The Chlouvānem language, as one of Calémere's earliest attested languages in writing and, having been kept in use both as a liturgical language and as a lingua franca until the present day, has an enormous and evergrowing amount of literature written in it. Today, in the Chlouvānem Inquisition, literature (naihā) is considered of prime importance, as one of the most important ways to understand and talk about social issues, as a cultural product, as well as a popular diversion.
|Part of a series on|
- 1 Archaic and Early Chlouvānem
- 2 Dawn of the Classical Era
- 3 The Classical Era
- 4 The Golden Age of Poetry
- 5 The Toyubeshian Expansion
- 6 Theater
- 7 The Age of Exploration
- 8 The Chlouvānem novel
- 9 Archaist literature
- 10 Exoticism
- 11 The Industrial Era
- 12 The Consolidation Era
- 13 The Nāɂahilūmi Era
- 14 Literature of the Kaiṣamā
- 15 Contemporary literature
- 16 Notes
Archaic and Early Chlouvānem
Archaic Chlouvānem (chlǣvānumi sārvire dhāḍa) is the conventional name for the earliest known stage of Chlouvānem. Few fragments of it are preserved, mostly in a few passages of the Holy Books; it shows some very early characteristics that disappeared or evolved in later Chlouvānem, such as, for example, the ami - uteni - āteni demonstrative system (later replaced by the ideophonic nenē - nunū - nanā).
The earliest attestation of the existence of the Chlouvānem dates to around year 3850～3900, approximately 200 years before the lifetime of the Chlamiṣvatrā, in a Lällshag inscription (probably a marketplace?) mentioning "Chlouvānem numbers" (nåwłä wa chjogåwwane), possibly in reference to the duodecimal system used by the Chlouvānem compared to the decimal one used by the Lällshag. The first attestation of a Chlouvānem word itself, which is not the ethnonym, dates to about 50 to 100 years later, inside other Lällshag fragments, with the words for "bag, sack" (chircona, i.e. Chl. jṛṣṇa) and "wine" (majaabi, i.e. Chl. mayābi) being found.
The first full Chlouvānem sentence is an inscription, this time further south from the Lällshag territory and therefore cited as the first example of the Lällshag script being adopted by the Chlouvānem people:
- djawjou ää coutaare hu nydramå
- (in modern Chlouvānem orthography): javyū ǣ ṣūṭāre gu nīdramo
- (in contemporary Chlouvānem): kūroku nenyǣ ṣūṭāre gu nīgrætmo ša
- Do not start fire in this area/square.
Other Archaic Chlouvānem passages are mainly only found in the Third Book of the Chlamiṣvatrā, even though most of the Holy Books are written in a language with some differences when compared to the later Classical stage - an example being how the negation of verbs, a circumposition gu(n) ... ša in Classical Chlouvānem, is most often found just as gu(n) and only sporadically (though more frequently in more recent texts) as gu(n) ... ša, indicating that until about 4350 (i.e. a century after the founding of the Inquisition) the ša element was optional.
Dawn of the Classical Era
The Lileṃsasarum ("Tale of Life" or "Legend of Life") is the oldest non-religious Chlouvānem composition we know of. It is an early example of a frame story, that would become popular many centuries afterwards: functionally it is a collection of folktales and mythical histories, and the sources for these legends are a symbolic milestone. The tales contained in the Lileṃsasarum are the first and earliest example of the Chlouvānem as a métis ethnicity, as these tales are presented by the perspective of a single people but have clearly different origins. Some of them are of Ur-Chlouvānem origin, but the majority of them are from pre-Chlouvānem peoples of the Plain and of the Jade Coast.
The events of the Lileṃsasarum are not datable and, even if some tales reference events that happen in others and are therefore subsequent, across the centuries there have been different editions with the tales presented in different orders, and with even small differences in the number of tales included; some stories with a common narrative plot have also been presented both as a unitary tale and as different ones, further complicating the counting. As much as 431 tales have been included in different editions of the Lileṃsasarum.
The Lileṃsasarum's language is the Chlouvānem of about 1950 to 1800 years ago, and is especially important as the main basis for what is today called Classical Chlouvānem (chlǣvānumi lallapårṣire dhāḍa), which is, in turn, the basis for today's Standard Chlouvānem as used as lingua franca in the Inquisition and in the Eastern Bloc. Lexically, it is notable – given the mostly non-Lahob origin of the tales – as it includes many terms taken from pre-Chlouvānem languages such as Laiputaši, Tamukāyi, Old Kāṃradeši, and others, including various hapax eirimena or otherwise extremely uncommon words. The fact this is used as the basis for Classical and, in turn, contemporary Standard Chlouvānem, further makes it lexically divergent from the other Lahob languages, as most Chlouvānem nominal roots (and a fair share of verbal ones) are non-Lahob in origin.
The non-religious nature of the Lileṃsasarum is reflected in its content, which is mostly truly fantastic, containing references to magical elements – like, for example, men made of metal, whose name, aikaɂānam (pl. aikaɂānāk) was in modern times readopted as a Chlouvānem word for "robot" – and has a wide range of settings, with "forest" and "coastal" settings being prevalent in legends thought to be of non-Ur-Chlouvānem origins, and Lahob legends mentioning more often plains, mountains, snows, and arid areas – types of habitats that the Ur-Chlouvānem had surely, even if indirect, knowledge of. Almost no place is explicitely recognizable in the real world, with the single commonly accepted exception of mount Nyuvkaiṭah, it being the only mountain in the Chlouvānem South high enough to have permanent snow at its top. A few legends of Ur-Chlouvānem origin contained in the Lileṃsasarum do still have, more than three thousand years after the Proto-Lahob linguistic unity broke up, very close parallels in the folklore of other Lahob-speaking peoples.
Some tales do include Yunyalīlti themes, mainly reflections, but those are universally considered later additions in order to justify some behaviours of characters: almost all tales likely precede the lifetime of the Chlamiṣvatrā.
The other main document from the Early Classical Era is a series of collections of exempla (yanachlæryān), short narratives of episodes in the life of ordinary people which could be used during liturgies in order to explain Yunyalīlti values. The language of these exempla is pretty much the same as the one of the Lileṃsasarum, except for having much less hapax eirimena of non-Lahob origin.
Exempla would prove to be the first step towards the Classical codification of short stories, expanding on the already existing corpus of legends the Lileṃsasarum was an example of; notably, due to the needs of liturgy, the genre of exempla has remained popular throughout the ages, and even today Inquisitors keep collecting exempla.
The Classical Era
Classical Era (in Chlouvānem lallapårṣire avyāṣa) is the name given to the period of time, roughly lasting from 4750 to 5000 (i.e. 1670 to 1420 years ago), characterized historically by a level of very high relative prosperity and consolidation and expansion of the Chlouvānem lands (in the Near East, up to the western borders of the Plain, and across the Southern rainforests). Literature of the Classical Era was linguistically characterized by the use of a uniform koiné language across the whole Yunyalīlti religious world: Classical Chlouvānem, mostly based on the earlier major works such as the Lileṃsasarum and most of the Holy Books. The importance of using a common language was greater than ever, as the vernaculars of the various areas had started to diverge, and some Yunyalīlti areas didn't even speak a Chlouvānem language at all.
The only major difference between pre-Classical and Classical Chlouvānem is in the lexicon, as Classical Chlouvānem includes a far greater share of Lällshag loanwords than earlier forms of the languages do.
Classical literature shows the development of Chlouvānem poetry from a spoken to a written genre, perhaps exactly because of the drift of the local varieties; while attested poetry from earlier times is sparse and often less precise, during the Classical Era various poems were written, helping codify the earliest Chlouvānem metres.
Classical poems are often very long works, written in a mix of poetry and prose, with half-mythical and half-devotional subjects. Mythical subjects are sometimes taken from the Lileṃsasarum, but most commonly they are new in attested history and their use in these poems formed a new corpus of legends that survives in traditional culture up to the present day. Most likely, these subjects weren't just adopted by legends of the people in newly-Chlouvānemized areas, but were written in those exact cultural areas: it is widely accepted, for example, that the Yūrdhanehas (the Story of Yūrdham) was written by a certain Uruṣāvam, an ethnic Namaikehi, that is, from the central-northern part of the Plain, the mid- and upper Lāmberah valley, an area that was barely even known by the pre-Classical Chlouvānem but was rapidly Chlouvānemized in the space of a few centuries.
