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  • Georgian Literature in East European Scholarship


    The present monograph ”Georgian Literature in East European Scholarship” was written within the framework of the grant project of the Foundation for Kartvelology, Humanities and Social Sciences – Rustaveli Foundation. The grant project (N030-08) was funded in 2008-2010. The team of the project put in much laborious work towards its implementation, directed along a number of lines: search for material on Georgian literature in East European trend publications of literary criticism (monographs, collected papers, scholarly and popular articles) and compilation of bibliographies; annotation of the material brought to light; writing essays of review character. The following persons worked on the grant project: Prof. E.Khintibidze (scholarly director), Prof. M. Filina, Prof. N. Porakishvili, Prof. M. Elbakidze, Assistant Professor E. Gogiashvili, workers on Doctor’s thesis: N. Chakunashvili, S. Guliashvili, T. Khapava; also ancillary and contractual staff: Prof. A. Tchanturia, TSU Senior Laboratory Assistant Ts. Vardosanidze, Doctor R. Chanturishvili, student A. Kondratenko. The main obstacle faced by the team in period of work on the project was of political nature. In particular, the aggravated political situation as a result of the Russia-Georgia war in August 2010. The plan of the project envisaged a mission to Moscow for work at libraries. Not- withstanding the requests made by the project director and the Rustaveli Foundation, several applications of a participant of the project to be issued with a visa to travel to Russia were left unanswered by the Russian Embassy and by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well. This obstacle was overcome by intensive work in Georgian and European libraries. Two scholarly missions to East European countries were implemented in the framework of the project: to Poland (Prof. M. Filina) and Czechia (Prof. M. Elbakidze). Basic work towards compiling bibliographies was carried on in Georgia, namely Tbilisi: the National Library of Georgia, the Library of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, the Library of Tbilisi State University, libraries of some chairs of TSU, and private libraries (special note should be taken of the important specialized libraries - of Polish literature of Prof. M. Filina, and of Russian literature of Prof. N. Porakishvili).

    This monograph continues the work commenced at the end of the past century by Prof. E. Khintibidze, namely bibliographic study and monographic treatment of the work done in major countries of Europe towards the study of Georgian literature – more generally of the literary life in this country. In 1994 my project “Research into Georgian Literature in Europe” was awarded a two-year grant by the Press and Information Department of NATO. In 1995-1996, along with me, a team of TSU collaborators, my postgraduates and students, and foreign Kartvelologists worked on this project.

    The findings of the study were published in the shape of my extended paper on NATO’s website (www.nato.int/acad.fellow/94-96/elguja/03htm). I and my colleagues considered the work carried out to have been so fruitful that we continued work on it and a monograph edited by me entitled “Georgian Literature in European Scholarship” came out first in English in 2001 at Amsterdam and in 2003 in Tbilisi in Georgian. More specifically, the monograph deals with the study of Georgian literature in Western Europe – on the basis of its four major countries: Germany, France, Britain and Italy. In the process of work on the monograph it became clear that research in Georgian literature and coverage of Georgian literary life in Eastern Europe followed a different course and that it must unite round the study of the Russian scholarly setting. That is why I wrote in the Preface of that monograph: “Georgian literature is discussed also in languages of the peoples of Eastern Europe – in Czech, Slovak, Polish, Bulgarian, et. – especially after World War Two, when Europe became divided into two political camps and eastern Europe formed a close political, economic and cultural bloc with the former Soviet Union. Research into Georgian literature in this region follows in the wake of the Russian-language material on Georgian literature. In particular, translation of Georgian literary works into the languages of the peoples of Eastern Europe are largely made from the Russian; scholarly studies on Georgian literature are also translated from the Russian language or are written on the basis of Russian-language studies. Articles on the Georgian literature in encyclopedias are in the majority of cases translated from Russian. Hence, I think research into the treatment of Kartvelological problems in the languages of Eastern Europe must be related to the study of Russian-language Kartvelological literature.”

