October 07, 2003

From Harlem to Samarkand

Drapetomaniac writes to let me know about a fascinating article by David Chioni Moore, "Colored Dispatches from the Uzbek Border: Langston Hughes' Relevance, 1933--2002", Callaloo 25.4 (2002) 1115--1135 [journal link]. Hughes, it appears, spent four months traveling around, in his phrase, the Soviet Union's "dusty, colored, cotton-growing South", and became the first American writer translated into Uzbek. He wrote a book of essays which was published in the USSR, A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia, and started but never finished a travel memoir to be titled From Harlem to Samarkand. Only a single copy of A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia is still known, and Moore is preparing an expanded edition incorporating other of Hughes's writings on Central Asia, published and unpublished. These include several poems which are known only from their Uzbek translation.

Afghanistan and Central Asia ; The Commonwealth of Letters ; The Progressive Forces

Posted at October 07, 2003 11:50 | permanent link

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