Other important poems of the era include the Athūryanehas, the Sṛṣaunājñehas, and the mostly religious Mīralkaihāya, the first comprehensive depiction of syncretism between the Yunyalīlti philosophy and local animist beliefs; this syncretism was likely practiced ever since the Chlamiṣvatrā's lifetime, but this poem, likely written in present-day Mīdhūpraṇa (in the Jade Coast; where the city of Līlta is), was the first work depicting it (and using it as a central element of the plot) in written literature.
Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam
Classical Era literature provided Chlouvānem culture with some of its most well-known tales and myths. Chlærišah Bāḍhmālyam no (Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam) is probably the most represented in history of all of them, continuously referenced in theater, music, poetry, epic prose, and novels. A classic legend of star-crossed lovers as common among many cultures, Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam presents some traits peculiar to Chlouvānem fairytales such as characters being represented as humans or as animals, the latter representation also emerging in the human one as personality traits. The two main characters' talking names represent this quite well: Chlærišah is part-firefly (jūsa, but note that the chlær- root, meaning "light", comes from the Proto-Lahob word for "firefly"), as echoed in her innate leading abilities as well as in her being seemingly uncatchable, while Bāḍhmālyam's name is transparently derived from bāḍhmān, meaning "wolf" - echoed both in his force and his partial isolation from the heart of society. The tale perfectly shows traditional gender roles in Chlouvānem society - the leading class of women (nailīkā or "thinking class") and the working class of men (paunikā or "working class") - but in some way distorts and overrides them in certain scenes, especially during the central part of the story when the characters, now divided, are put to the test by the shapeless demonic Kings: the King of Greed who trials Bāḍhmālyam and the King of Sloth who trials Chlærišah, where the "inverted" roles are implicitely but noticeably shown (in some cases explicitely, such as when referring to Bāḍhmālyam's "feminine intelligence" (hulunāmitat baragā)). Overall, the tale is an allegoric representation of human condition and human relations which starts with passional love and then sets lovers apart making them face all moral questions and bad deeds which can break every bond and it is up to the leading characters to face them in order to avoid breaking those bonds, from their love to the whole of society. In the most common of the multiple known endings, Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam's love is meant to last forever, being it the representation of natural harmony (the Lillamurḍhyā), and the two characters themselves representing the multiple components of a single person's mind and behaviour; an alternate, probably post-Classical, ending has both characters (or, in another one, Bāḍhmālyam only) fail to face their last hurdle - the Ghost of Hypocrisy - and end up dying without their souls ever becoming paṣlilendevenī and therefore completely vanishing.
The first manuscript of Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam we know of, today preserved in the Pan-Inquisitorial Library in the Bhūkṛṣam Palace in Līlasuṃghāṇa, was written sometime around 4840 to 4900 by an otherwise unknown Laṃṣānī, daughter of Vīvara, from the city of Vābhiraṇa (today Urṣaṃlāṭhi, Bhūsrajaiṭa diocese; not to be confused with multiple other Vābhiraṇa, named after this one, in the Northern Plain and in the Near and Far East). Since then, this tale (and its many versions) has become one of the most widespread artistic subjects in the Chlouvānem realm, and its fame has also spread across the Yunyalīlti world and into Skyrdegan literature and other arts.
The Golden Age of Poetry
The period around the year 5200 (about 1200 years ago) was characterized by the gradual conquest and Chlouvānemization of the (Southern) Far East and initial spread inside the Toyubeshian area. Meanwhile, linguistically, the Chlouvānem-speaking world had evolved so much that the individual languages were by this time already a series of dialect continua with varying levels of (un)intelligibility, and all of them very distinct from the only written language, Classical Chlouvānem. Nevertheless, the living status of Classical Chlouvānem never came under threat: education levels were very high for a pre-modern society, and even in rural areas many families could send at least the first or first two daughter(s) to be educated; in addition, it was common for it (as it still is) to be used as a prestige, formal register of the local language, so that the choice of language often depended from the conversational partner.
In literature, this era (until ~5350) is nowadays referred to as the Golden Age of Poetry. Ever since the Classical Era, poetry had grown to be the main form of literature, a title it will hold until ~5900. Every major work, no matter how long, written during the Golden Age of Poetry, was entirely composed of or included some form of poetry in it.
The most extensive form of poetry was the poem, continuing the tradition of the Classical Era, but this time with them being entirely or mostly in verse rather than mostly in prose with a few segments in verse. The other two main genres were the song (lijas), an earlier tradition (due to it being referenced in earlier musical works) that was only written during this time, and the poetical frame story (...), a revisitation of the frame story type the Lileṃsasarum belongs to, progressively rarer in the latter years of the Classical Era, but with some form of poetry in it. Poetry used in poetical frame stories does often not use metre, but it employs extensively alliteration, assonance, rhyme, and structures such as frequent refrains; the framing is typically prose, but there are exceptions (mostly mixed prose-verse framings).
Thematically, poems and songs of this era are also notable because they insert more widely themes relating to personal experiences, often including contemplation of nature, natural beauty, and philosophical reflections on feelings. The stricter Yunyalīlti inspiration was easy to combine with these views, but the remaining religious themes (the other half of syncretism) and mythological references usually take a background role, if ever they are present. Poetical frame stories do sometimes include these themes, but most of the time they only exist for the sake of ars narrandi.
The Toyubeshian Expansion
The latter part of the Golden Age of Poetry was marked by another important historic event in the Yunyalīlti world, that is, the expansion of the faith (and of Chlouvānem culture through it) inside the Toyubeshian feuds, a three-century-long expansion culminating with the enthronement of Tatsunyāvi Sutunarai Hūrtalgān as the first Toyubeshian Emperor (sotašukum) of Yunyalīlti religion in the year 5522 and, fourteen years later, in 5536, the accession to the throne of his first-born daughter, Nanoyutāvi Nanoyuta Chlamijenyū as the first female ruler of the Toyubeshian – a sign of the Toyubeshian cultural space having irreversibly drifted into the Yunyalīlti world, further marked in 5579 by the moving of the Toyubeshian Emperor/Empress's seat from the hillside town of Totaikuba (in modern day Kainomatā) to the main port and largest city of the area, Cami, which had been founded in 5406 by the Chlouvānem.
The Toyubeshian Expansion contributed to open the Chlouvānem perspective to different, more exotic, ambiences, and literary works from the era are marked by a newer, renewed impulse towards religious poems and semi-fictional chronicles. Missionaries are portrayed as the main characters, and the spread of the Yunyalīlti faith in the Toyubeshian area is central to the plot of all major works of the time.
This era's works, especially those written in the area near the Nīmbaṇḍhāra delta (particularly the littoral from Mīdhūpraṇa to Yarañšūna, i.e. the heartlands closest to the Toyubeshian realms and those most colonists and missionaries came from) are often poems not unlike our medieval chansons de geste in their taking roots in a common corpus. The same missionary heroes, peaceful but warriors when needed, are often found in hundreds of different poems by different authors, developing similar themes but in widely different narratives, often including a climax where the heretics come to die because of their inherent weakness, fighting among themselves opening the way for the Yunyalīlti defenders to kill them and bring prosperity to the land.
Perhaps the most notable work from this time, however, is of a very different nature, the Šuḍūkūmi maiva (Dead Man's Word). It can be considered Calémere's earliest example of crime fiction. Of unknown author, it is a poem in verse about two monks investigating the death of a man whose corpse had been found by the entrance of their monastery in the Laišakamima mountains (i.e. in the Toyubeshian area), apparently killed by heretic rebels. Three of the four surviving manuscripts, however, have somewhat different endings (the other one stops halfway through the poem), contributing to the halo of mystery surrounding the work, which is, however, considered a landmark work of Chlouvānem literature.
Last but not least, the latter part of the age of the Toyubeshian Expansion was marked by one of the most important events affecting not just Chlouvānem literature, but their whole society: the invention of the first printing press, in the year 5541, by inventor Hulyāchlærimi Taināvi Hūyurhūlgin in the city of Tumyāṣrālam on the lower Lāmberah, not far from its confluence with the Nīmbaṇḍhāra (today episcopal seat of Ājusṝva).
Starting from ~5550, the Chlouvānem world started to have more frequent contacts with the peoples on the other side of the Camipāṇḍa mountains – the most notable civilization of whose was the Skyrdagor one: the Greater Skyrdegan Empire had been founded less than a century before and their society was undoubtedly the most developed the Chlouvānem had ever come into direct contact with.