    From the second half of the 20th century, a clear trend was evinced in Georgian scholarship to conceptualize Georgian culture in the world process of civilization, in particular to study the relation of the Georgian world to the process of medieval, Renaissance and new-time social, religious, philosophical and literary thought. The European essence of Georgian social, religious and literary thought was noticed at an early stage by Georgian intellectuals. But the need for analytical and scholarly demonstration of this phenomenon of Georgian culture was firmly put on the agenda at the end of the 20th century – from the time of recognition of the political independence of the Georgian state and the unremitting drive of the Georgian state and social structures towards the community of the peoples of Europe. The striving of Georgian social thought towards European is clearly demonstrated both in the political course of historical Georgia and the direction of religious confession – most clearly in Georgian centuries-old literature. Georgian literature of the 5th-10th century – the literature of a country that was possessed by Persia and Arabia, politically the strongest oriental empires or in their sphere of influence, was wholly of Western, Byzantine, orientation. The 12th-century Georgian secular literature, whose earlier analogue is seen in Persian literature, took the oriental - Persian and Arabic - poetic style into its own Christian thought, developing it in the European, Renaissance line. Ivane Javakhishvili aptly noted that the Georgian intellectual elite of the 16th-17th c. managed – in conditions of life and death political struggle – to salvage its own cultural and literary world, to make use of the great Persian literature. As soon as vague paths began to emerge for adopting European thought (early 20th century) Georgian literature opened the door wide to European literature via Russian.

    Against the background of this historical reality Kartvelology is today faced with an urgent task of researching and analyzing the process of perception, assimilation and appraisal of Georgian literature by Europe; observation of how a foreign eye sees this literature; juxtapose its own view of the reality with that seen by a stranger eye, assist Europe in correct visualization of the spirit and individual facts of centuries-old Georgian literature. It should also be noted that aspiration towards knowing and taking into account of the assessment of one’s own literature by a stranger eye is not unique to Georgian literature. It is a natural process of the coexistence of literatures and an essential element of a dialogue of cultures. Furthermore, it has been noticed that this dialogue of cultures is in itself a guarantee of enrichment and advance of each culture, in the present case of literature.

    In analysing this process M. Bakhtin’s view is often quoted: “A foreign culture will reveal itself more completely and deeper in the eye of some other culture. One view will reveal its depth at meeting another and in contact. A dialogue begins between them which will overcome the isolation and one-sidedness of these views – of this culture.”

    This is the general backdrop against which our scholarship is faced with the demand of studying and analyzing the view taken of our culture – our literature by European scholarship and, in a broader sense, by European intellectuals in general. This is the goal that conditioned the need of the research carried out by us.

    In writing the monograph I mentioned above (“Georgian Literature in West-European Scholarship”), of the West-European countries, attention was focused on  four major ones (Germany, France, Britain and Italy), and by analysing in detail the study of Georgian literature carried out in Western Europe a general picture of research into Georgian literature in the West was formed. In the present monograph (“Study of Georgian Literature in Eastern Europe”) accent was made on the group of East European countries in which a clearly defined interest was shown in Georgian literature and much was done towards its study. These are Slavic countries, namely Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Czechia, Slovakia. Over the last two centuries the cited countries evinced considerable interest in Georgian literature and the translations of Georgian literary monuments, as well as the study of the Georgian literary process in these languages, especially in Russian, gave the stimulus and tone to the spread of questions of Georgian literature throughout Eastern Europe and in major countries of the world. It will suffice to point at two facts: the first solid review of Georgian literature was published in Russian: Evgeniy Bolkhovitinov’s “Historical Description of Georgia in Her Political, Church and Educational State”, St. Petersburg, 1802 (in Russian). The first translation of the masterpiece of Georgian literature: Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther Skin published in Europe was the Polish translation, made by K. Lapczyński (Biblioteka Warszawska 1863). Throughout the twentieth century propaganda of Georgian literature on the world scale was largely carried on through the medium of the Russian language owing to the policy of the political bloc established in Eastern Europe under the hegemony of Russia.

