RAFAEL HUSEYNOV: Address in presentation ceremony of the publication of Devil by Hussein Javid in Montenegrin language

RAFAEL HUSEYNOV: Address in presentation ceremony of the publication of “Devil” by Hussein Javid in Montenegrin language

 22 October 2019, Podgorica

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen!
I am honored to be with you and sincerely welcome you all.
One of the greatest powers of light is to unify. Today, the light of word and the light of a great personality come together again.
Azerbaijan consists of two parts: North Azerbaijan - the modern Republic of Azerbaijan, where over 10 million people live, and South Azerbaijan, where more than 30 million people reside.
Both North and South Azerbaijan have a region called Garadagh. In the literal translation "Garadagh" means "Montenegro."(Chrna Gora)
Today, the light of the words of the great Azerbaijani thinker, poet and playwright Hussein Javid once again demonstrates great power, combining 3 Montenegro - 3 Chrna Gora and 3 Garadagh.
I start my speech with the feeling of satisfaction generated by this combination.
The boundary of time is not so great when it seems to separate us from Hussein Javid. He was born in the late 19th century and lived in the first half of the 20th century.
During the 1980s and 1990s, even at the beginning of our new century, many of the people who saw and communicated with Javid, were still alive and sharing their memories. The newsreel that visually show us Javid have also been preserved as a keepsake. The bridge of those memories brings Javid closer to us today as our contemporary. However, while reading his works, Javid also seems to us as a very old classical philosopher who lived hundreds of years ago. It is not without reason that he has been compared with the most famous figures of world literature and called Shakespeare of Azerbaijan and the East. The reason for this is the depth, wisdom, and philosophy in Javid's poetry.
Javid was an intelligent educator who had received an education from well-educated teachers. He traveled to Iran from Nakhchivan where he was born and lived in adolescence. There he learned Persian and Oriental literature and gained life experiences.
He then went to Turkey in 1905, studied at the Literary Department of Istanbul University for five years, and took lessons from such outstanding philosophers and writers as Reza Tofik, Tofik Fikrat who had founded their school. At a time when Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union, that is to say, behind the iron curtain, access to foreign countries was very limited. However, Hussein Javid was fortunate. Javid had such a great literary reputation that he was sent by the government's decision to Germany in 1926 for a long time to cure his eyes. He was fortunate enough to have a close look at Europe and European life that was unavailable for many of his compatriots. Thus, his deep knowledge, extensive research, and the geography that he went through made Hussein Javid in his life a thinker who combined mode of thinking of both the East and the West that enabled him to view many realities through broad scale in panorama.
Therefore, from the very beginning of his literary career, the themes and motives he spoke of went beyond the national framework and gained universal significance.
The themes, plots and heroes of his rich palette came not only from Azerbaijan, but from the Caucasus, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Her heroes were not only his compatriots - Azerbaijani Turks, but the mankind on the whole and the embodiment of human internal liberty.
Javid was born in 1882, and during World War I, he took the lead among literary figures of Azerbaijan's well-known generation. Such a traumatic event in the life of the world, of course, could not have passed by his thinking and creativity. Even more! The war and its horrors have also changed the poet's worldview. The young poet, who has focused more on lyrical-philosophical themes at the beginning of the literary path of historical movement, has reluctantly sought to think and write about life, human, world, events that change the speed and content of time.
When Javid was 38, Azerbaijan lost its independence. The Soviet regime seized Azerbaijan, the first republic established in the East. He also experienced the sorrows of his country and nation through his fate, and ultimately became one of the victims of this regime and politics.
Javid wrote in one of his famous verses:

I am a burning and extinct luster of

Eternal liberty.