The Chlouvānem-Skyrdegan exchanges brought forth a revolution in Chlouvānem literature: the birth of theater (bræšlanah) as a new, distinct genre. Chlouvānem theater before the Skyrdegan contact was virtually nonexistant, and mostly associated with semi-nomadic travellers, who incorporated theater-like intermissions in their mostly musical or circus performances.
Skyrdegan theater (pomthkarhydh [ˈpɔnθˌkɒ˞xɯð]), on the other hand, already had a long tradition, which the Chlouvānem quickly adopted.
Chlouvānem theater began as modelled closely on the tradition of Skyrdagor, with the tradition that would later become the most widespread among the Chlouvānem, that is, human-played theater, getting the name of panthakāhida from the general Skyrdagor word for theater. This genre is as much theater as it is musical opera – music, dance, costumes, and scenography are all as important as the script is, and the emphasis on masks, make-up, and elaborate costums of the Skyrdegan upper-class theater was directly adapted into the Chlouvānem tradition. Music and dances, however, were almost completely Chlouvānem in nature, except from the emerging scene in the Chlouvānemized Toyubeshian realms, which used more local instrumentation and, notably, Skyrdegan percussion instruments for the rhythm.
Subjects of early Chlouvānem drama were mostly of the same nature of those popular in literature written at the time, that is, drawing from the corpus of missionary heroes, but some of them also drew from earlier poetry and other tales – the ever popular Classical tale of Chlærišah and Bāḍhmālyam was one of the first Chlouvānem tales to be transposed for theater and, being such a known tale in Chlouvānem popular culture, it is even today one of the most popular subjects in Chlouvānem arts. Some of the very first dramas, however, were adaptations to a Chlouvānem context of Skyrdagor works: for example, the most famous opera of playwright Tālimausi Mailhommāvi Nilāmulka, the Švaragūlannīšuketoe (the Opera of Švaragūlan), was a transposition of the Lyszaszhag persenekyk (the Saga of Lyszaszhag), a popular Skyrdagor travel epic, with an inversion of the perspective from a voyage in the unknown North to a voyage in the unknown South: ambients and people change but the overall plot is essentially the same.
Of the other two main genres of Skyrdegan theater, "Fishermen's theater" (kazsalavlan pomthkarhydhgyn, i.e. water puppetry) and puppet theater (muvyszalok-eg pomthkarhydh), only the latter was initially transmitted to the Chlouvānem – Chlouvānem-written water puppetry plays would not be written before the Industrial Era, and even today it remains a minor genre compared to other forms of theater as well as Skyrdegan Fishermen's theater works.
Chlouvānem puppet theater (jārdāmbræšlanah) emphasizes music, dance, and setting more than the script; and would become more important in the development of Chlouvānem music rather than literature; many of the most notable Chlouvānem classical tunes (i.e. not improvisations) were written as the music for puppet theater. However, the same history was and still is sometimes used for both human-played theater and puppet theater, in two slightly different adaptations, often from the same playwright.
Theatrical works often made use of local vernaculars, which by this time had already diverged much from Classical Chlouvānem. This was especially true with the Jade Coastal koiné vernacular which started having a certain amount of literature written in it, especially based on the dialect spoken around Līlta, known therefore as līlti babhrāmaiva or litti babhrāmaiva.
The Age of Exploration
While Chlouvānem people from the North were having contacts with the Skyrdagor, those in the South, and especially countries from the southern jungles (above all, the merchant republics of Lūlunimarta and Hālyanēṃṣah) had been developing larger oceangoing ships, which enabled them (sometimes accidentally) to chart new lands. In 5767 an expedition led by Hālyanēṃṣi navigator Dēlenitī Chlærmitūvāvi Dēlendarhām was the first to reach Fárásen (Kūdrivas in Chl.) and in 5798 another expedition, this time led by Takajñanti navigator Dalaigani Håniyāvi Hālyehulca, working for the Lūlunimarti Republic, was the first to reach Ovítioná (Pašīrgamis). Just a few dozenal decades later, in the East, the realm of Ehaliħombu financed various expeditions further east of the islands of Queáten (which had already been known for a few centuries), reaching the southeastern coast of Púríton (Dhorāluka) in the year 5831.
The Age of Exploration was a radical milestone in Chlouvānem history; while cultural exchange wasn't particularly large because of the technological superiority of the Chlouvānem compared to natives of those territories (the exchange of crops was the most significant part of all of this), the knowledge of the existence of other territories aside from the Márusúturon-Védren-Evandor landmass was a huge change of perspective and, naturally, literary works of the time reflect all of this.
Poems and theatrical works were still the main structures followed, but the themes had more to do with a quest for the unknown and pushing oneself – physically and metaphorically – across the known boundaries. Many poems also had a characteristical glorifications of the scientific advancements of Chlouvānem society that had rendered all of this possible, even leaving aside the theme of religious conversion that had been so popular in the preceding centuries. Structurally, many poems use less poetry and more prose than they did previously, but poetry was still dominant nonetheless.
Most notable works are semi-fictional, taking the real historical chronicles of explorers' expeditions but presented in a dramatic way, often with a large degree of fantasy, especially for the newly discovered continents. Important works include the Kūdrivulijas (the Song of Fárásen), the Dūryañaryālijas (the Distant Mountain Song), the state-glorifying Lūlunimarti lijas (the Song of Lūlunimarta), and especially what is considered to be one of the finest examples of post-Golden Age poetry, the Hardānanehas (the Tale of Hardāna; Hardāna being a Chlouvānem settlement in northwestern Ovítioná), whose overall theme and focus on a particular character with all of its non-superhuman, non-strictly religious perfection, has led to it being considered the ancestor of the Chlouvānem novel.
Contemporaneous, but mostly unrelated to the Explorations, is the spread of Yūraħāṇi poetry, named after the poet Yūraħāṇah (likely a pseudonym) from the Western borderlands (i.e. modern Nanyådajaiṭa and Ajāṣṭra). Yūraħāṇi poetry is essentially a style of short, light poetry about love, usually expressing total devotion towards the loved person. It is also notable as the first current in Chlouvānem literary history to be predominantly masculine, being written by mostly male poets. For all of antiquity and as far as less than a century ago, until the Kaiṣamā era, among males, traditionally the working class, only a very small minority could have the opportunity to study and dedicated themselves to traditionally feminine careers – politics, bureaucracy, science, and arts. And even those males that could undertake artistic careers did not traditionally produce any distinct style compared to their female peers; the Yūraħāṇi current was the first one to do so, to specifically give literary voice to the "common male" of the era; sometimes with a literary Ego being an educated man, and therefore exactly what the poets were, but much more commonly from the perspective of poorer farm workers or other male professions. Yūraħāṇi poetry also introduced to the poetry world new metaphores, mostly nature-based, and referring to the nature of the West, with plants and landscapes that hadn't usually been used in the poetry of the wetter-climate lands east.
The Chlouvānem novel
The natural climax of the Exploration Age came between 5900～5950 when the Chlouvānem and the Western world finally met and started stable contacts – before then, only vague knowledge and very long travel caravans through mountains, seas, and deserts were needed: circumnavigating Védren was a longer distance, but overall travel time was shorter and it was also safer.
Literarily, the meeting of the two largest civilization spheres of the planet had an enormous importance in developing exoticism in both areas, but in the Chlouvānem sphere the Western contact brought forward a real revolution of literature: the birth of the novel (talša). The Chlouvānem novel is the first literary genre predominantly or exclusively in prose since the time of the Holy Books and the Early Classical frame stories, and Chlouvānem literary studies define it as, unlike any other genre before, being intimate narrative, primarily meant to be read rather than recited, sung, or performed.
The main development in distinguishing novels from earlier types of literature, both in the Chlouvānem space and in the West, was the novel's declared impulse towards fiction, establishing a clear divide between fictional and historiographic texts that was essentially lacking before. It should be noted, though, that this impulse did not undermine the role of literature as a prime method of analyzing and reflecting on society, a role which is still a characteristic of the contemporary Chlouvānem world.
Themes peculiar to early Chlouvānem novels are directly influenced by their era: Chlouvānem-Western contacts and the exploration of the whole planet (further important dates are the Chlouvānem arrival on Ceránento (Vṛtāyas) in 5914 and the first complete circumnavigation of Calémere (actually the first overall, not just for the Chlouvānem) completed in 5926. This, and the intimate experience brought forward by the new genre, led early novels to be characteristically optimist and marked by beauty-worshipping (ñæñuchlinabraustaranah).