    Research into Georgian literature in Russian scholarship and its propaganda by the Russian language scholarly and popular press is a major, and to put it figuratively, inexhaustible theme. The point is that from the very beginning of the 19th century Georgia found herself a constituent part of the Russian empire and actually scholarly and popular press became established in Georgia proper as well.  From this standpoint mention should be made of the Russian-language newspaper Kavkaz, which came out from 1846 to 1918. It was one of the main periodicals in 19th-century Georgian intellectual space. At various times this newspaper had many supplements, some of properly literary character, e.g. the literary supplement Zurna (1854-55) Literaturny listok (1864), Illustrativnoe prilozhenie k gazete Kavkaz (1902-15), which systematically carried translations of works of Georgian writers.

    This does not mean that printed matter in Georgia was from the beginning Russian language. The first printing-press was set up in 1709, and 20 Georgian books were published by it in 1709-22. It should be also noted that Georgian-language books were printed in Russia too. Suffice it to say that the first Georgian printing-press in Russia was founded by King Archil in 1705 and that the first printed Georgian Bible came off the press in Moscow in 1743. It should be also noted that printing Georgian books in Russia continued after the annexation of Georgia by Russia. Suffice it to say that the second printed edition of The Man in the Panther Skin came out in St. Petersburg in 1841. But all this was the result of the activity of Georgian intellectuals in the Russian empire (the Georgian colonies of Kings Archil and Vakhtang VI in Russia), or the work of foreign Kartvelologists (in 1841 the editors of The Man in the Panther Skin were Marie Brosset, David Chubinashvili and Iase Palavandishvili).

    It should also be noted that the research into Georgian literature abroad did not begin with Russian-language studies. E. Bolkhovitinov’s book published in 1802 on Georgian history and cultural heritage was preceded by publications almost two centuries earlier of Italian missionaries and travellers on Georgia. Suffice it to name the books on Georgia published in the 17th century in Italy by Pietro della Valle, Informazione della Giorgia..., Roma 1627; P.-M. di Faenza, Siencera relazione de regni della Georgia, Napoli 1621; A. Lamberti, Relatione della Colchida, hoggi della Mengrellia... Napoli 1654. Italy is the country where European Georgian studies commenced. The first Georgian-language books were printed in Italy in 1629: The Georgian Alphabet, A Georgian-Italian Dictionary, Litania Lauretana (The Prayer of the Loreto Virgin). In 1643 the first scholarly textbook on the Georgian language was printed: Georgian Grammar by Maggio Francisco Maria - Syntagmata linguarum orientalium quae in Georgiae regionibus audiuntur... (Romae, MDCXLIII). Scholarly study of Georgian literature proper in non-Georgian publications commenced in Europe. This was Franz Karl Alter’s Über georgianische Literatur, Wien 1798.
    To revert to the question of the present monograph. The principal language of the study and diffusion of Georgian literature was Russian. This is accounted for by the fact that from the early 1920s Georgia – as a republic - was a constituent part of the vast and powerful Union of Soviet Republics that dominated in Eastern Europe till the end of the century, Russian being the official and factually dominant language. Hence, Georgian literature in Russian translations and Russian-language books and articles forms the central part of the present monograph which is essentially a review and bibliographic monograph on the study and rendering of Georgian literature in Slavic languages.

    The monograph is the first attempt of bibliographic treatment of this highly rich literature. The team working on the compilation of the book brought to light and studied monographic editions on Georgian literature both by individual authors and the numerous scholarly and popular, as well as official (of political, social and cultural content) Russian-language magazines and newspapers, such as Novy mir, Oktyabr, Zvezda, Neva, Avrora, etc.Nor did the official governmental newspapers with print-runs of millions of copies shun coverage of questions of Georgian literature: Pravda, Izvestiya, Trud, Komsomolskaya pravda, Nedelya. The literary magazines and newspapers of the period gave coverage to questions of Georgian literature: Literaturnoe obozrenie, Literaturnaya gazeta, Voprosy literatury. Special note should be made of multi-page collections, such as Sobesednik, Perspektiva. Highly important was the Russian-language literary organ of Georgia, Literaturnaya Gruziya.This magazine regularly and consistently published translations made by Russian men of letters and their studies of Georgian literature. They resided in Russia but they were not free to write and publish everything. It was not only the major Georgian classics that were rendered into Russian – Shota Rustaveli, David Guramishvili, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela, Galaktion Tabidze, Giorgi Leonidze, Mikheil Javakhishvili, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Paolo Iashvili, Titsian Tabidze... but a very broad spectrum of twentieth-century Georgian literature; I. Abashidze, G. Abashidze, S. Chikovani, Ch. Amirejibi, N. Dumbadze, R. Inanishvili, M. Baratashvili, K. Bobokhidze, A. Kalandadze, R. Margiani, A. Beliashvili, L. Sturua, Kh. Berulava, B. Kharanauli, I. Orjonikidze, J. Charkviani, G. Dochanashvili, O. Ioseliani, R. Mishveladze, and many others.

