For a long while practically all the Turkic people lived in one state, first the Russian Empire and later the USSR. Historiography as a discipline followed the Marxist-Leninist ideology. Anything else was declared heresy. The Soviet state replaced history with a myth of its own creation intended to lay the foundations for the task of building communism. The beginning of the perestroika became the starting point of general changes in all spheres of social sciences, including social consciousness. Such objective and subjective phenomena as language, religion, the legacy of ancestors, elements of material and spiritual culture, the mythologised conception of uniform genetic origin, notions of a “golden age” and original homeland, etc. became indicators, symbols or markers of the awakening of ethnicity, the banners of ethnic mobilisation and the foundation of ethnic identity. The myth is used for particular political purposes. These processes were analysed by the author in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, in Northern Caucasus, the Ural-Volga region, among the Uighurs.
This essay argues that the beauty of Laye, Soyinka and Mphahlele as artistic autobiographers derives from their use of mythologized
characters to heighten meaning and to elevate their autobiographies as works of art.