The work usually considered the first Chlouvānem novel is Nimahullē ga Jahībāšin (Colonel Nimahullē) by Hælahaikāvi Saṃhajhaidī Lajñē, first printed in 5961. The novel was specifically centered on the eponymous character, a ship captain on an expedition in the Eastern Islands (whether it's the Far Eastern Chlouvānem islands, Queáten, or both of them, is unclear), the various adventurous encounters, as well as her reflections on what she sees during the journey; also revolutionary was the novel's ending, with Colonel Nimahullē talking about her wish of keeping travelling and, as the very last image, the ship setting sail again, leaving it all without a real, definite conclusion; other authors, in fact, did borrow the character and write "sequels" to this novel.
This novel, however, does show the important Western influence on the genre's development: Hælahaikāvi Saṃhajhaidī Lajñē had travelled to the West on an expedition and had learnt Auralian, at that time the most important Western trade language; modern critics are unanimous in believing that she based various parts of Nimahullē ga Jahībāšin on an early Western novel, itfeɣɣats Akseḥr (the Isles of Akseḥr), itself one of the earliest novels of Auralian literature. It is not as obvious as, for example, early Chlouvānem theater had adapted Skyrdegan works, but quite a few encounters in the Saṃhajhaidī's book are very similar, both in plot and writing, to the Auralian novel's ones. There are, however, various differences, as the psychological dimension, markedly present in the Chlouvānem novel, is almost completely missing from the Auralian source.
Historically, the dawn of Chlouvānem-Western contact coincided with a practical end of Chlouvānem (Yunyalīlti) expansion in Márusúturon. The Chlouvānem had been settling in the Hålvaram plateau and in the Dabuke lands to the west, starting a long Chlouvānemization process, especially in the latter area, but except for marginal settlements in parts of the Northeast (modern-day Līnajaiṭa and Maišikota) the borders of the Chlouvānem world around 5950 would remain substantially stable for the next 300 years.
Archaism (sārvanædani) is the name given to the artistic period, lasting roughly between 6000 and 6070, when the overall aesthetics and themes aimed at a rediscovery of pre-Chlouvānem themes and legends, helped by the birth of archaeological studies in the Plain. Pre-Chlouvānem themes, in this context, strictly refers to the context of the Plain, the Jade Coast, and of the South, rather than the rest of the Chlouvānem-Yunyalīlti world.
Archaist literature brought a new kind of novel, that is, the historical one, based exactly on the rediscovery of ancestral legends; the language used, while morphologically not archaïzed, includes many terms of indigenous origin, partly readapted from hapax eirimena of the Lileṃsasarum and partly taken from the wordlists of ancient languages that were being published at the time – Lällshag was already well attested and known, even at the morphological level, but for all other languages only limited wordlists could be compiled, often helped by the study of toponyms and anthroponyms.
Archaist novels had the source of their plots in whatever ancient legend authors could find. In many cases, they took characters and/or situations from the Lileṃsasarum as a starting point and developed a story from there; some authors travelled through the Plain in search of old legends preserved in the oral tradition of rural villagers, and used those – regularly archaïzed and cast in a pre-Chlouvānem or Ur-Chlouvānem timeframe – as starting points. Some other writers simply cut through this process and wrote their stories from scratch. A side effect of those authors who went searching for local legends is the compilation of a few Legendary Books (sasaruṃrān naviṣyai), writing them down for the first time.
Possibly the best known archaist novel today is the magnum opus of Kailnenyāvi Nilāmibayeh Hælahaika, called Yunaɂehīkah (named after its main character, a name meaning "fulfiller of dreams" that was made up by the author herself from Tamukāyi roots), an adventurous story set in the wall of igapós and várzeas and with a lot of detail on shamanic and magical practices (some as known at the time, some made up by Nilāmibayeh) of local peoples.
Perhaps the greatest author of the archaist period, however, was playwright Naryekūrdāvi Raišihaidī Kālomīyeh, an eclectic personality who planned every aspect of her plays except for music and dance (which, in most of her plays, were written by Mailhommāvi Raišihaidī Egiljiṃhai, whom she knew through artistic collaboration and later married). Her works combine the epic themes of "missionary poems" with the plots of archaist literature and, notably, influence from psychological novels: this is especially notable in her last ever play, Ghāṇa (the Garland), which features as the leading character, Maiɂapyam, one of the finest examples of antihero in Chlouvānem literature, whose struggle in despair and existential crisis - ultimately unresolved - is the implicit driving force of the plot; Naryekūrdāvi Raišihaidī Kālomīyeh is considered the first to have brought the theme of existential crisis into a literary work.
Apart from that one, her most famous plays include Chīcalkah and Sahāmim, the Aɂavāhinīšuketoe, the Haipavanokenīšuketoe, and Kahunanīki nęlte himailila (the Four Canoe Paddlers from Kahunanīka). Her plays are among the most appreciated and the most represented in theaters up to the present day.
Partially born as a response to archaism, exoticism (bistiṃrædani) is a mostly literary movement – also influential in painting, much less so in other arts – that arose around the year 6055 and came to be the most successful artistic style by 6070, a position it retained until the social impact brought by the Industrial Revolution starting from 6110. Exoticist literature's main realization was the travel novel (larṣatalša), stories of travellers in quests for the unknown in far off lands just for the sake of seeing things never seen before.
For most exoticist writers, the ultimate driving force of the plot was the aesthetic quality of beauty and, in many cases, it had a religious undertone: nature was the most beautiful of all things, and as such the plot revolved on reaching a marvellous place, but in some novels there are depictions of primitive human societies living on their own in harmony with the Yunyalīlti teachings.
While some exoticist novels, particularly the earliest ones, had their sources in actual peoples with actual traditions, and some writers had been travellers and explorers themselves, or had listened to the narrations of explorers' own memories, most exoticist novels are for the most part a tale of fantasy, often drawing from legendary places and having the plot revolve around these mythical lands. Today, there are two main importances attributed to exoticism: its common nature of speculative fiction that paved the way for the later (Trembling Years-onwards) fantasy novels as opposed to traditional fairytales, and, perhaps most importantly, its use of a simpler linguistic style as a result of the exoticism vs. new archaism debate (see below).
Some exoticist writers merged the theme of voyages and discoveries with a theme of glorification of the power of the Chlouvānem states. One of the most interesting writers from this period, Lūṣyāvi Dasukapūri Lælicham, from Ehaliħombu in the Southern Far East, is most remembered for a cycle of three "epic novels" which glorified the power of the city, which had led the explorations to Queáten and Púríton, but had in the meantime lost importance after the governor of Naiṣambella had declared independence from it, taking away most of the metropolitan territory of the realm. Dasukapūri's epic cycle of the Discoveries in the East, formed by the three novels Sæsmoe (the Mission), Jeldoe (the Deed), and Daṇḍa (the Staff), aside from the patriotism that is an evident theme in the novels, with multiple attacks and criticism towards the Naiṣambelli, accused of rewriting history, consitutes one of the finest example of use of exoticist themes without resorting to the conservative linguistic stances of new archaism, with a quite modern usage of language despite the epic nature, and markedly Daihāgajñi, with words and word usages taken or influenced by the local vernaculars, especially urban Ehaliħombuyi, and words adapted from the local non-Chlouvānem languages.
As a counter-movement to exoticism, some writers, especially from the Near East, held on to archaism creating a current that came to be defined as new archaism (lališire sārvanædani) or Illūkahism (illūkąanædani, from the novel Illūkąas by Lūṣyāvi Lūtankhāryærās Khālbayān, one of the first examples of new archaism). New archaism is distinguished from earlier archaism first of all by a lesser reliance on ancestral legends and themes, which had been, according to the main new archaist writers, overused, using documented historical events from the ages of Chlouvānem expansion instead, and also by a stricter, more polished writing style than either the historical novels of first-wave archaism or exoticist travel novels. With the dispute between exoticism and new archaism, language first became a serious talking point. While since the introduction of the novel genre to Chlouvānem literature linguistic complexity had been progressively limited in favour of comprehension - with nevertheless interesting attempts at depicting different sociolects, as for example did first-wave archaist writer Lañemulkāvi Bīyalga Lūṣya, especially in her novel Vælvapoga (Cloudy Village), published in 6047 - new archaists favoured a writing style with Classical vocabulary and less linear syntax. Non-Chlouvānem terms, i.e. those taken from other languages of the Chlouvānem territories, were reduced to the minimum (mostly in character- and place names, all markedly Near Eastern due to the origin of most new archaist writers and the regions they set their stories in).
