A thread on Jalil Mammadguluzadeh's "My Mother's book", how it draw from real life story and its relevance to Azerbaijani identity problem.
"My Mother's Book" is a play written by Mammadguluzadeh in Shusha, 1920. The play tells a story of a family, whose sons educated abroad and trying to find a place in their old home.
Eldest one is Rustem bek, he was educated in Saint Petersburg, speaks occasionally in Russian. Younger one is Molla Muhammad, educated in Iran, always wears Iranian clothes, deeply religious. Youngest one is Samad Vahid, he was educated in Istanbul, uses a lot of Ottoman dialect.
Brothers don't get along and always feel superior to their siblings, want to leave their house. Tzarist censor visits their house and accuses them of propaganda - that they want to unite Caucasus and Iran Azerbaijanis into one single country and demands to look at their books.
But he doesn't find any political ones. Rustem bek has dictionaries, Molla has religious books, Samad has Ottoman poetry. Censor makes his mind that, these folks are no trouble for government, they are just minding their own business.
Sibling rivalry finally comes to the point of splitting family apart. Enraged sister orders their servant to gather all those books and burn them in front of her brothers eyes. One book she doesn't burn is her "Mother's book". Sister urges them to stay true to their roots.
But this play was drawn from real story. Although in this story, Sheykh Muhammad is the eldest brother, followed by middle Huseyn Javid and youngest Alirza Rasizadeh.
Rasizadehs were natives of Nakhchivan, as well as Mammadguluzadeh. Sheykh Muhammad was educated in Tehran, was a preacher and pan-Islamist, Huseyn Javid was educated in Istanbul and became pan-Turkist while Alirza studied in Gori seminary and became a socialist.
Former prime minister of Azerbaijan, Artur Rasizade is eldest brother Sheykh Muhammad's grandson - continued his grandfather's legacy of loyalty to the state, while Alec Rasizade - grandson of Alirza, a senior associate at the Historical Research Center - calls Aliyev a "despot".
All these stories and search for identity was perfectly portrayed in Molla Nasraddin magazine's caricature - a Persian mullah, an Ottoman clerk and a Russian intellectual all try to force their languages on a poor Azerbaijani guy.
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