    These best writers of Georgian literature were translated fully by outstanding representatives of Russian literature such as: A. Balmont, N. Zabolotski, B.Pasternak, L. Leonovich, B. Akhmadulina, N. Zelinski, B. Lifshits, A. Tarkovski, N. Tikhonov, A. Akhmatova, M.Tsvetaeva, P. Antokolski, O. Mandelshtam, A. Mezhirov, E. Evtushenko. M. Sinelnikov and many others.

    Our reference monograph is devoted to bibliographic study of Georgian literature translated into Russian and reviewed in Russian literature. Research into the major and centuries-old literary contacts must be studied precisely by such reviewing and bibliographic classification. Such “prospective bibliographies” (as the Russian literary critic P. Berkov called them) are frequently of retrospective character as well, bringing to light such critical or little known works that may prove essential in further or prospective research.

    The central part of the present monograph is comprised of bibliographies of Georgian literature translated into Russian by Russian authors. These bibliographies, covering material from the earliest time to the 20th century inclusive, are obviously not exhaustive. The bibliography of Russian-language articles, which is fairly comprehensive and points to over 250 works, and the bibliography of translations points up to 150 editions (in each edition cycles of poems of Georgian authors are often represented) is a first substantial attempt and major beginning of a bibliography and review of research into Georgian literature in Russian. Special attention should be given to the fact that this bibliography is annotated. Indication of each work is followed by a short annotation, which is actually an important guide to researchers of these relations. 

    The review proper: “Georgian Literature in Russian Literary Criticism” is a history of these long cultural contacts, compiled on the chronological principle and commencing presumably in the 12th century, when “The Story of Barlaam and Ioasaph” must have been translated from the Greek language, while it must have been rendered into the latter from the Georgian world by a Georgian writer. This review continues by the earliest evidence on Georgia found in Russian literature (“The Story of Dinara”) and of the first Russian authors who mention and refer to Georgia (Karamzin, Bolkhovitinov) and ends with an assessment of the modern status of Georgian-Russian literary relations. Especially important in these relations is the 20th century – not only with the number of Georgian literary monuments translated into and reviewed in Russian. It may be said with full responsibility – as stated in the monograph, Georgian literature is a special phenomenon for Russian scholars and poets. They turned it into an indivisible part of the cultural and scholarly process of Russia. It is safe to say that Russian literature has not been linked to any other literature as deeply as with its Georgian counterpart. It was on Georgia and Georgian literature that the attention of the best Russian poets, prose writers and literary critics was focused over the centuries. This does not mean that the complicated political relations from the close of the 20th century between Russia and Georgia, continued by the invasion of the country by Russia and annexation of a large part of it in 2008, did not affect these highly fruitful literary relations. The other way round, in the last two decades, especially after the conflict of 2008, Russian-Georgian relations have altered drastically, actually leading the culture of both countries into isolation. During this time, a huge amount of negative material has piled up in Russian-Georgian relations, especial in periodicals and the media, which is the subject of a separate study. The voices of those workers of culture who desire for the contacts to continue are submerged in the stream of hatred and insult.