New archaism as a whole was not extremely successful, as it was always considered an elitist style, and its mostly conservative linguistic stances did not survive long - later writers, at most, began to experiment with different sociolects in the same story rather than sticking with a formal, polished, but often anachronistic one, as was the new archaist style (which however would become quite popular for novels set in the Classical era). Among the most notable works of new archaism, aside from Illūkąas, worth mentioning are Dūryageiras (Distant Gate), also by Lūṣyāvi Lūtankhāryærās Khālbayān; Āldaryasaṃrasta (The War of Āldarya) by Ṣastirāvi Kolakanāri Dulmaidana (cousin of later Great Inquisitor Dānyāvi Kolakanāri Naryejūram, among the first reformists of the Industrial era); Ikla by Vælvāvi Bhāramim Vælvah; and Subhrūṣaṃšaṇṭrūmi vyātai (Heroes of the Fields of Subhrūṣama) by Mæmihomāvi Ṣpruttairās Dalaigin. However, a major talking point in contemporary discussion of new archaist novels is their high level of historical attention and plausibility: many new archaist writers were archaeologists or historians themselves, and even while most of those novels are centered on fictional characters, a detailed research on actual historical events that happened in the time and place of the novels' settings is common to the whole current. Some novels, such as the previously mentioned Āldaryasaṃrasta, may even be considered novelized historical chronicles.
The Industrial Era
Literature of the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution (nakṣudarelgikhoe) is the timeframe roughly between 6100 and 6145, that witnessed some of the fastest technological advancements in Chlouvānem history (the Western industrial revolution started as a consequence of the Chlouvānem contact, taking hold in the West only ten years later), starting a radical transformation of society.
In a time of radical advancement that followed a period of stunted growth, the Chlouvānem world witnessed a frenzy for all things modern. There was a widespread faith in progress and in science, and while the main disputes were of a philosophical and religious nature, such as whether newer schools of thought such as individualism and capitalism could be justified under Yunyalīlti principles or had to be rejected, literature of the time is permeated of such thinking. Early industrial novels are glorifications of industrial progress, often portraying the dynamism of modern work as contrasted to the inherent sleepiness and poverty of the pre-industral world; many novelists set their stories as the memories of people observing the wonders of technology being invented, each one making their lives better.
Later industrial novels are often considered synonymous of early science fiction: the focus was not anymore about celebrating the progress already made but about depicting the bright future that was to come; this was a declaration of faith in the industrial positivist values, that was perceived as needed by such writers because of the growing mass of social discontent that would come to dominate the second half of the Industrial Era, the so-called Trembling Years (bismąlkirāhe heirai).
Literature of the Trembling Years
Early capitalism and growing class divisions brought forward the Trembling Years, a period of time lasting roughly between 6180 and 6220 characterized by social instability in all countries of the Chlouvānem world.
While some authors of the time mainly wrote optimist science fiction, assuring their faith in industrial positivism, a growing mass of literature concerned itself with social criticism: struggle of the working class (mainly male, as it was historically the case, but the industrial revolution had brought many females into this class too), environmental problems, perceived heresy towards the Yunyalīlti values, and, most notably, a series of psychological novels. The latter category includes the work of two of the greatest writers of post-Classical Chlouvānem literature: Jauhækūmyāvi Nahinuyāša Lañimulca, native of Līlikanāna, in the Far East, and Lileikhurāvi Yukahināri Mæmihūmya, native of Lāltaṣveya, in the delta of the Nīmbaṇḍhāra.
The work of Jauhækūmyāvi Nahinuyāša Lañimulca can be explained in being aimed at teaching a certain set of values, whose actual nature echoes very well her changing attitudes in life, starting from a more revolutionary phase, embracing proto-communist ideas and in her earlier novels, like Birṣų ānat kāmilire lairē (the Blue Sky After the Storm, a title that proved so influential to give Calémerian Communism the colour blue as a symbol) or Caicehūka ga ñælihų Darkhām (Darkhām from Caicehūka Hill), moving onwards to social satire and criticism, particularly with respect to the divergence between the upper and lower classes, (Merāṭṇe lguñjais "Coins in the Stepwell", or Menirpārṇam "Tomorrow"), both for what concerns material possessions and for social customs, paying particular attention in detailing upper-class parties and the reactions of the serfdom – as in Mulkeɂās (the Glass). In the latter part of her life, however, she moved to more moral, religious themes, often sounding as a sort of mea culpa, or scapegoat for the excesses of the upper class: these are the most preacher-sounding novels (and short stories) of hers, with verbally violent attacks on what she felt was increasingly an heretic society; notable examples of this attitude are the novel Yamye ñæltryāmaha (the Foggy Monastery), often considered her masterpiece, some short stories such as Ñāmbi mālthusire muhas (the Grasshopper's Last Jump) or Camimuših (Greater Tide), and her unfinished last novel, Ñailūlairē (Icy Sky).
Modern critics note how her condemnation of the upper class she herself belonged to, however, reveals a huge internal struggle through the obsessive details she used in depicting the object of her despise, from sexual excesses (it is widely agreed on that, as told by historical accounts and mail correspondence, she was an evident nymphomaniac, though she never managed to accept this side of herself) to the perverted delight of commanding people. Despite the sometimes controversial nature of her later work, Jauhækūmyāvi Nahinuyāša Lañimulca remained one of the most famous novelists of her time, with her funerals, in 6229, having been officiated by then-Great Inquisitor Coreleyāvi Usuvitturæn Kalikhūmpan.
Lileikhurāvi Yukahināri Mæmihūmya had, at first sight, a less excess-prone life than her contemporary, and never became as rich. Despite she having also been a proto-communist, and very actively politically involved (to the point of being at one time involved in a conspiration that aimed to kill the then-Aṣasārjaiṭi King and install a republic), her novels show very little of all of this. Instead, her writings were of extraordinary importance in psychiatrical studies, developing elements of psychoanalytic theory with a novel production whose implicit driving force is all about the instincts of the unconscious mind. Many of her novels are concerned with an overall manichaeist view of good and evil, which in the end, through a general deconstruction of society, typically becomes blurred and can't be distinguished at all in any character (Laitenælyavi naiṭai "Stars of Wonder"; Guma "Loss"; Muɂāyi haryana "Scent of Cardamom"); others are markedly existentialist, portraying characters in a growing sea of despair and grief (Gliširu "I Surrender"; Yalkom ūnitā "Tramway to the Beach"; the epistolary novel Doh tadhulta "Letter to Myself"). Memory is often central to her novels; sometimes it is involuntary memory – especially in Tramway to the Beach, which can be said to entirely lack a plot, being a sequence of flashbacks triggered by seeing things while in a streetcar – while sometimes it's being tormented from one's own memories (most prominently in the short story Nanǣ parṇame jāṇe "That Day, in the Field", also to some extent in Scent of Cardamom) or, in the novel Javyāgeta (Fiery Elephant), struggling with not remembering people and things.
A really prolific writer, Lileikhurāvi Yukahināri Mæmihūmya drowned in the Kūliṃhara river in Cambhaugrāya, probably suicidal, in 6227, in her 54th year of age. Her revolutionary noveling style was praised by her contemporaries – including Nahinuyāša – before and after her death, and the themes treated in her novels are nowadays considered to be precursors of contemporary philosophy and early milestones of psichiatry, as well as influential on the last two centuries of Yunyalīlti theology.
Not as important for literature was another woman who, however, came to be one of the most influential personalities of Chlouvānem and world history, Kalkahūnni Inquisitor and writer Nājaldhīmāvi Gaṃħataisa Nājaldhīm, who pursued both a literary career – writing six fictional "proto-communist" novels of similar style as the early production of Jauhækūmyāvi Nahinuyāša Lañimulca – and an Inquisitorial one, becoming Bishop of Mišaljaiṭa (the Western diocese her hometown, Kalkahūnna, is the episcopal seat of), and then elected as Great Inquisitor in the Conclave of 6211. The last novel she wrote, completed and published just a few months before her election in the Conclave, Drogi nærkhīn (Riders of the Savannah), is a fine example of social satire that ultimately has been likened to a political manifesto – particularly, the birth of Calémerian Communism – concealed under the plot of a novel. As Great Inquisitor, she is mostly remembered for her 6214 Encyclical Muṣyai avyāṣi darī (People of Our Time), which is commonly cited as the birth of Yunyalīlti Communism (even if predating the birth of actual Western Communism of 17 years), encouraging the gradual establishment of a classless society, starting by turning the rich poor and redistributing wealth. Politically, however, this was only done on a small scale, as the temporal power of the Inquisition was back then only limited to the area around Lūlunīkam Lake, and Great Inquisitor Gaṃħataisa's sudden death in 6226 halted most progress, as her successor, Qualdomelic woman Qaliqumpăn Usuitturẹn jamhni Țọrengej – to date the last non-Chlouvānem to hold the office – came to have the more urgent problem of unifying the Chlouvānem and Yunyalīlti world in a resistance against Western colonization.