This was not merely nice poet's word. It was the truth that conveyed the essence of Javid's personality and literary activity. Javid's poetry was based on the desire not to fit into molds and frames, but to expose the constraints of a compelling and volatile environment, to reveal the shortcomings of society and humanity, to see the human being in the comforts and pleasures he deserved. Nonetheless, how could one record it all down at the time when cruel Soviet censorship existed along with hundreds of suspicious controls of every printed and published word?
Javid therefore sought to exploit the methods which permitted to tell things that were not allowed to be told. In the meantime, he took refuge in history in order to present modern truths and took advantage of the language of Ezop. He wrote "Sayavush," a story about 1,000 years ago, "Khayyam," a story telling the realities of the 8th century, "Topal Teymur", a story reflecting confrontations and human relations of 6th century. People were reading these works, watching them in the theater, and seeing not what was happening in the distant past, but themselves, the realities of their lives and their modernity.
It is no coincidence that when the "Topal Teymur" was first shown on the scene in 1926, two high-ranking Soviet officials who ruled Azerbaijan saw themselves in the work and immediately banned the play. The drama returned to the scene only after almost 60 years.
Because of his freethinking, not repeating what everyone says, protesting position, and different mode of thinking, the regime arrested Javid in 1937 sending to Siberia as one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the bloody Soviet repression, and the life of a genius poet ended in the land of glaciers.
However, fragments of Javid's latest work reached people from those death camps. And the last drama of Javid, the author of the tragedies whose life was also a series of tragedies, was called "God”. With this work, he wanted to complete a triad that could be considered the peak of his literary activity. World War I caused him to write “Devil” in 1918. Observations of the following years made him write the play “Prophet”. The Second World War, which he had already encountered in Soviet prison, inspired him to write the drama "God."
Thus, there emerged "Devil", "Prophet" and "God" - a philosophical and poetic epopee about the triangle that spiritually and physically influenced and affected a human throughout his life.
All of Javid's literary activity is the manifestation of struggle taking place between good and evil, darkness and light, liberty and despotism.
This eternal confrontation is most clearly reflected in these three works. In fact, all of Javid's works is a whole, the parts which observe, continue, and complement each other.
Hussein Javid's daughter Turan khanum was a valuable cultural figure, thetaer theorist who died in 2004 at the age of 80. She was 14 when his father was arrested. She said that her father had a lot of copies of his "Devil" published in 1927. In one of the days when my father was intensely attacked by the press which increased our troubles, I told him that there would be a lot of trouble in the house containing so many “devils”, on pointing to those bookshelves. My father immediately pointed to another book published in 1923 on the back of the bookshelf and said, "Here is the “Prophet” as well."
Javid always believed in the existence of this order, and therefore never gave up. He believed in the future even in the darkest times and hoped that everything would be fine.
Since there is always devilishness in the world and within human being, there is always a light of prophecy that goes against him.
It is precisely the presence of good in front of evil that does not allow the scales of the world to bend and the propotion to breake.
Sometimes the "Devil" is called Javid's masterpiece.
I was fortunate enough to be able to talk with my older contemporaries, who were Javid's junior contemporaries, about the poet, spectacles watched by him, and the impressions of the theatrical audience of that time.
They said that in the 1920s in Azerbaijan, in Baku, the days when Javid's works were staged in the theater, turned into a holiday. The lovers of literature and art passed through the streets after spectacles, along with quoting the passages from “Devil”.
The wisdom in these works has educated generations of people and continues to fullfil this good mission today.
There were also figures in world literature who had addressed the theme of devil prior to Javid.
Mefistofel in Goethe's Faust, or Lucifer of Byron, or Lermontov's Demon are works that arise from the need to find answers to the question "What the devil is?"
Javid has been also looking for answers to this question, and I think that his play is one of the most powerful works that exposes the essence of the devil in world literature and philosophy, reveals all the shades of this desease, and the ways to get rid of devil itself.
Several years ago, a book called “Javid aphorisms” was published in Baku. Maybe in the future, someone might attempt to publish similiar collections. But since I have read and studied the works of this powerful master of word and intelligence for many years, one of the conclusions that I have come to appreciate is that the attempt to find selective aphorisms in his works is futile. Because all his heritage from the beginning to the end, consists of such wise thoughts and statements that can be regarded as aphorism.
Before mentioning Javid's hemistiches, which is among the best answers to one of the world's most perplexing questions in the aforementioned "Devil" drama, let me tell you some interesting details about the poet's cuisine of literary activity.
Each writer has a unique style of writing and working. When I was looking at Javid's pocketbooks, manuscripts, and the drafts of some of his published works that became consequently common belonging, I came across a strange situation. He firstly wrote every line of his poem as a line-line prose. In other words, he found an idea above all. He polished the idea through the prose, and then started to turn them into poetry. That is to say, in the poem for Javid, the idea precedes the proportionality and harmony of the words. However, Javid succeeded in expressing these thoughts in Azerbaijani Turkic with exceptional beauty. I regret that no one, not even the most talented translator of the world can express this unique beauty with its juice, sweetness and color until the end. However, due to the mental gravity of these verses, even in translation Javid's greatness is always noticed.
Javid poses a question in “Devil". More precisely, the Devil himself poses this question in the play, and he does not make wait long for an answer. He explains that you should not look around for the Devil as an extraordinary creature, a demonic force. Like all nobleness, goodness, love, it is inside each of you. He is a good and honest man, strong and pure, who is able to silence, kill, extinguish the devil within him, and be able to revive the light of the Prophet in his heart and mind:

What is the Devil? The cause of all treachery!

Who is a person treacherous to everyone? The Devil!

