publish his long-term research on Arabic and African linguistics, as well as to turn to studying the monuments of Arabic writing in the Crimea.
This "Essay" is more than half of the entire book about Y. N. Zavadovsky. The reader is presented with the image of not only an enthusiastic scientist, but also a persistent, courageous person. During the Second World War, together with his family and friends, Yuri Zavadovsky endures all the hardships of the occupation in France and participates in the Resistance movement. A scientist had to have a lot of strength and endurance to return to the post-war years in the USSR, settle in and remain himself in the new society.
"Essay" is provided with a large and interesting illustrative material.-
this material. Published photos from the family archive introduce the scientist's relatives and friends, those who shared the dangers of the war years with him, and many well-known colleagues and representatives of those Eastern countries to whom Yu. N. Zavadovsky devoted his works.
The Essay is supplemented by Appendices (pp. 449-489). These texts reflect the significance of the scientist's contribution to the development of Russian Oriental studies, and create the image of an authoritative Teacher of the younger generation of Orientalists.
A special place in the book is occupied by the literary and artistic work of Yuri Nikolaevich himself- " Autobiographical Novel. Paris. 1923-1933" (pp. 247-446). These are the author's memoirs about his young years spent in the circles of Russian emigration, in the literary and artistic environment. It was in those years that the future orientalist entered the path of "searching for the East", which later ran for him from the Atlantic to the shores of the Syr Darya. After many years and long wanderings, Yuri Nikolaevich devotes a series of short stories in the genre of Arabic maqama to the" Russian Paris " of his youth* (pp. 441-446).
You turn the last page of the book with great gratitude to the authors and compilers of its sections for the detailed comments and explanations that accompany all the texts. The reader gets an idea of historical figures, contemporaries of Y. N. Zavadovsky, mentioned literary works, historical events, as well as special terms.
We can rightly say that this book opens up new pages for the reader in the history of Russian Oriental studies and Russian culture. Moreover, it reinforces the view that this history and this cultural and scientific tradition will undoubtedly continue.
A. G. BELOVA, Doctor of Philology, Institute of Philology, Russian Academy of Sciences
* Maqama (Arabic) - session, interview, as well as meeting, gathering place of the tribe, speech at the meeting) - a genre of Arabic literature, picaresque stories in rhymed prose with poetic inserts, originated in Arabic literature in the IX-X centuries. and then became widespread in Persian-Tajik and Jewish literature (approx. ed.).
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