The Consolidation Era
The period of time from about 6225 to 6291 and from then to the Nāɂahilūmi era is known as the Consolidation Era (nalmālei avyāṣa) after its most salient historical event: the Consolidation (nalmālya) of 6291, that is, the forming of the Inquisition as a single sovereign country from the myriad of independent states in the Chlouvānem world. Literature of the period strongly reflects this thinking and is the first to actually proclaim a form of Chlouvānem nationalism. It is difficult to talk about "nationalism" in such a large and culturally complex context, but the definition that arose was the one of the cultural space of Yunyalīlti religion united by the Chlouvānem language as a Dachsprache – excluding therefore the Yunyalīlti but less Chlouvānemized areas of Qualdomailor, Brono, and southern Greater Skyrdagor.
Meanwhile, during this time period, the Chlouvānem world started growing again, as today's Northwest was conquered from the Western powers that had set up colonies therein; by doing so, Chlouvānem countries also established sovereignty over much of the virtually uninhabited desert areas of the Northwest, that would prove, later in history, to be extremely rich minerary lands. A similar faith of Chlouvānem conquest was followed by the Kāyīchah islands off the coast of eastern Védren, that had been settled first (except for the easternmost ones, settled by Chlouvānem from Lūlunimarta) by Cerian settlers, mostly with Védrenian slaves.
Consolidation Era literature is thought to be of a lesser quality overall when compared to the great novelists of the Trembling Years, but it had, nonetheless, some milestone works. Perhaps the most commonly mentioned is Guvęryē væloe (the Forbidden Gift) by male writer Hānimausāvi Gajrīn Klætspragis from Perelkaša diocese (Central Plain), mostly a semi-autobiographical personal resistance story, highlighting the ever existant gender discrimination common at the time, which became a banner in the movement for gender equality particularly active the years just preceding and following the Consolidation – while full equality was still far away, there were some huge steps towards gender equality in those years, albeit they'd later be cancelled during the Nāɂahilūmi Era.
Other important works of the era were all less socially critical, talking about Chlouvānem culture instead, with a revival of archaist-era Legendary Books, this time extended to the whole territory of the to-be-Inquisition (something which brought to newer life many themes that were once common in Toyubeshian fairytales), and it was from these collections of legends that took inspiration one of the greatest playwrights of the era, Dalaiganāvi Lækhnitaisa Chališiroe. She was the leading personality of a newer, more hybrid theatrical style, using more Western-style monologues, as well as unconventional uses of music, with real sung arias (an influence of Western opera; this wasn't a complete novelty in Chlouvānem theater, but it had been more of a one-in-a-kind feature) and instrumental drones, as in Chlouvānem classical music, very often accompanying the recited sequences. Musical composers working with her, such as Hælahaikāvi Gudūra Daṃdhigulan, proved to be significant for the later development of ambient music.
Plays by Dalaiganāvi Lækhnitaisa Chališiroe are very commonly represented today in Chlouvānem-style theaters both in the Inquisition and abroad; some of her most famous works include the "epic comedies" Hånya ga prālṣaṃkamikyāyē vyāta (Hånya, the Hero Coated in Prālṣam Flowers) and Pądire læjla (the Missing Chair), and the epic tales Oyune vyāta (Hero in the Mirror), Māmei lalāruṇa (Twelve Lalāruṇai), and Ṣāṭe vrāṣmas no (Swords and Smoke).
The Nāɂahilūmi Era
The Conclave of 6308, at a time of worldwide prosperity masking however a lead-up to a large war, not only colonial but also in the Western homelands, and possibly threatening also the Inquisition's sphere of influence, resulted in what has been later analyzed as the most significative and (in the West) most traumatic event of the last century and a half: the election as Great Inquisitor of Kælahīmāvi Nāɂahilūma Martayinām, who entered the Conclave as the Bishop of Līlta, the Inquisition's fourth-largest city, on the Jade Coast.
Great Inquisitor Nāɂahilūma was, likely, the last truly despotic ruler of the Inquisition, setting up a regime that was socially reactionary (for example revoking all civil rights that had been granted to men in the previous hundred years) with, however, a strong push towards collectivism and large-scale heavy industry, coupled with an external policy as expansionist as the Inquisition's proselytism of a thousand years before: the Chlouvānem had to spread the Yunyalīlti faith at all costs for the time was ripe for the world to be finally united in religion ("cleansed"), and because it was necessary to attack before the Westerners could threaten the Yunyalīlti world. Under the Nāɂahilūmi expansionist policy, the Inquisition annexed all of Greater Skyrdagor and all territories from the current Inquisitorial Northwest up to the Síluren Mountains (Chl.: Šīlala ga ñaryai), the western frontier of Evandor, inevitably leading to Calémere's deadliest ever war, the East-West "Global" War (6323-6326, called blautāmita nali saṃrasta "War for Cleanliness" in Chlouvānem sources).
The most famous literary works of the Nāɂahilūmi Era, predictably, were influenced and patronized by the regime in order to act as propaganda, glorifying the Chlouvānem as the chosen people, saviors of the planet, on their holiest quest, and also acting as personal propaganda for Great Inquisitor Nāɂahilūma, who set up a cult of personality. The propaganda frenzy of the era was mostly not financed by the state – lots of artists began to create in this style as it was the most sought after. Nāɂahilūmi literature is sometimes called "newer new archaism", as it purposely brings back the epic themes of perfect heroes that were popular during the Toyubeshian expansion one millennium before, often though in the form of novels. Some works went as far as rewriting some Classical poetry epics in contemporary history, having as protagonists often heroic, fearless soldiers on the battlefronts of Vīṭadælteh (and, later, of Evandor), and otherwise enlightened missionaries converting people abroad to the "Real path of life".
Contemporary critics usually avoid these kind of works when discussing the immortal classics of Chlouvānem literature, as no opera really stands out outside those of the same timeframe. Nevertheless, some novels such as Brausāmitom šerṣṭanah (an Immersion in Sanctity) by Martayināvi Tandalara Gārindelgīn or Gujaharimi šāhīn (Heroes of Gudžakharim) by Dēlenitāvi Naniga Hālyehulca (two of whose sons actually fought in the battle of Gudžakharim) are still very popular reads today.
Nonconformist Nāɂahilūmi literature
The strong Nāɂahilūmi control on public opinion and propaganda machine favoured the birth of "flowism" (buñjñanædani), a markedly nihilist literary movement, strongly influenced by the earlier work of Lileikhurāvi Yukahināri Mæmihūmya, opposing the regime's rhetoric by depicting passive people, moral ambiguity, and a fading will to live. While some flowists – such as Kālomitāvi Raṣṇyabayeh Hānimausa – were aligned with the small anti-Nāɂahilūmi minority of Inquisitors, most of them never expressed a real political position, and simply stated their nonconformist attitude in their works.
As a further sign of distancing themselves from the official rhetoric, most flowists adopted a highly symbolist, cryptic style of poetry, with a seemingly confused pattern of short and very long meterless verses, often concerned just as equally as words with the layout of the writing itself on paper. Both poetical figures and the smaller novel production of flowist literature are deeply characterized by the significant role of involuntary memory, and mostly wrote prose through stream of consciousness – expanding on the pioneer work by Yukahināri during the previous century, most notably in Tramway to the Beach.
Major flowist artists include Kālomitāvi Šūsarim Ārṣan, Mārtayināvi Galanai Lārta, and Tālimausāvi Prātaga Jīvārdam – the latter's collection of poetry written while a conscript on the battlefronts of Vīṭadæltah, where he was injured by a bomb, losing both legs, is considered one of the greatest - and, remarkably, one of the first overall - examples of Chlouvānem pacifist literature.
Literature of the Kaiṣamā
After the abrupt end of the East-West Global War, culminating with a near implosion of the Inquisition and the dethronement of Great Inquisitor Nāɂahilūma, the period from 6327 to 6378 saw the existence of a political entity called Kaiṣamā (acronym of ekailai ṣarivāṇumi mālna, or Union of the Purified States), a de jure supranational organization (de facto an extended Inquisition with a few more autonomous areas) consisting of 19 countries: the Yunyalīlti world (the Inquisition, Brono, and Qualdomailor) and the countries of far eastern Vīṭadælteh, most of them inhabited by culturally similar peoples speaking Kenengyry languages such as Soenjoan, Kuyugwazian, Džemlešen, Enegenic, or others.
