Notable Azerbaijani poet and public figure Yusif Samadoghlu (Vekilov) was born in Baku, in the family of Samad Vurgun and Khaver khanim on December 25th in 1935. In 1943 he enrolled the school of music, violin class, nowadays named after Bulbul of Azerbaijan State Conservatory. He studided there until the eighth grade and continued his education in the secondary school N44, from which he graduated with golden medal.
Since childhood, he had a great interest in the books and he differed from his peers with a deep sense of reading. Nobody ever doubted about his speciality that Yusif chose, since he started to write short stories in his school days. In 1953, he enrolled at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow and studied in the class of the prominent Russian writer Konstantin Paustovsky. Prominent Russian poets and writers such as Robert Rozhdestvensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Bella Akhmadulina, Vasily Aksyonov and Nikolai Kuznetsov were Yusif’s classmates. Moscow atmosphere gave a lot… Diverse cultural experience, the possibility of creative controversy, opened beyond the world culture. Impressions of those years has left an indelible mark on his memory.
After his father’s death in 1956, due to family circumstances he transferred from Literature Institute in Moscow to the faculty of philology of Azerbaijan State University.
He began his career as a translator editor at the editorial board of the “Communist” newspaper. In 1960-1965, being the head of prose department, he worked as a literary employee at the editorial office of the magazine “Azerbaijan”. In 1965-1969, he was an editor-in-chief and member of the editorial board of “Azerbaijanfilm” studio named after Jafar Jabbarly. From 1969 till 1976 he was an assistant director of the “Azerbaijanfilm” studio. In 1976-1987, he was an editor in chief of “Ulduz” and “Azerbaijan” magazines. In 1991, he was elected to board of the Azerbaijan Writers Union. His merits in highlighting the young generation’s ability and discovering the young talents are invaluable.
Thanks to his high patriotism in the late 80s and early 90s, he became one of the leaders of the people’s movement. Yusif Samadoglu, distinguished by his clear views and attitude to life, possessed the ability to convince. This quality is also typical of his eight year activity as a deputy of the National Assembly (1990-1998), and as the head of the committee on the international relations. His social activity, his public presentations at the political events of the National Assembly confirms the significance of his personality. Representing Azerbaijani people in different countries of the world, Yusif Samadoghlu remained as a true patriot of his motherland.
Being a sociable and polite person, Yusif Samadoghlu had always attracted the attention with his high intellect, exquisite taste, intelligence and charm.
He began to write his first short stories in the 50s. His collection of short stories were published in 1960 under the name “ Yusif Vekilov”. It should be noted that, he took his father’s name as a pseudonym and changed his pen name from “Yusif Vekilov” to “Yusif Samadoghlu” following the recommendation of the great Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. Later, his brother took his father’s name as a pseudonym. National sentiment and love for the motherland have find a bright reflection in Yusif Samadoghlu’s works. He was capable of to deliver the tragedy and a suffering of a nation, as his own pain. In 1959, the young writer Yusif Samadoghlu wrote his first two novels “Forgotten words” and “Khazri” . Filled with the pain due to the lands that divided into two parts, in those novels, he recalls the “Treaty of Turkmenchay” signed in 1828 and encourages the readers to remember those events. Being contrary to the principles of the Soviet ideology, Yusif Samadoghlu’s works impacted by the tragedy of thousands of people formed this system. Keeping up with current events, he raised the important issues of that period, bringing to the forefront social and moral problems, he denounced the ugly phenomena of his epoch and country he lived in.
As a prose writer he evolved in the 60s of the XX century. Short stories such as “Cold stone”, “Bayati Shiraz”, “Photo fantasy”, “Spring in Inje dere”, “Astana” (At the threshold), indicated that the writer was looking for the qualitatively new and interesting style. These works are the example of the classic short stories.
In the middle of the 80s, he wrote his novel “Day of Murder” that became the most successful literary event in Azerbaijani literature of that period. Translated into many languages, this novel became famous because for its great artistic value, historical content and made Yusif Samadoghlu far beyond Azerbaijan.
“Day of Murder” tells about peace and people. This novel devoted to human problems and its spiritual development, need for greater improvement, in fact it covers global problems.
The author attempts seeking for the roots of the problems of the modern epoch and social ills. Being continuation of one another, this novel includes three epochs, which are social and political, spiritual and mystical. It raises important questions about our distance and recent past, modern life, fate, national moral, including the protest against violence, any form of death, any power which made a mockery of human dignity, offended the morality. Time is changing, despite the progressive development of mankind, the battle between good and evil, kindness and malevolence is continue. Being the translation of universal love, desire to purify and upgrade human beings, this novel had been created by the means of high ideals and humanistic ideas of Yusif Samadoghlu. This work is very significant in terms of promoting the national pride and patriotism among young people.
In the surveys, conducted among the writers in 2014, “Day of Murder” had been selected the greatest novel of the XX century. In 1990, the movie released based on the novel.
In his unfinished novel “What had been said came true” the author wanted to show the events of the last years. But unfortunately, death of the poet prevented him of putting his ideas into action.
Yusif Samadoghlu is a writer associated with cinematography. The ability of creating the story line, clarity and completeness of the characters, description of the surrounding world allowed him to write the script for the film “My Seven Sons” (1969) based on the novel “Komsomol poem” by Samad Vurgun.
Together with the Czech writer Jiri Marek, Yusif Samadoghlu wrote script for the film “A Fair Wind”. This film is dedicated to the memory of the Czech revolutionary I.P.Vacek, who participated in the revolutionary movement in Azerbaijan. This is the first movie in the history of Azerbaijan cinematography that created with the collaboration of the Czech film studio (1971).
Documentaries “Jalil Mammadguluzadeh” , “Samad Vurgun” written by the Yusif Samadoghlu, is significant as the embodiment of two great masters.
Yusif Samadoglu is a master, who played an enormous role in developing Azerbaijani culture and deepening the national idea. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of “Shokhrat”. In 1998, he was granted the title People’s writer of Azerbaijan.
Yusif Samadoghlu died on August 16, 1998 and was buried in Alley of Honor.
Exposition created in the Samad Vurgun House-museum dedicated to life and work of Yusif Samadoghlu.
His spouse is Namida Vekilova (Gurbanova). Daughters are Mekhriban Ziyadova (Vekilova) and Humay Vekilova.