Kamal (Kamaletdinev) Galiasgar Galiakberovich

Kamal was born December 25, 1879, in Kazan and died June 16, 1933, in Kazan. He was a Tatar writer, publicist and public figure. He was one of the founders of national journalism and organizers of The Tatar Professional Theatre. In 1900, he finished his education at the madressa, Muhammadiya, and simultaneously received his initial formation for three years of training at the Russian school. Contrary to the will of his father, who desired to see his son become a mullah, Kamal selected to attain a secular education. In 1901, he organized a society for the publication and distribution of books called The Library of Education and supervised the society until 1905. In 1905, he worked at the Tatar newspaper, The Kazan Correspondent, in 1906, at the newspaper, Freedom, as its president, and within the same year became the publisher and the editor of the newspaper under its new name, Free People. After the fifteenth edition was published the newspaper was shut down and Kamal was fined. From 1908 to 1909, he issued and edited the satirical magazine, Lightning. Until 1917, he worked at the newspaper, The Star, (during the Balkan War between 1912 and 1913, he was a correspondent in Turkey). After 1917, He worked for the newspapers, Work, Worker, and Red Army. Kamal's first literary experiences included the play, The Unfortunate Young Man (1900), Three Villains (1900), (also known by the name Rasputstva in 1910) and translation of the play, The Pitiful Child (1900), by N. Kemal (Kemal wrote the play in the Turkish language and Kamal translated it into Tatar). Kamal, as a playwright, wrote in the general tradition of educational realism. A general motif of his writings was criticism of the patriarchal familial traditions of the Tatars. The next few years revealed Kamal’s talent as a comedy writer. He enriched the national and theatrical art comedies, The First Representation (1908), For the Sake of a Gift (1909), The Bankrupt (1911), and Secrets of Our City (1911). Kamal recreated satirical pictures of the life of Tatar society at the beginning of the 20th century, illuminating the problems between fathers and children and marriage and familial attitudes. He created bright images of the national merchant-petty-bourgeois environment brought up in the spirit of patriarchal old times. The general focus of his subjects of creativity was the disintegration of patriarchal life, origins of new attitudes, and observations of the contradictions and struggles between the old and the new. The characters of Kamal’s plays are concerned with public and cultural affairs that oppose anything new. They put above all their own mercenary interests, and break the basic rules of business partnership and human decency. Almost all layers of the Tatar urban population, academics, clergy, officials, servants, etc, take part in the play, Secrets of Our Cities, which was highly esteemed by G. Tukay. Kamal's comedies differ in the acuteness of their conflicts, dynamism of action, and profundity of their events. They contain a masterful rendition of the private world of their heroes, brightly displaying the customs which are part of the fabric of national ceremonies, including all the details of daily life. The author has proved to be a master of dialogue. The language of his comedies is sated with national humor. Kamal's poetic creativity reflects the dominance in Tatar Society of the ideas and moods prevalent during the Revolution between 1905 and 1907. He writes about the needs of the nation, the hope for freedom, and the development of national education in the areas of culture and the sciences in works such as, Freedom (1905), Appeal (1905), What is Necessary for Us (1906), and Hey, Moslem, Do Not Sleep! (1906). Kamal published works on varying subjects, including opinions about the State Duma and the Manifest of 1905 in his works: What Does the Manifest of the Third of November Give Us? (1906), The Duma, Some Thoughts (1906), and Deputies (1907); problems of Tatar public life: Who is Guilty? (1905), Postcard to Supporters of the Old (1906), Work to Help the Starving (1907), and The Sale of Children (1912). In Kamal’s stories, those who support the senseless waste of time are called to direct their energies in a way that is useful to society. And to address people who are engaged in such wasteful nonsense he wrote, Gold Grown Dull (1909). Kamal steadfastly watched the development of Tatar literature and theatre and published literary critiques and reviews such as, Tatar Theatre (1907), The Verses of Gabdullah Tukay (1907), and New Products (1909). He wrote about the years of the Soviet Civil War, what happened in the country and to the republic, and contributed to the revolution with traditional poetic forms. Kamal's creativity after 1917 considerably concedes to creativity typical of the pre-October period. In the arena of late dramatic arts, his ideas about the socialist reorganization of society were propagandized. Workers within the Soviet society and their supporters become positive heroes and opponents to change were exposed to open derision, for example in the comedy, Lovely Hafiz (1922), and the drama, Three Lives (1930). Kamal translated into the Tatar language many Russian works of prose and foreign dramatic works such as, Marriage and Auditor by N.V. Gogol, A.N. Ostkrovskv's, Thunderstorm, Avaricious, The Doctor Necessarily by Z.B. Moliere, and The Indian by G. Hamid. Kamal possessed the talent of an artist. He created the first illustrations for the prose of G. Tukay and for satirical figures concerning public and political themes in the magazines, Lightning (1907-08) and Sparkles (1908-10). As an artist he brought a significant contribution to the development of the culture of publishing to Tatarstan. He created new Tatar fonts for Kazan’s typographer I.N. Haritonov and the first theatrical posters. He also created artistic registrations of some performances of the Tatar theatre, in 1920. Kamal improved Tatar calligraphy and developed fonts for the magazine, Scorpion, and the newspaper, The Red Banner. Kamal died on June 16, 1933. He is buried in a communal grave in the Central Park of Culture named after Maxim Gorky.
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