Chlouvānem society during the Kaiṣamā was characterized by this larger degree of cultural intermixing – internal migrations, both natural and forced population transfers, meant that many non-Chlouvānem from the rest of the Union came to live in the Inquisition and, to a lesser extent, many Chlouvānem were settled in other areas of the Kaiṣamā (most notably in Qualdomailor and Kŭyŭgwažtov). The second large impact was the long-sought coming of a socialist state, having Yunyalīlti-influenced Communism (more markedly Yunyalīlti in the Inquisition and to a lesser extent in Brono and Qualdomailor, much more secular in the other countries) as the state ideology. While, at least in the Yunyalīlti-majority areas, private enterprise was never completely banned, a strong state control meant it was not possible for such entrepreneurs (actually mostly independent artisans) to exploit capitalist elements and form a distinct class. Except for some minor changes since then, this situation persists in the Inquisition until the present day.
As in the Nāɂahilūmi era, literature (and all arts) of the early Kaiṣamā show a dualism between works following the official ideology and nonconformism. The official ideology of the Kaiṣamā idealized a socialist realist style: the very first works are concerned with a communist reconstruction of the world after the war (a view pervasive in what is acclaimed as possibly the greatest socialist realist masterpiece, the 6330 novel Naijukah by Lairyāvi Hunipaira Lālašvāti, later acclaimed as a pioneer work of modern fairytale realism, a current that would bloom in the post-Kaiṣamā era) often emphasizing the unity of the Kaiṣamā not under communism but under the Yunyalīlti faith, explaining communism – as still common today in the Inquisition – as being basically a form of "liturgy-less Yunyalīlti practice", the first step towards conversion of heretics.
Later socialist realism was almost a return to industrial-era works, more concerned with praising the technological advances and the wonders of modernity, though often with distinctively communist themes. Notable works of this current include Šulakunavi ga ñarīlīm jāmṝṣa (the Dike in the Hülakŭnaw mountains), written in Chlouvānem by Kŭyŭgwaž author Žahalŭni Büdikürbey and the verse poem Mālimi janāye tęstīlde (the Cranes in the Port of Mālim) by poet Chlærmitūvāvi Nilga Mailhomma.
A distinct current that arose out of socialist realism but cemented itself as its antagonist is Agrarianism (chlæcāminædani). Born out of the early socialist realist novel Ṣṭrāṣpire tīppa (Robust Wheat), the debut work of the previously mentioned Žahalŭni Büdikürbey, published in 6331, agrarianism took the rural dimension of having contact with nature and taking care of the environment and used it in a sentimental way, sometimes nostalgic for an earlier, purer, pre-Industrial past. Agrarianist thinkers typically thought that communism and modernism were undeniably good, but there could be no peace if people didn't come back in contact with the natural world, denouncing a quasi-heresy of society that was straying away from these values. This proved to be an important political stance, religiously conservative overall but becoming the driving force for a further modernization of industry by leading research towards environmental-friendlier alternatives to the processes used at the time. Agrarianist literature's main expression was the field song (jāṇalija), a light ghazal-like piece of poetry (often particularly influenced by far older styles such as Yūraħāṇi poetry) with a particular detail on impressionist descriptions of nature, especially during twilight; love is sometimes mixed therein, but is often secondary.
The most notable agrarianist author, Hulāblenīnāvi Sumarinārų Hælahaika, actually held a high-profile work, having been professor of Exploration Age Literature at the Ecumenical School of Nyamukuma (Mbekalunda diocese, Far West) from 6321 to 6343. Among novels, the most widely praised one is Ñaryāsūrṇa (Mountain Hut) by Yālvadṛni writer Vælvāvi Kulatitairās Kāljivaṃṣān.
Lila lili vi and the late Kaiṣamā
First published in eleven parts on the literary magazine Tikah (Ink) in late 6343 and early 6344, the appearance on the cultural scene of Lila lili vi (the Person that I am), the second novel by Līlasuṃghāṇi writer Naryejūramāvi Lānūṣurah Mæmihomah, was a landmark event in contemporary Chlouvānem literature and, possibly, a key event in the history of the Kaiṣamā.
The novel, carrying a highly symbolic title which casts focus on the individual's sphere, could be described as a formation novel both of an individual and both of general society. It starts out being heavily socialist realist but, as the novel progresses, the focus shifts on the feelings of the literary Ego, which are not just of determination in building the perfect Yunyalīlti Communist society but, on the other hand, are strongly characterized by doubt. It is not a doubt on the general direction of society but on its nature and, especially, on what was perceived as a lack of independence of the individual; while not supporting individualism or hedonism in any way, the narrative goes on to depict the possibility of a less totalitarian, more spontaneous society; this was partly a reinvention of agrarianist ideas and even a different interpretation of the Holy Books of the Chlamiṣvatrā, diverging from the Inquisition's in few but very important points but, unlike agrarianism and its melancholic, sweet remembrance of a distant past, the end of The Person that I Am has been described as "coated in optimism" for a more progressive and freer future that is still both Yunyalīlti and communist. The author uses surrealism and fairytales to describe a realistic view of contemporary society and the failures of decades of totalitarism, from the Nāɂahilūmi era to the early Kaiṣamā; for perhaps the first time in the literature of the Kaiṣamā, the hero was not to be seen as a role model for the building of a Yunyalīlti Communist society, but as a character everyone in the Kaiṣamā could intimately relate their inner feelings and desires to.
Lila lili vi was a huge success, to the point of it being acknowledged as the most successful book in the history of Chlouvānem publishing, also becoming the most translated Chlouvānem book worldwide; politically, it was a precursor of the things that were to come as, in the years after the book's publishing, various reforms under Great Inquisitor Mæmihūmyāvi Upāṃruṇāri Læhimausa (who had been elected in the Conclave of 6340 and would reign for 58 years, until her death in 6398, becoming the longest-serving Great Inquisitor in history) loosened the totalitarianist hold on the Kaiṣamā's citizens.
Literarily, the book's themes proved the key towards a merger of the two currents of socialist realism and agrarianism into the style nowadays called "individual-friendly socialist realism", with a radical shift of focus from the works of society to the components of that society that built all of those works. Late in the Kaiṣamā period, the strictly socialist element faded away, with a general rediscovery of folk roots and a taste for pure, unpretentious ars narrandi, that led to the contemporary successful style called "fairytale realism" (yaldidhusmanædani).
Another, more politically active topic of Kaiṣamā-era literature had a more epic matter, focussing on the expansion of the communist world in the countries undergoing decolonization from Western powers, particularly in eastern Védren.
Chlouvānem fantasy: the Mervés cycle
One of the most peculiar and important writers of the Kaiṣamā is undoubtedly Lajñyāvi Ṛcñahaidī Kalyahīṃsa (6310-6391), half Chlouvānem-half Skyrdegan native of Hålša, the largest city and main cultural centre of the Hålvaram plateau and the Chlouvānem North. She was the first major contemporary Chlouvānem author whose works spread through the grey market, gaining a cult following across the Kaiṣamā.
Ṛcñahaidī’s work has since been canonized as the prime example of high fantasy in Chlouvānem literature, writing many short stories and a few novels (mostly in Chlouvānem, but one novel and some short stories are in Skyrdagor, and she also wrote a frame story in the Hålši vernacular) all set in a conworld, Mervés [ˈmɛrweːʃ], set in an early modern age with clear aesthetic influences from the Imperial Age of Skyrdagor and characterized - a first in Chlouvānem literature - by a number of conlangs, the most important and developed one being Hrákenic (endonym hrákna [ˈʁaːkʰnɑ], in Chl. harākhenyumi dhāḍa), the language of the Hrákin, an anthropomorfic reptilian race dominant on Mervés. After finishing school in a monastery in Mārmalūdven, Ṛcñahaidī became the first major figure of the Kaiṣamā to live following the Yunyalīlta but never siding with the power of the Inquisition. Hers was not a rebellion or an attack against it, but she lived her life mostly ignoring the Inquisition instead, choosing an "anarchical" and almost nomadic way of life, joining the Kaušitaših legion (which she worked with as a volunteer, devoted to her own monastic-derived interpretation of the Yunyalīlti faith) and living mostly in legion-owned ulañšāme throughout her life, most prominently in her native Hålša but also - especially later in her life - in other cities of the North, including Iŋelsŏnd (a city in Fathan, at the time part of the Inquisition), Måmatempuñīh, and finally Myszelkjar in Gorjan (also part of the Inquisition until 6372), where she spent the last fifteen years of her life.
