Biography

Biography
Poet-enlightener, the founder of written Kazakh literature, primogenitor of Kazakh literary language, philosopher, composer, translator, and political figure

Биография

Abai Kunanbaev

(1845-1904)


Poet-enlightener, the founder of written Kazakh literature, primogenitor of Kazakh literary language, philosopher, composer, translator, and political figure. The poetic works of Abai present the most pressing problems of the Kazakh people -social, public, moral. His verses are filled with profound philosophic meaning and civil importance and called for a struggle against oppression and ignorance.

As poet-innovator, Abai made his contribution into the establishment of the poem genre into Kazakh literature. The plots of the poems («Masgud», «Iskander») were composed by Abai upon the newly and specifically reinterpreted motifs of oriental classic literature. Considerable contributions of Abai to the development of fiction prose were his «Word of Edification» or «The Book of Words» which touch upon multiple historic, pedagogical and legal problems, and show Abai’s political views. Their distinguishing uniqueness is the sincerity, trust, the figurativeness of language. The innermost thoughts of the poet about civil duty of man and about the meaning of existence are addressed to younger generations. The musical heritage of Abai occupies a special place in the history of Kazakh national art.

The musical gift of Abai is nurtured on the deep soil of the people and found its reflection in the melodious lyric songs that were the expression of the poet’s perception of the world and his spiritual mood. Abai’s songs «Kozymnin karasy», «Ne izdeisin konilim», «Aittym salem, Kalamkas», «Tatiananyn khati» and others introduced into the folk song creative activity new melodious rhythms, new principles of use of expressive tools of the mother tongue. Abai was an innovator, enriching through his art the rhythmic and intonational order of folk music. Abai’s verse has served as lyric for the songs and romances of the composers M.Tulebaev, S.Mukhamedjanov, G.Zhubanova, M.Koishibaev, N.Tlendiev, N.Mendygaliev.