Myth in the Works of Chingiz Aitmatov
Myth in the Works of Chingiz Aitmatov examines the use of mythology in the work of the contemporary Kirghiz writer Chingiz Aitmatov. Nina Kolesnikoff traces Aitmatov's reliance on myth beginning with his early stories which introduce mythological motifs, and ending with his latest novels, which juxtapose mythological and realistic narratives. She particularly focuses on Aitmatov's two novellas which use myth as a structural element that influences all other components and determines the final structure. In addition, she traces the sources of his mythological influence to Central Asia, including that of the Kirghiz tribe, but she also uncovers elements of Greek mythology, and the Bible. Kolesnikoff explores the unexpected influence of the Bible on a writer from within the Muslim tradition, yet the Bible provides a rich source for many of his latest novels. She concludes by contending that Aitmatov's The White Steamship, and Spotted Dog Running Along the Seashore represent the most successful examples of modern prose constructed in accordance with the general mythological traditions and structural principles.