The literature of Uzbekistan is the richest part of Uzbek culture. It was based on the oral folk epic of the Turkic peoples. Ancient Turkic literature, starting from the first monuments of ancient Turkic writing, is an integral part of Uzbek literature, and part of the culture of all the Turkic peoples who inhabited this vast region.
The famous legends of Alpomysh, Afrosiab, Siyavush and many other colorful examples of oral folk art were composed by local peoples from time immemorial and passed down from generation to generation to convey the full flavor and richness of the national culture.
Among the prominent representatives of early Uzbek written literature are Yusuf Khos Khodjib Balasaguni (1020-1075) and Mahmud Kashgari (1029-1126 approximately). Their bright works "Kutadgu Bilig" ("Blessed Knowledge"), "Divani lugati-turk" ("Dictionary of Turkic Dialects") laid the foundation for the formation of Uzbek secular literature.
The great poet and philosopher, statesman Alisher Navoi(1441-1501) played a huge role in the revival of Uzbek literary literature. His priceless manuscripts are still preserved in many manuscript collections of world-famous museums, such as the State Hermitage Museum, the Louvre and the British Museum, and have been translated into many languages.
Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur (1483-1530), Babarahim Mashrab (1657-1711), Jami (1414-1492), and Lutfi (1367-1466) played an important role in the development of Uzbek historical literature. For the first time, they depicted realistic paintings of that time, wrote autobiographical and historical essays, which made an invaluable contribution to the development of Uzbek classic literature.
In the literature of the XVIII - first half of the XIX centuries, the development of women's poetry is noted. The works of the remarkable poetesses Nadira (1792-1842), Uwaysi (1780-1845) and Makhzuna took a worthy place in Uzbek realistic poetry and it was they who gave rise to the development of female love lyrics.
In the XIX century – the beginning of the XX century, Uzbek poets and writers lived and worked in Central Asia: Mukimi (1850-1903), Furkat (1859 - 1909), Zavki (1853 - 1921), Avaz Otar-ogly (1884 - 1919). Their innovative works served as the basis for the democratic direction of Uzbek literature. For the first time, they began to create acutely satirical and humorous works, the themes of which are still relevant to this day.
Among the classics of Uzbek literature of the beginning of the XX century, we can mention Abdurauf Fitrat (1886-1938), Hamza (1889 - 1929), Abdullah Kadiri (1894 - 1938), Gafur Gulyam (1903-1966), Oybek (1905 - 1968), Hamid Alimzhan (1909 - 1944). In their works, they openly ridiculed and criticized the old-regime habits of feudal society, advocated democratic and advanced ideas and the development of civil society.
The XX century is a key period in the history of modern Uzbek literature. Despite the difficult post-war years, during the heyday of Soviet culture, Uzbek literature has not lost its face in the flow of powerful competition and rapid development of the world's modern literature. Based on the works of Uzbek authors of this period, films were made and performances were staged not only in Uzbekistan, but also abroad.
Uzbekistan is a unique country. The famous treasury of cultural artifacts, many of which are protected by the UNESCO World Heritage, includes not only majestic monuments of architecture, nature and attractions, but also priceless manuscripts of great poets and philosophers. Many of these manuscripts are located in major religious centers, museums, library archives, and private collections.
We offer you a few of the possible places where you can enjoy the diversity of Uzbek literary heritage.