Finding Bazorkin: A Journey from Anthropology to Literature
This essay chronicles a journey through the Caucasus toward the end of
the second Russo-Chechen war. It focuses in particular on the discovery of a littleknown
Soviet-era work of historical fiction by the Ingush author Idris Bazorkin (1910-
1991). In introducing Bazorkin to the Anglophone reader, I examine the intertextual
linkages between his fiction and indigenous Ingush traditions and thereby reveal the
thematic and generic range of Ingush literary modernity. By yoking together literary
and ethnographic approaches that are often severed from each other, Bazorkin suggests
an alternative conception of the relationship between literature and anthropology.
Through its writing method as well as its critical analysis, this essay introduces
Bazorkin’s anthropology of literature.