The manual’s authors note that as a result of their experience with “translations of poems by American poet Dr. Gjeke Marinaj, a PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas and an expert researcher, we are pleased that another masterpiece of world literature speaks the native language of the Kazakh reader.”
The authors of “Embracing the Moonlight” are Dosbol Islam, an associate professor in the Kazakh Philology Department, and Alima Pashanova, an active advocate of Kazakh literature. At the university event, Vice Rector Askar Turganbayev and Library Director Meruert Absemetova presented the book and talked about its themes.
Hailing Marinaj as “one of the most important literary figures in the world”, “Embracing the Moonlight” continues the project “100 new textbooks in the Kazakh language”, launched in 2017 by the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev under the auspices of the state program “Spiritual Renewal”. The textbook has received approval for inclusion in the Central Asian nation’s higher education curricula for candidates and students up to doctoral level.
“Embracing the Moonlight” presents the first Kazakh translation of Dr. Marinaj’s literary work. Textbook authors D. Islam and A. Pashanova, along with Zhibek Iskakova, the editor of “Wonderful Kazakhstan-2050” magazine, collaborated to render Kazakh versions of a comprehensive selection taken from all volumes of Marinaj’s poetry . The accompanying literary analysis provided by the authors and university students studies the poems and compares them to the works of leading Kazakh poets in order to convey Marinaj’s “philosophical worldview” to the Kazakh reader. Each chapter contains quizzes and reflective writing assignments.
Describing Dr. Marinaj as “working tirelessly to strengthen friendly relations with writers of world and international literature, as well as to develop his creativity”, “Embracing the Moonlight” applies the poet’s ideals of literary-based cultural diplomacy to the Kazakh context in the period since the establishment of an independent Republic of Kazakhstan in 1991.
Integral to these ideals is the poet’s protonism theory, a form of literary criticism that seeks to promote international understanding. As Islam and Pashanova have pointed out, protonism provides a point of view for perceiving the interdependence of Kazakh and world literature. The book encourages students to use protonism theory in every related task throughout the semester.
Approaching “Dr. Marinaj’s literary production as a type of communication marked by an individualistically coherent form of metaphorical thought”, “Embracing the Moonlight” finds the poet’s “ideas and conceptual decisions” in accordance with the fundamental principles of the creative development of independent Kazakh literature. Islam and Pashanova see Marinaj’s literary thought as reflecting national origins as well as a dialogue with major trends in world literature.
Likewise, as the authors note, contemporary Kazakh literature has assimilated such modernist movements as Symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism. The authors view Marinaj’s protonism as a touchstone for interpreting the unifying undercurrents present in the interplay of tradition and innovation in Kazakh culture, just as in any national culture that achieves its own cultural identity. world.
“Embracing the Moonlight” draws parallels between Marinaj’s authors and Kazakh authors, including a comparison between Marinaj’s Albanian “Horses” and pioneering Kazakh writer Saken Seifullin’s “Red Horse”, two well-known poems by social criticism with correspondences at the level of imagery and philosophy. criticism of the unjust suppression of authentic cultural and ethical values. The book also compares Marinaj’s style to that of beloved Kazakh author Magzhan Zhumabayev.
The formulation of the theory of protonism by Dr. Marinaj arose as a reaction to the volatility of the Balkan literary environment, impacted by the renewed post-communist politicization of literature at the expense of artistic concerns. The detailed description of the poet’s signature theory in “Embracing the Moonlight” aims to give Kazakh readers a critical tool to perceive and nurture their own literature within a larger context of supporting the purposefully inclusive development of the national culture.
Dr. Gjekë Marinaj’s theory of protonism is currently taught in several major European and Asian universities, including the People’s Republic of China, whose Ministry of Education has incorporated the theory into its graduate university programs.
Dr. Marinaj, a multiple Nobel Prize in Literature nominee, has received many major accolades, including South Korea’s Changwon KC International Literary Prize.