International Association for Assistance to the Abaza-Abkhazian ethnos «Alashara»

The pull of the past

Притяжение прошлого

Presentation of the new novel by Oleg Etlukhov  "Attraction" was held in the printing-house in Cherkessk. It was published in Moscow and tells about the events in Russia and Abkhazia at the beginning of the last century.

This is the fourth book of the writer, loudly declared himself in the last three years. The first - "Call of blood" - was published in 2003, written in the genre of documentary and dedicated to the events associated with the Patriotic war 1992-1993 of  the people of Abkhazia. In the following, Oleg Adyl-Gireevich moved to artistic prose and annually publishes one novel: in 2016 - "Footprints in the sand", in 2017 – "Stars over Cairo", and here - a new epic work, which is nominated for the All – Russian historical and literary award "Alexander Nevsky".

These three novels have attracted great attention of the literary community. Suffice it to say that the "Stars over Cairo" and "Attraction" were awarded extensive reviews published in the newspapers "Day of literature" and "Literary newspaper". Their author – Nikolai Vladimirovich Pereyaslov - poet, novelist, critic, translator, secretary of the Board of the Union of writers of Russia. His feedback on Oleg Etlukhov`s works written by such respected specialists as Leyla Abubekirovna Bekizova - literary critic, doctor of philological sciences, professor, academician, Vice-President of the International Adyghe (Circassian) Academy of sciences; Khizir Mahmudovich Takhtamyshev – member of the Union of writers of the Russian Federation, doctor of technical sciences, professor; Larisa Kurmanbievna Shebzukhova – people's poet of Karachay-Cherkess republic, literary advisor of Karachay-Cherkessia regional branch of the Union of writers of Russia.

It is necessary to make a reservation at once that the first two novels came out without proofreading, to which Vladimir Pereyaslov regretfully points out. Larisa Shebzukhova also draws attention to this side of the publications: "We need a very delicate, filigree work in the author's workshop on the development of language and artistic means."  But the analysis of the works of specialists primarily talking about their informative, intellectual, spiritual essence.

"The book "Footprints in the sand " can not be read as an entertaining reading, – says Khizir Takhtamyshev. "The richness of the work with deep thoughts and thoughts on various topics and problems of life and existence makes the reader think after the author of seemingly clear, long-established truths."

Citing the example of I. A. Goncharov, whose universal recognition was brought by his only novel "Oblomov", Khizir Takhtamyshev states: "The novel by O. A. Etlukhov "Footprints in the sand" is the same fundamental work, a highly artistic work that paves its author, like Goncharov, a direct road to the classics of Russian literature".

The «Stars over Cairo» made a great impression on the literary community. The novel, in the words of Nikolai Pereyaslov, "recreates on its pages the life and personality of the outstanding ruler, warrior and politician – Ali-Bey the Great, Mamluk of Abkhazian origin, who in 1768 liberated Egypt from the influence of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1770 took the title of Egyptian Sultan." The well-known literary critic analyzes the work in detail from different sides and calls it "a textbook of military honor, as well as not drying up with the years of love to his native Fatherland", "a collection of folk wisdom and proverbs", paying attention to the fact that "now and then there are expressions, phrases and statements, which clearly shines through the ancient wisdom".

Nikolai Pereyaslov considers the " Stars over Cairo "to the works that "reflect the fate of all his people, his thousand -year-old deep culture, and most importantly-his great spirit and distinctive folk character", and puts the book on a par with the novels "War and peace" by Leo Tolstoy, "The quiet Don" by Mikhail Sholokhov, "Torture" by Alexei Tolstoy, "Living and dead" by Konstantin Simonov.

Larisa Shebzukhova calls "Stars over Cairo" a novel about the all-consuming love for the Motherland. "Everyone who has read the novel by O. Etlukhov," - she writes, "will undoubtedly be amazed by the power, wisdom and depth of education of Abazara (Apsuara) carriers, which is fully manifested in the boy who left his homeland, and even in subsequent generations, born in a foreign country, but brought up by the carriers of this powerful spirit."

The poetess considers the "Stars over Cairo" a significant event in Abaza, and in all Russian literature. "The appearance of such a large epic work in a seemingly exhausted romantic process can only be explained by the fact that each era puts forward its thinker, its writer, capable of causing a powerful creative surge," - she says.

"Reflections of the author of the novel about the meaning of life, the vicissitudes of the roads on which a person walks are close and clear to everyone who has ever thought about the eternal questions of life.

 What are we living for?

 Where are we  going?

- What awaits each of us at the end of a long journey that has no beginning and seems endless to us?

The desire to hear and to understand themselves that occurs every reader of this piece, and puts it on a par with the famous works of world classics" – says about the book Layla Bekizova, which believes that "the creation of a work of a similar level and with similar content Oleg Etlukhov marked the beginning of a new form of the historical novel, combining the rhythms of a fading beats of a bygone era with the realities of today", and expresses confidence that "the novel "Stars over Cairo" will take its rightful place among the best novels of Russia for the last time."

New creation of Oleg Etlukhov reflects the events happening in the background of the Civil war in the North Caucasus. But, as Nikolai Pereyaslov notes, the essence of the novel is not to find out who is right and who is wrong – "red" or "white". "The leitmotif of this profound book is the idea of preserving his honor by every person, " - he writes in the article "Honor above life " (LG No. 19, may 16, 2018). "Honor is the most important spiritual category, which was brought up in children in the Caucasus from a very early age and then protected it to gray hair, because the stained honor is a shame for the whole family."

Literary critic draws parallels between the novels of Etlukhov Oleg and Mikhail Sholokhov: "A number of motifs of the "Attraction" resonates with the famous novel of Sholokhov "The quiet Don", as they both tell of the establishment of Soviet power in the villages of the South of Russia and against enemies of the new order with its builders". And concludes: " Etlukhov`s book "Attraction" is written not only for the Abaza and Abkhaz people, but for all of us living on earth of the former Soviet Union, rapidly forgetting their native languages and traditions, clogging his speech and the literature of the strange words, and sometimes even replacing the native alphabet of the alien in Latin or other characters. The name of the novel speaks of the attraction of man to his native land, his language, his culture and the age-old memory that keeps the history of our peoples."

During the presentation of the novel "Attraction", the speakers noted that the very fact of such interest of the literary community and the Federal media indicates the importance of Oleg Etlukhov`s works, because not every new edition in Russia attracts such attention. Chief editors of republican newspapers Fardaus Kulova, Yevgeny Kratov, Albert Uzdenov, Altynai Atuova wished the author further fruitful work.

Oleg Adyl-Gireevich said that he wanted to show the history as it is. "As far as I was able to do it, let the readers judge", - he added and thanked the organizers of the event.