Completely casting the Kaiṣamā's ideology away from her work, Ṛcñahaidī's Mervés cycle shows a maniacal detail towards the conworlding aspect, which she defined as her main artistic goal, creating a representation of humanity by creating a recreation of it. But the early modern society of Mervés also had allegories of the contemporary world, with various short stories presenting the point of view of poor people, outcasts, people living at the fringe of society - and in some way, the whole epic cycle seems to be narrated from that point of view. It is not hard to see across Ṛcñahaidī's work a reflection of her beliefs that led her to live the anarchical life she lived: in her work, true honesty and moral integrity are in the outcasts, in those who do not recognize any god-given power over them. Especially in the early part of her work, written in the early part of the Kaiṣamā (before the Lila lili vi "revolution"), Ṛcñahaidī's anarchism was less directed to being against the formal power, challenging the informal power instead; that is, social norms and morals, by detailing sexual life of the Hrákin and other races of Mervés; actually, not that much more sexually libertine than the Chlouvānem, but not hypocritical about it. The fight against hypocrisy is perhaps a key factor in Ṛcñahaidī's creation of Mervés, and in her whole worldview - she had six children with no known father and never got married, something unthinkable for Chlouvānem society of her time.
The main reason of Ṛcñahaidī's importance lies, however, not in the intrinsic nature of her work, but in the impact the Mervés cycle had on Chlouvānem (and the Kaiṣamā's) society. The conworlding lore, the conlanging, the sense of straightforward escapism and freedom made her works popular grey market reads already in the early part of the Kaiṣamā, works that nearly everyone traded, read, and knew, providing idioms to the slang of the then-Chlouvānem youth that persist in some sociolects of today's languages of the Inquisition, and most importantly inspiring other artists - for some as simple inspiration (Lānūṣurah acknowledged that she had started reading Ṛcñahaidī's works approximately at the time she was gathering ideas for Lila lili vi), while the conworld itself lent plenty of lore that other artists used and set their works within, or made derivative works of, especially in music and theatre. "Fantasy music" is a whole subcultural phaenomenon (with some of the ideals of ṣmola and musical themes heavily inspired by kerachomā) aesthetically and thematically inspired predominantly by the Mervés cycle; even more representative of how far her popularity went is how the Bhārmāligūyi theatre in Līṭhalyinām even wrote and represented an experimental pièce based on Ṛcñahaidī's novel Varūkthami gaimah (The Bow of Varúktˤa), part of the Mervés cycle, in 6368, a decade before the fall of the Kaiṣamā and fourteen years before the first official publication of any fiction work by Ṛcñahaidī.
It was in the early Kaiṣamā era that the art of comics became widespread in the whole Union. The whole tradition of comics in the Inquisition (and in most other countries of the former Kaiṣamā), nowadays extremely pervasive in popular culture, was a Skyrdegan import: the countries of Greater Skyrdagor had already been writing comics for more than fifty years in their own style, mostly independent from the tradition that had arisen in the West. As such, even the term for comics used in Chlouvānem (læjāktoma), as well as those in other languages of the Union, are derived from Skyrdagor lezsahta komg [ɮɛʒɑxta kɔm], literally "drawn word".
As expected, early Kaiṣamā comic artists were from Gorjan – an ethnically and culturally Skyrdegan country that had been annexed to the Inquisition – but the spread was so fast that in a few years' time comic artists were found in all parts of the Union.
Læjāktoma from the Kaiṣamā countries have, however, developed their own characteristics, setting it apart at least as a sub-genre, not only in the linguistic sense, from Skyrdegan lezsahta komg. While Skyrdegan comics and, especially, their characters are already less realistic than those of Western comics, realism is even less aimed for in Kaiṣamā comics: proportions of features, especially facial features, are purposely unreal, sometimes with satyrical effect, as with the tiny or even apparently non existant mouths being used by some artists as a symbol of the "burden of censorship" in the Union. It is, in fact, the existence of censorship that has contributed to draw Kaiṣamā comics away from realism (and, to some extent, is also responsible for the same reasons of the fairytale elements in many currents of contemporary Chlouvānem literature), as the less realistic the characters and the situations were, the less they could be questioned from the authorities, even if they contained subtle satyrical messages or social denunciations.
Note, however, that a good majority of læjāktoma was – and still is in the present-day Inquisition – independently published and sold in a "grey market" area: as with most literature, since the late Kaiṣamā era there has been a general thaw of censorship and even such publications are de facto tolerated with barely any level of censorship, except for works containing the most explicitely subversive and/or heretic messages.
- javyāh still exists, but does denote a different, non-dangerous type of fire, while nīdṛke referred to turning on things and starting fires is only regional (in Kāṃradeša).
- Classical Chlouvānem and Standard Chlouvānem are practically equal, with the only differences being minor syntactical and morphological elements which are obsolete in the modern standard, so that Chlouvānem people don't even make the distinction between them.
- Some critics have, through centuries, made a list of places in the story that correspond to real ones, but these aren't widely accepted.
- Note the era's custom of having two names, a Toyubeshian and a Chlouvānem one.
- Name conventions of the era are somewhat different from today's: this name should be read as "Hūyurhūlgin, son of Tainā, daughter of Hulyāchlærim."
- Note that Chlouvānem theater works typically have at least two or three authors: a musical author, a lyrical author, and often authors of costumes and dances. In all theater works mentioned here, only the lyrical author will be mentioned, as it was not uncommon for a single "libretto" to be used in different operas with different musical scores.
- Litti being the vernacular form of Līlti.
- The novel was originally called yacvāni nehas "Western story"; it took about two centuries for the term talša – an erudite reborrowing of Lällshag tallshia "story, narrative, tale" – to gain acceptance as the term for it.
- Akseḥr [akˈsɛχr] is the early modern Auralian name for the area nowadays known as Âkošâkik, a country in far western Márusúturon, just south of Evandor.
- Egiljiṃhai's unmarried surname is not known.
- Staffs (daṇḍai) are traditional Chlouvānem symbols of power, akin to crowns.
- At the time, an industrial area on the outskirts of Līlikanāna.
- Note, though, that Nahinuyāša was born in a middle-class family and earned so much during her early part of life to become effectively an upper-class woman.
- Referred to, in Chlouvānem, as Coreleyāvi Usuvitturæn Kalikhūmpan.
- Some of these states remained independent for some time afterwards. The Kingdom (today diocese) of Hulitilmāka, for example, didn't join the Inquisition until 6312, 21 years after the Consolidation.
- The prālṣam tree is a common tropical tree not unlike the silk floss tree. The hero's name is furthermore a talking name, as it means "toucan".
- A domestic, mountable, giant lizard, having in Chlouvānem society a role much like horses in ours.
- Itself nowadays strongly condemned and considered a kind of "step towards heresy".
- A city in Soenjŏ-tave, site of a battle during the Nāɂahilūmi Era.
- Including the newly annexed territories of eastern Brono (currently Fathan and the diocese of Hivampaida) and Gorjan, the latter already gaining independence in Kaiṣamā times in 6372.
- The naijukah, in Chlouvānem fairytales, is a magical "phoenix lizard" that resurrects itself one lunar cycle after it is killed.
- In Chlouvānem sources Kaujahulyāvi Byudikyurbayeh Jahalunih — note that the -bey of her Kŭyŭgwaž surname is actually unrelated to the Chlouvānem surname-forming suffix -bayeh; in fact the original morpheme is -ürbey.
- Born Vælvāvi Ṣaramuhaidī Kāljivaṃṣān.
- Or, literally, "the Person that is Me".
- In her whole production, one of the most prolific in the history of Chlouvānem literature, only six short stories and two non-fiction books (both about her native city, Hålša: one about the cultural scene in the city in the early Kaiṣamā, another about urban slang in the vernacular in the same period) are not set in her conworld.
- While speculative, the biology of this reptilian race has been described by Ṛcñahaidī with copious scientifically plausible details; it should be noted that the author, later in her life, named among her greatest influences her maternal uncle, Hamilǣṣṇyāvi Ṛcñahaidī Lāyašāgin, a biologist at the Ecumenical School of Hålša.
- Her book about the urban slang in the vernacular of Hålša was first published in 6366, shortly after she wrote it.