Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy: Khadzhi-murat [Hadji Murat] (1742 words)

Kathy Rees (University of Cambridge)
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In his prologue to Hadji Murat, Tolstoy described the novella as “an old Caucasian story, which I had partly seen myself, partly heard about from witnesses and partly imagined” (Ch. 1). This fictionalised history, set in 1851-2, depicts the role of its eponymous protagonist in the conflict between the Muslim Imamate (state) comprising Chechnya and Dagestan, and Christian Imperial Russia. Hadji Murat is a dzhigit (warrior), the most charismatic of the naibs (lieutenants) under Imam Shamil, who is the political, spiritual, and military leader of the Caucasians. A quarrel between Murat and Shamil results in the former’s defection to the giaour, the invader Russia; Murat hopes …

Citation: Rees, Kathy. "Khadzhi-murat". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 February 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11279, accessed 29 October 2020.]

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