Fragment of an Anti-Hagiographic Discourse: Visit to a Yarkand Shrine, 2000 by Alexandre Papas

In 2000, Abduwäli Äli published a historical novel (tarikhi romani) written in Uyghur and completed in 1998, about Afaq Khoja, the famous Sufi who ruled over Kashgharia in the late seventeenth century, along with other novels dealing with his ancestors (the Makhdumzadas) and his heirs (the so called Turghaq Khojalar). The two-volume book is a highly critical narrative of Sufi holy men in Eastern Turkestan; it belongs to a subgenre that I suggest to call ‘anti-hagiographic literature’.