    There have always been separate cases of insulting the national honour of the Georgians, which, beginning with the 19th century, always evoked great protest of Georgian writers and intellectuals. Suffice it recall Ilia Chavchavadze’s publicistic article “A Reply to Katkov”, addressed to the editor of the newspaper Moskovskie vedomosti Mikhail Katkov. It was in response to a report from Tbilisi and carried by the said newspaper, containing a gibe at the staging of Davit Eristavi’s play “Fatherland” in Tbilisi theatre, which grew into a national festival of the Georgians. Here we can recall the derisive information published in the Batumi Russian-language newspaper Chernomorskii vestnik about the national mourning of the Georgians at the funeral of Bishop Gabriel. Because of this, the Georgian writer Davit Kldiashvili declared a war short of life-and-death on the editor of the newspaper, a certain Palm. The political tension between Russia and Georgia in the early 21st century served as an impetus for many non-Georgian journalists to vent their national hatred of the Georgians in the Russian-language press. In some cases this hatred was manifested in the thinking up and printing of derisive and humiliating figural images against the masterpiece of Georgian literature The Man in the Panther Skin: “A Knight without a Tiger’s Skin” (Nezavisimaya gazeta, 03.10.2000); “A Tiger in Black Oil Skin” (Moskovskii komsomolets, 04. 04. 1998); “A Tiger in Caucasian Skin” (Svobodnaya Gruzia, 17. 06. 2000); “Balmont in Tiger Skin” (Exlibris NG, 14.03.2002); “A Knight in Double-dyed Skin” (Zavtra, 1997. XI. N 47); “A Rogue in Tiger skin (Moskovskie novosti, 14-20. XII. 2000); “A Knight in Rat Skin” (Kompromat, 2000, N10); “A Knight in Fish Skin” (Argumenty i fakty, 2004. N22).

    A considerable part of research into Georgian literature in the Slavic world, and hence in Eastern Europe falls to Polish literary crisicism. Of the Slavic literary world it is Polish that manages to establish links with Georgian literature not via the Russian language but directly. It is not accidental that the first European translation of The Man in Panther Skin was Polish-language, printed in Warsaw. Polish literary criticism stands out by a relatively early and sustained interest in The Man in the Panther Skin, permanent interest in this masterpiece of Georgian poetry, scholarly interest in themes of Rustaveli studies, arranging consultations between the best representatives of Kartvelologists and the use of interlinear translations. Suffice it to point to a few facts:

    A significant study on Rustaveli was published way back in 1830. Its Polish author is K. Rdultovski. Kazimey Lapczyński (1823-1892), an erudite ethnographer, botanist, construction engineer, made a scholarly study of Rustaveli’s poem, supplying a significant introduction to the translation. The translation is based on a Polish interlinear translation by the well-known Georgian writer and dramatist made especially for Lapczynski. In Polish Rustvelological literature significant were Arthur Leist’s articles on Rustaveli written in Polish. He translated into Polish several quatrains. The direct translation of Rustaveli’s poem by Polish literati from the Georgian world was facilitated by the exile to Georgia in the 1830s-1840s of a group of Polish intellectuals who set up a “group of Polish Caucasian poets”. Rustaveli becoming their primary sphere of interest. Wojcickh Potocki, and Tadeusz Lada Zablocki the most striking figures of this circle wrote several works on Georgian themes. In one of Potocki’s stories the hero explains his love for his beloved with words borrowed from The Man in the Panther Skin. In 1937, a collection entitled “Shota Rustaveli” came out in Poland, that was free from Russian influence. Along with Georgian emigres (including Grigol Peradze), extracts of translations of Rustaveli’s poem, made by well-known representatives of Polish literature (Julian Tuwim, Sofia Wolnikowna), were printed. Special note should be taken of Prof. Waclaw Kubacki’s essays on The Man in the Panther Skin. The prologue of Rustaveli’s poem was translated by the eminent Polish poet I. Tuwim. The Man in the Panther Skin was translated by Igor Sikiricki (1978). Highly important was the activity of the prominent poet Yerzy Zagórski, whose own translation of Rustaveli’s poem is based on a scholarly study of the poem and consultations with the prominent Polish Kartvelologist Jan Braun.

