Занимаюсь популяризацией произведений Чингиза Айтматова с 1992 года. Постсоветские издания произведений писателя на немецком языке я представляла в ФРГ при поддержке его швейцарского издателя. С 2000 года стала вводить творчество Чингиза Айтматова в школьное образование ФРГ и с 2006 года – в вузы, в частности в университет Франкфурта-на-Майне. Перевод «Солдатенка» является моим совместным последним проектом при жизни писателя. Представленная на конкурс сказка была впервые издана на немецком языке и подарена моей дочери писателем лично в 2004 году.
The Monkey Girl and the Satchel
Translation from the German by Rahima Abduvalieva
“Father was not an ordinary man. He
knew the whole Kirgiz heroic epic poem ‘Manas’* by heart.
It was nearly one million lines long. If someone knew the
whole poem and asked the hero Manas for help, he would
come immediately. Father began to pray ‘Manas! If you
love your people and my children help us get to the airport
and fly back to Kirgizia.’ In a flash, Manas and his knights,
in full battle dress and holding their sabres aloft, appeared
out of nowhere. They galloped through the streets of
Moscow to the place where the family was staying. The
police arrived at the same but Manas gave them a stare that
stopped them in their tracks. He pointed to Eldar, Shirin,
their parents and the monkey girl and said ‘Don’t you dare
touch them. They are under my protection. Clear the
streets so that we can pass’. Some of the policemen were
clever enough to understand not to argue with such a
powerful hero. The family and the monkey girl got in the
car and drove to the airport. They sat on a plane and flew
to Bishkek, the capital of Kirgizia. As the plane took off
Manas and his knights disappeared into thin air. They
arrived in Bishkek safe and sound. At home, the children
immediately set about searching for the magic words. They
worked out that these words had to be spoken not in
English but in the language of the monkey girl’s island.
They read an entire library of books and dictionaries. In
one of them Shirin finally found the magic words. She
spoke the words and the monkey immediately turned back
into the girl with the lovely plaits and big eyes. Eldar and
Shirin then told their friends and relatives the girl’s story.
Their father, who was a writer, wrote an article about it
with the girl’s picture for a newspaper. Eventually the
whole word came to know her story. The girl’s parents also
read about it in the newspapers. They came to Kirgizia to
pick up their daughter. The two families celebrated their
arrival with a huge feast. But what were the magic words?
Shirin has never told anybody. She doesn’t intend to either
for she doesn’t want people to be reminded of the evil
spell. I think it’s better that you don’t ask her about it
* Manas, the eponymous hero of the epic poem, was a ninth-century mounted warrior who united the Kirgiz tribes and led them to victory over their enemies. It is the centrepiece of Kirgiz literature and considered by some to be the longest poem ever written (in fact, at half a million lines long, though there are many different written versions). The epic is popular within Turkic culture generally though it is difficult to date as it was originally transmitted orally.