Interrelationship of Humans and the Mongol Landscape in G. Mend-Ooyo's altan Ovoo: A Study of the Nomadic Culture of Mongolia

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The book discusses nomadic culture in Mongolia through its literary, religious, and socio-historical contexts by studying the contemporary poetry of Mend-Ooyo. It takes a careful look at the poetry in the Mongolian post-Soviet period. Certain sections present a systematic analysis of Altan Ovoo according to the following criteria: religion and spirituality, history, prose, narrative, poetry, the natural world, and autobiography. The growing geopolitical importance of Russia and China means that, as the country enveloped by those two superpowers, Mongolia will come to play an important negotiating role. If this is so, then it will also become necessary for the western world to understand the culture and the people of Mongolia, and for such an understanding, a literary perspective is invaluable.


“One of those who is dedicated himself to meticulous research into Mongolian culture and to communicating this research in English is Simon Wickham-Smith.”
Prof. Doojoogiin Tsedev

“His approach is very much in keeping with Western academic tradition but he deals with the subject in an interdisciplinary and highly innovative fashion…he creates a narrative through his material that concisely and intelligently explains to the reader the nature of literature as it pertains to Mongolian nomadic culture.”
Prof. Saruul-Erdene Myagmar,
U.S. Department of State

Table of Contents

Tradition, Hybridity and the Production of Culture: Theoretical Considerations
A Note on Terminology
Chapter 1 The Concept of Homeland (nutag) within Mongol Society
Manai Nutag – Our Homeland
Chapter 2 The Expression of Shamanism and Buddhism in Mongol Culture, and Their Relationship with the Environment
Chapter 3 The Impact of Stalinist Policies on Mongol Nomadic Culture (1921-1953)
Part II
Chapter 4 Themes in the Poetry of B. Yavuuhulan and Their Influence upon Post-Stalinist Mongol Literature
Chapter 5 The Poetry of D. Nyamsüren and O. Dashbalbar during the 1970’s and 1980’s
Part III
Prelude to Part III
Chapter 6 Altan Ovoo as a “book stupa”
Chapter 7 Environment and History in Altan Ovoo
Chapter 8 Environment and Story in Altan Ovoo
Chapter 9 Environment and Poetry in Altan Ovoo
Chapter 10 Environment and Nature in Altan Ovoo
Chapter 11 Environment and Auto/biography in Altan Ovoo
Part IV
Chapter 12 The Influence of Altan Ovoo on Mend-Oyoo’s Later Work and that of his Contemporary
Chapter 13The Influence of Altan Ovoo on the Work of the New Generation

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