Dzhafar Dzhabarly

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dzhabarly, Dzhafar


Born Mar. 22, 1899, in the village of Khizy, near Baku; died Dec. 31, 1934, in Baku. Soviet Azerbaijani writer; founder of the school of socialist realism in Azerbaijani drama; Honored Art Worker of the Azerbaijan SSR (1933).

The son of a peasant, Dzhabarly graduated from the University of Azerbaijan in 1929. He was first published in 1915. His early satirical verse, stories (“Mansur and Sitara,” 1916), and dramas (Faithful Sariia, 1915, and Wilted Flowers, 1917) were directed against social inequality, the denial of rights to women, and cultural backwardness. His historical drama Shah Nasreddin (1916) excoriated the feudal despotism in Iran. His plays Aidyn and Oktai El’-ogly (staged in 1922-23) exposed the reactionary nature of the local bourgeoisie in a severely realistic manner. A legend dealing with the tragic fate of women in the feudal East is the source of his long narrative poem The Maiden’s Tower (1923-24). The romantic historical drama Bride of the Fire (staged 1928) was directed against Islamic religion and feudal oppression. SeviV, a play staged in 1928, deals with the emancipation of women after the revolution. In his play In 1905 (staged in 1931), Dzhabarly developed the theme of friendship among the Transcaucasian peoples.

In Dzhabarly’s work the theme of the contemporary world and problems of socialist reconstruction occupy the primary place. He created the first realistic positive heroes, builders of the new life. The tense class struggle in the village during collectivization is depicted in his plays Almas (staged in 1931) and Iashar (staged in 1932). Questions of socialist art are touched on in the play Turnabout (staged 1932).

Dzhabarly aided the development of the Azerbaijani Soviet theater and also played a creative role as a director. His critical articles helped to establish socialist realism in the theater and in Azerbaijani dramatic writing. Dzhabarly was the author of the libretto for R. M. Glière’s opera Shahsenem. He also wrote many film scenarios and translated the works of Leo Tolstoy, Gorky, Shakespeare, and Schiller into the Azerbaijani language.


Äsärläri, vols. 1-3. Baku, 1956-58.
Äsärläri, vols. 1-3. Baku, 1968-69.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. soch. Tbilisi, 1937.
P’esy. Baku, 1969.


Gusein, M. “Dzh. Dzhabarly i sovremennost’.” Izv. AN Azerb. SSR, 1947, no. 7.
Arif, M. Tvorchestvo Dzh. Dzhabarly. Baku, 1961.
Daghistani, I. Chdäfär JabbarK vä teatr. Baku, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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