The name of the great Azerbaijani poet who brought us together again today, around the hearth of the word he created is Hussein and his surname is Rasizadeh. Nevertheless, more than his name and surname, the poet is well-known in history and in memories with his literary pseudonym: Javid!
The word "Javid" means eternal.
Javid has created immortal pearls that acquired the right to live forever from the feelings and thoughts that are eternal.
One of the brightest of these pearls is “Devil”.
It is an eternal work that today comes to Montenegro which Javid hasn’t seen, and begins to speak in Montenegrin language which Javid didn’t know, and will step into other countries and speak their languages tomorrow.
There is a simple reason for this unfinished journey and the native welcoming everywhere. Whatever Javid wrote or left as a heritage, all of them targetted humankind.
These masterpieces which do not know the border are intended not only for Javid's own compatriots, but for the human being, the adornment of the great world and the supreme masterpiece of God!
Therefore, no matter what language they speak and whatever door they open, these works will always be welcomed as old friends whose arrival were looked forward long ago.
As it is today in Montenegro!
And today has another instructive meaning that provokes an extremely great conmpassion.
Javid's son Artogrol, according to his contemporaries was a creator who wasn’t behind his father regarding his talent.
Fikrat Amirov, who studied with him at the conservatory and later became one of the most famous composers in Azerbaijan and the world, told me that Artogrol Javid was the most talented among them.
Artogrol was an artist, poet, playwright, literary critic, composer, folklorologist and translator.
He has left the heritage fitting into 10 large volumes.
However what a pity that an owner of such a universal and brilliant talent has had a lifetime consisting of merely 24 years.
The family of Javid who was blamed, arrested and destroyed by the Soviet regime as the "People's Enemy", was also persecuted. Although Artogrol was a conservatory student, he was taken to the military service. However, he was not sent to the front due to his belonging to politically insecure family, and was involved in the construction of heavy tunnels and to work underground. Here Artogrol was contaminated with a deadly tuberculosis disease, closed his eyes forever, without ever being able to say great words in art and literature.
The romances, symphonic pieces, poems, researches and paintings left by him today generate astonishment thus manifesting the rare talent of Artogrol. It is heartbreaking that we have lost so many valuable people through the wave of insidious policies that destroy the fate.
October was very remarkable for the Javid's family.
Hussein Javid was born on October 24th.
His daughter Turan was born on October 2nd.
Artogrol was born and died in October.
Today is October 22nd and is the birthday of the most beautiful work of the great Azerbaijani poet and playwright Hussein Javid, his son Artogrol Javid.
It's not an ordinary birthday either. Today is his 100th anniversary!
I do not know whether the election of today's October 22 for the presentation of Cavid's book which is to speak for the first time in Montenegrin language, is a coincidence, or it is a charm of destiny that is impossible to explain.
The feast of Artogrol Javid - a talented man whose way of life and creative activity has been brutally broken early, today joins with the celebration of his beloved father's new book.
This means that today the devil is defeated again, which means that goodness is triumphant today.
And such triumphs of light over the darkness will never end.
Today is 100th anniversary of Artogrol Javid.
He was allowed to live solely 24 years of his centennial endless life. And I want this gifted person to come back here alive today. Let him come back with his unforgettable masterpiece.
The work that Artogrol Javid composed at the beginning of World War II at the age of 21, was dedicated to his teacher, the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli.
Although this work was created 77 years ago, it is still fresh today pleasing the spirit.
Human beings are alive with what they have created!
Today you are in a celebration of the triumph of goodness, light and talent.
I wish that the light always be with you!
The most eternal holiday in the world is the holiday of the book, and today we celebrate the birth of a new valuable book.
Finally, I would like to thank those who granted us this holiday.
Azerbaijan had a great scientist and cultural researcher - Ghulam Mammadli.
He lived almost the entire 20th century. He was born in 1897 and died in 1994. At the time of publication of my book “More supreme than time”, which first highlighted the fate of Hussein Javid and his descendants as well as conveyed many truths to the public, Ghulam Mammadli delivered very touching words on television. He said that there were four Javids in Hussein Javid's family. The poet himself, his son Artogrol Javid, his wife Mishkinaz Javid and their daughter Turan Javid. Now, after reading this book, we can say that the author is the fifth member of the Javid family.
So today I express my gratitude not only on my own behalf but also on behalf of the Javid family.
I deliver my my deepest gratitude to Ms. Dragana Pantovich, translator who for the first time sounded "Devil" in Montenegrin language as well as to academician Zuvdija Hodzich, editor of the book.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Eldar Hasanov, the author and co-founder of the project, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, an enterprising and active person, who has a valuable contribution to the promotion of Azerbaijani literature and culture, and who has consistently contributed to the development of relations between our countries.
Considering that I am also a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament, chairing the Culture Committee, I convey my deepest feelings of satisfcation and gratitude to you on behalf of my nation and my country.
The life of the book goes far beyond human life.
And gratitude to those who donated this book to Montenegro and to Azerbaijan, will last as long as the life of this book.

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