Hadji Murad, a Chechen "Dzhigit"

Hadji Murad, a Chechen "Dzhigit"
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Late in life, Leo Tolstoy wrote a fictionalized narrative of an actual personage in the Russian campaign into the Caucasus to quell the various ethnic groups—in this case, the Chechens. A leading Chechen figure had been ousted from power, accused of treachery (not true), and condemned to die. However, he escaped by a harrowing adventure, and crossed the military lines to the Russian side, to see if he could rally them to support him in a vindicating return to the Chechen territory. The Russians were amused, not sure what to do with him, but hosted him and a few of his comrades. He became a minor celebrity, but eventually grew anxious to return to Chechnya and make his bid. Unfortunately, he was not to make it back. Tolstoy himself had been in that campaign as a young man, though he never personally met Hadji Murad. The style is typical Tolstoy—seemingly unrelated strands give the feel of a whole world, from the cheater among the officers, to the sex life of the Czar and the household habits of Chechen women, always a broad canvas, a broad humanity.
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146
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Hadji Murad, a Chechen "Dzhigit"