    Research into and mastery of Georgian literature in Polish literary criticism was expressed by the compilation of three major anthologies: “Anthology of Georgian Poetry” (1961), “Early Georgian Poetry” (1974) and “Georgian Poetry” (1985), representing a broad spectrum of Georgian poetry. Especially comprehensive are the Polish translations of Georgian romanticists, namely of Nikoloz Baratashvili’s poetry, in response, as it were, to the special and early interest of the Georgians in the poetry of the great Polish poet Mickiecz. Special mention should be made of the work of the poet and translator Leopold Lewin, the compiler of the first two anthologies, and of Florian Niewžny, who completed the laborious work of compiling the third anthology in 1985.

    Of 20th-century Georgian poets Giorgi Leonidze and Simon Chikovani proved especially popular in the Polish language. Of a later generation of Georgian poets Mikheil Kvlividze was singled out. Special mention should be made of the publication of Galaktion Tabidze’s poetry in a separate volume. Georgian prose is studied and translated into Polish to a lesser extent. However, a special interest in the works of Nodar Dumbadze should be noted.

    Georgian-Ukrainian literary contacts are an interesting page in the cultural coexistence of the two peoples – “down-graded in a way to second-rate status”, taking shape in the reality of both being within one major power of the 20th century. It is believed that Ukrainian-Georgian historical contacts must have commenced in the 12th century. The 17th-18th centuries may be considered the initial stage of the two peoples establishing contacts when following the incorporation of Ukraine into the Russian state (1654) contacts between Ukrainians and Georgians presumably took place via Moscow. The first Ukrainian poet, translated into Georgian, was Petro Mogila (1596-1647). His “Confession” was translated into Georgian by King Archil, in ca 1699-1702, entitled “Three-part Teachings”. A major section of Georgian-Ukrainian literary contacts is connected with David Guramishvili, for whom Ukraine turned into a second homeland. Being a Georgian prince, emigrated to Russia and member of the retinue of King Vakhtang who had emigrated to Russia, he was settled by tsarist Russia in Ukraine where he spent the second half of his long life. Guramishvili’s poetry suffered the influence of Ukrainian folk poetry, finding reflection in the metre of his verse.

    In Ukrainian literary criticism the first researcher into Georgian literature was Nicholas Gulak (1821-1899). He was the first to take up the translation of Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther Skin. It was not only Ukrainian scholars that engaged in research into Georgian literature and translation of its specimens into Ukrainian but major Ukrainian poets of the 20th century as well. Apart from N. Gulak, we should name Pavel Grobowski, Alexander Nawrotski, Agatangel Krymski, Dimitri Kosarik, Petr Kononenko, modern poets: G. Khalimonenko, S. Kizhanowski, I. Luchenko, I. Moroza, A. Mushkudiani, R. Chilachava, V. Kukhalashvili, O. Sinichko, S. Zholob, and others. It should be specially noted that a very important contribution to the study of Georgian literature and translation of Georgian poets was made by the most distinguished Ukrainian poets: Mikola Bazhan, Pavlo Tychina, Oles Gonchar, Maxim Rylski, Oleksa Novitski, Andrei Malyshko, Zoya Goncharuk. From the Georgian side classics of Georgian literature and well-known literary critics were involved in the process of the two peoples coming close: David Guramishvili, Akaki Tsereteli, Ilia Chavchavadze, Niko Lomouri, Titsian Tabidze, Simon Chikovani, Giorgi Leonidze, Otar Chiladze, Aleksandre Baramidze, Otar Bakanidze. The latter made a significant contribution to the systematization and study of Georgian-Ukrainian literary contacts: he published a three-volume edition of Ukrainian literature in Georgian, founded the club “Ukraine” in which many representatives of researchers into Ukrainian literature were trained: R. Khvedelidze, N. Abesadze, Z. Medzvelia and others.

    The two-century history of research by Ukrainian scholars into Georgian literature and of translation of Georgian literature by Ukrainian poets  clearly points to the fact that although we see no new fundamental scholarly works that could be called a breakthrough in Kartvelology, the general panorama of this vast spectrum, the great interest of Ukrainian literati, the scope of translation and the great interest of the reader, as well as the works of Ukrainian writers dedicated to Georgia point to the deep and sincere cultural link.

    Georgian literature in Belarusian literary criticism does not yield such rich material as shown by Georgian-Ukrainian literary relations, though by its character the interest of Belarusian literati in Georgian literature is of the same nature and significance as their Ukrainian counterparts.

