Finding Bazorkin in the Caucasus: A Journey from Anthropology to Literature

Rebecca Ruth Gould

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This essay chronicles a journey through the Caucasus toward the end of the second Russo-Chechen war. It focuses in particular on the discovery of a little-known Soviet-era work of historical fiction by the Ingush author Idris Bazorkin (1910-1991). In introducing Bazorkin to the Anglophone reader, I examine the intertextual linkages between his fiction and indigenous Ingush traditions and thereby reveal the thematic and generic range of Ingush literary modernity. By yoking together literary and ethnographic approaches that are often severed from each other, Bazorkin suggests an alternative conception of the relationship between literature and anthropology. Through its writing method as well as its critical analysis, this essay introduces Bazorkin's anthropology of literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalAnthropology and Humanism
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2016


  • anthropology of literature
  • colonialism
  • ethnographic writing
  • folklore
  • historical fiction
  • indigenous aesthetics
  • Ingush culture
  • literature and experience
  • postcolonial pastoral
  • the Caucasus

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