Tshingis Aitmatov
Jamila / Jamilia

Original Title: Джамиля

Can the feelings of love and of being in love be painted with words? Yes, Tschingis Aitmatov, who grew up in Kyrgyzstan, can. He lets his readers experience and feel how two young people of very different natures grow closer: the honest, direct village beauty Jamila and the introspective, serious, dreamy loner Daniyar. The story is told from the perspective of fifteen-year-old Said, who, like the other villagers, initially makes fun of Daniyar. Until one evening he hears him singing outdoors and realizes:

He was a man deeply in love. I felt it was not simply a love for another person, it was somehow an uncommon, expansive love for life and earth. He had kept this love within himself, in his music, in his very being. … His singing made me want to fall to the ground and kiss it, as a son to a mother, grateful that someone could love it so keenly. … I, for one, knew that in his soul Daniyar was richer than any of us.

A beautiful, noble love story, portrayed in delicate, wistful tones without exceeding the boundaries of sentimentality.


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