    “The Journey of Ignatius of Smolensk”, a work of travel genre by a 14th-century author is named as the oldest fact of interest shown in Georgian literature by Belarusian intellectuals. Ignatius, a deacon from Smolensk, made a journey to the Holy Places of the East (Jerusalem, Constantinople) and he died on Mount Athos. In 1393 he visited the Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem, noting with special care: “There divine service is in Georgian. The vespers are conducted by Georgians”. The author of the oldest specimens of Belarusian literature introduced into Georgian literature is King Archil in emigration in Russia. Early in the 18th century he translated into Georgian a fable by the 12th-century Belarusian author Kiril Turovski: “Concerning Fables or the Blind Man and the Cripple”, while Archil’s son Aleksandre Bagrationi rendered in Georgian the reader on the “Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple” by the 18th-century Belarusian writer Simeon Polotski. The first Georgian writer to visit Belarus and to record this fact in his diaries was Grigol Orbeliani (19th c.). In the same century the Belarusian writers Frants Savich and Janka Luchina arrived in Georgia and worked here. Janka Luchina’s poem on Georgia is the first example of reflection of Georgia, and generally the Caucasus, in that country’s poetry. Georgia and the Georgian theme were reflected in the works of Belarusian writers: Janka Kupala, Jakub Kolas, Eduard Samuilenko, Petrus Brovka, Oleg Zoik, Mikola Khvederovich, Jevdokia Los, Boris Mikulin, Vitali Volski, and others. The works of both Georgian classics – Shota Rustaveli, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela and 20th-century Georgian poets, prose writers and playwrights have been translated into the Belarusian language.

    Of Slavic literatures Czech and Slovak literary criticism deserve attention in the translation and study of Georgian literature, the first specimens of Georgian literature in Czech appeared in 1884, when Emil Fail published several poems of Ilia Chavchavadze translated from German, in his book “About the Caucasus”. The Czech writer Valerian Černý (1853-1886) wrote his novel ”Nektarina” in the same period, built round the Georgian theme. This novel was translated – via Russian – into Georgian and was published in the “Iveria” in 1885. In 1884 Svyatoslav Czech’s “Journey in the Caucasus” came out, describing the impressions received in the Caucasus. Research into and translation of Georgian literature are essentially linked to the work of several literati, the most important among them being Jaromil Jedlička (1902-1965). He was a well-known researcher into the Georgian language and translator of monuments of Georgian literature. He is also the author of encyclopedic articles in Czech on Georgian writers. In 1958 he published his Czech translation in verse of The Man in the Panther Skin. He is a researcher into the poem and in the Preface to his translation he discusses the date of the creation of the poem.
    Rustaveli’s work is discussed by Vaclav Černý, Ivo Vaculin, Alena Čechova and Ivan Skala.

    In the second half of the 20th century special collections came out with personal presentation of the works of Georgian writers. In 1960 a collection of Ilia Chavchavadze’s poetry entitled “The Golden Cradle” was published. The collection: “The Caucasus of Poets and Poems”, issued in 1979, presents specimens of Georgian poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries in the general context of Caucasian poetry. In 1982 the collection of Vazha Pshavela’s poems, entitled “Snake-eater” came out.

    V. Černý is the principal translator of Georgian poetry. He supplied his own of translation of Vazha Pshavela’s poems with a significant study. A cycle of Giorgi Leonidze’s poems in Czech is presented in a special collection, entitled “The Garden of Kartli” (1955), translated by J. Jedlička and J. Alda. In 1972 V. Černý published a review article on the history of Georgian literature – from Iakob Tsurtaveli to Otar and Tamaz Chiladzes. Major specimens of 20th-century Georgian prose are translated into Czech: works of: Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Demna Shengelaia, Giorgi Natroshvili, Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Nodar Dumbadze, Chabua Amirejibi, Revaz Inanishvili, Otar and Tamaz Chiladzes, Rezo Cheishvili, Jemal Karchkhadze, Archil Sulakauri, Tamaz Bibiluri and Revaz Mishveladze. The principal works of 20th-century Georgian prose have been the subject of frequent discussion in Czech literary criticism.

