Najaf bey Vazirov
|Najaf bey Vazirov|
17 February 1854|
Shusha, Russian Empire (in present-day Azerbaijan)
|Died||9 July 1926
|Occupation||Forest warden, lawyer, playwright, journalist|
Vazirov was born in Shusha (then Elisabethpol Governorate, Russian Empire, present-day Azerbaijan) where he also received his primary education. Upon graduating from a gymnasium (secondary school) in Baku, Vazirov got admitted to the Petrovsko-Razumovskaya Academy of Agriculture and Forestry in Moscow. After finishing his post-secondary studies in the 1870s, Vazirov obtained the position of a forest warden in Dilijan (present-day Armenia) but was soon laid off due to the mistrust of the authorities towards the Petrovsko-Razumovskaya Academy alumni many of whom were known for their revolutionary views. He then settled in Baku and passed a law course which enabled him to serve as a lawyer at the city court. He also started publishing articles and essays for the newly founded Azeri newspaper Akinchi.
By that time Vazirov had already written several dramatic pieces, mostly comedies reflecting the everyday life of contemporary students and families. Starting from the 1890s Vazirov's liberal views on politics start influencing his works. Vazirov continues the tradition initiated by Mirza Fatali Akhundov characterised by bringing in realist ideas into the Azerbaijani literature. In his first tragedy entitled Musibat-i Fakhraddin ("Fakhraddin's Grief", 1896) touches upon the theme of fanaticism suppressing young educated minds who struggle against reactionism and ignorance. This work is considered the first example of the realistic tragedy genre in the Azerbaijani literature. In his subsequent works such as Pahlivan-i Zamana ("Heroes of Our Time", 1900) he criticised the corrupt nature of the government institutions and remnants of the patriarchal social system. His last work, Taza asrin ibtidasi ("The Beginning of the New Century", 1924), was written after Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union and was dedicated to women's emancipation. He died in Baku in 1926.
Vazirov's works significantly enriched the repertoire of the then young Azerbajani theatre and decisively established realistic genre as the dominant one in the Azerbaijani drama.
The Lankaran State Drama Theatre is named after Najaf bey Vazirov.
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