Georgia Literature

In recent decades, Georgian literature has proved to be one of the most lively and interesting among those of the former Soviet republics.

Considered, by now, as the patriarch of Georgian literature, I. Abašidze (b.1909) has obtained numerous prizes, medals, acknowledgments for his artistic activity, which has been expressed, in recent years, above all in the compilation of a book of memoirs in Russian, Poezija i poety (“The poetry and the poets”, 1984), and in the rearrangement of his Rčeuli nac’armoebebi (“Selected works”, 1979). Georgia Abašidze (b.1914) was appointed (1979) member of the Academy of Sciences of the then Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia. Continuing the historical-patriotic trend that made him famous, he published the novel Cotne (1975) and the collection of verses Ori saxli (“The two houses”, 1983); in 1984 a new edition of his Rčeuli nac’armoebebi (“Selected Works”) in Russian was released. It is. Amireǧibi (b. 1921) began a late career as a prose writer with Gza (“La strada”, 1962), a choice of short stories followed by the collection of fairy tales Taplis c’veti (“The drop of honey”, 1965); but he achieved notoriety with Data Tutašxia (1973-75), a novel set in Georgia of the late 19th-early 20th century, in which he describes the inner path of the protagonist in search of new moral principles to oppose those of the society in which he lives. A. K’alandadze (b.1924), faithful to the themes of the previous collections of poems (a tenuous relationship with nature, philosophical considerations, patriotic arguments), has published two volumes of verses (1982 and 1984) which lead, according to one tradition established for some time, always and simply the title of Leksebi (“Poems”); in 1987 he published a volume of already known poems, in which, however, there are also essays and articles of literary criticism. N. Dumbadze (1928-1984), awarded the Rustaveli prize (1975) and the Lenin order for literature (1979), in the last years of his life he published the novel K’uk’arača (1980) and a collection of articles entitled Štabeč’dilebebi, c’erilebi, gamosvlebi (“Impressions, articles, conversations”, 1984). His prose, imbued with a profound lyricism, dilutes the drama of an event or the gravity of a problem in the humorous panache.

Inanišvili (b. 1926) received the Rustaveli prize for literature in 1977 for his work as a children’s writer. Continuing to develop an acute psychological investigation, in recent times he has published the short stories Č’itebis gamomzamtrebeli (“He who helps birds to winter”, 1978), Tebro (1982) and K’etili mic’a (“The good earth “, 1984). He has also written film scripts, including P’ast’orali (“Pastorale”, 1975; the film of the same name was later directed by the well-known Georgian director O. Ioseliani), C’iskvili kalakis gareubanši (“The mill on the outskirts of the city”, 1981) and Deduna (1987).

According to, Mač’avariani (b. 1929) proposes himself as an innovator of Georgian poetry since, in his various collections of verses (Dumili rek’avs, 1974, “Silence sounds”; Leksebi, p’oema, 1983, “Poesie, poema”), he was able to prune the great historical themes, so dear to the Georgian reader, of that aura in which they were constantly wrapped in order to bring them more in contact with everyday life and with the conversational style. Š. Nišnianidze (b. 1929) published the first collection of poems Me da šen (“You and I”) in 1954, distinguished by the solid compactness of the verse and the energy of the word. This linguistic mastery will be a constant of his poetry, Gadasaxedi (“Landscape”, 1977) and C’utisopeli asea (“This is life”, 1982), in which he vigorously tackles the problems of everyday life and measures himself with firm philosophical principles.

Č’iladze (b. 1931) achieved notoriety as a poet, prose writer, playwright and literary critic. Numerous are his collections of poems published in the fifties and sixties; the most recent, Maxsovroba (“Memory”), is from 1978. Among his narrative works, of particular importance are some long stories, such as Šuadye (“Mezzogiorno”, 1961), Vin cxovrobs varsk’vlavebze? (“Who lives on the stars?”, 1966) and Auzi (“The swimming pool”, 1972). The 1967 novel Aha, miic’ura zamtari! (“Ah, winter is over!”).

The characters who populate his narratives are always ordinary men faced with the problems of everyday life; but while addressing this apparently simple issue, Č’iladze always delves into a very complex ethical-moral problematic. In recent years he has devoted himself more intensely to literary criticism, publishing wide-ranging essays (Šušanik’is c’amebis šesaxeb, “Sui ” Tormenti di Šušanik ””, 1978; Vardis purclobis nišani, ” Omen of Spring”, 1984, on the poem by Š. Rustaveli), as well as theatrical works with which she faces, as in short stories, very topical problems: we remember Roli damc’q’ebi msaxiobi gogonasatvis (“The role of debutant actress for a girl”,(“The nest on the ninth floor”, 1980).

Č’iladze (b. 1933), established himself as an original poet already in the 1950s and 1960s, however, owes his fortune to novels, the first of which Gzaze erti k’aci midioda (“A man walked along the street”, 1973), is set in the mythical Colchis, while the second, Q’ovelman čemman mp’ovnelman (“Anyone who meets me”, 1976), which takes its title from a verse of Genesis (4, 14), presupposes an immediate connection with the second part of the verse (momk’las me, “he will be able to kill me”), in order to immediately tune the reader with the climate of the revolted and pre-revolutionary Georgia described in the work.

In Rk’inis teat’ri (“The iron theater”, 1981), which won the 1983 Rustaveli prize for literature, Č’iladze reconstructs Georgian life in the 1920s, addressing a political-social and national theme of considerable breadth. His fourth novel, Mart’is mamali (“The rooster of March”, 1987), is a profound analysis of the changes that occur in the personality of an adolescent who happens to be an involuntary witness to a tragic event.

Georgia Country Literature

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