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._____________________________________________ Chingiz Aitmatov 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 either.” _________________________________________ * 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.