    The Slovak reader became acquainted with Georgian literature in the mid-20th century, after the Second World War ended. It is in this period that the translation activity of Slovak writers and poets is noticeable, pointing to the popularization of Georgian, as well as of other countries literatures in Slovenia. In this respect, the translation and publication of Shota Rustaveli’s The Man in the Panther Skin in 1980 is worthy of special noting, which turned into an event in Slovakia. In the 1980s Rustaveli’s poem was printed three times, the translation was made by the well-known Slovak poet and writer, Kartvelologist Miloš Krno.

    Miloš Krno arrived in Georgia for the first time in 1946. Returning home he compiled and issued an anthology of Georgian poetry, entitled “Merani” (in Bratislava). The first part of the anthology is devoted to Georgian poetry of the 19th century (Nikoloz Baratashvili, Aleksandre Chavchavadze, Grigol Orbeliani, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli and Vazha Pshavela). The second part, named “Modern Poets”, presents poems of Aleksandre Abasheli, Galaktion Tabidze, Giorgi Leonidze, Simon Chikovani, Grigol Abashidze, Ilo Mosashvili, Alio Mashashvili, Ioseb Grishashvili, Ioseb Noneshvili, Moris Potskhishvili.
    The Slovak reader evinced special interest in the works of the new generation of Georgian prose writers, the so-called “New sixties”. In the 1960s and 1990s the works of Nodar Dumbadze, Tamaz and Otar Chiladzes, Chabua Amirejibi and Guram Panjikidze were translated into Slovak.

    The publication of these works evoked critical articles and reviews by the eminent Slovak critics Vladimír Novotńy, Ivan Slimák, Ondrej Marušiak, Dušan Slobodník and others.

    In 1985 collected stories by young Georgian prose writers came out in Slovakia, entitled “A cup filled with the sun”. It comprises the works of nine Georgian writers: Lali Bregvadze, Goderdzi Chokheli, Naira Gelashvili, Gia Lominadze, Guram Rcheulishvili, Vladimer Sikharulidze, Ana Mkheidze, Nugzar Shataidze and Maka Jokhadze.

    Compilation of the present monograph was made feasible on the basis of the rich scholarly literature created by Georgian scholarship along the line of research into literary contacts. Mention should be made of Prof. Tripon Rukhadze’s studies at the initial stage of contacts of Georgian and Russian literatures, the chrestomathy-type volumes edited by Prof. L. Menabde on Rustaveli studies in world literature, Prof. V. Shaduri’s studies in Georgian-Russian literary relations, Prof. O. Bakanidze’s, Prof. R. Khvedelidze’s and M. Kartvelishili’s works on Ukrainian literature, K. Kvachantiradze’s thesis-monograph and N. Gaprindashvili’s papers on Belarusian literature, the papers by S. Turnava, A. Kakulia, G.Lezhava and Zh. Peikrishvili on Czech and Western literatures, and many others. The research carried out by Georgian scholars was enriched, expanded and deepened through work at the available libraries, reference literature Internet sites and scholarly missions within the framework of the project to Eastern Europe. All participants of the project and the auxiliary staff and contracted persons were engaged in the creation of the monograph and compilation of the bibliographies. Prof. N. Porakishvili is credited with the compilation and annotation of bibliographies of Russian literary criticism. Apart from this, Prof. A. Tchanturia and the doctoral students N. Chakunashvili and Ts. Vardosanidze worked on the enlargement and editing of these bibliographies. A review of the research done in Russian literary criticism into Georgian literature was prepared by Professors M. Filina, E. Gogiashvili and R. Chanturishvili. Prof. M. Filina and doctoral student S. Guliashvili worked on the Ukrainian material; Prof. R. Chanturishvili on Belarusian, Prof. M. Elbakidze on Czech and Slovak material; the Polish bibliographies and review of literary criticism belong to Prof. M. Filina as well. I edited the monograph, and worked on its placement in the Internet and preparation for publication was done by N. Chakunashvili, S. Guliashvili and Ts. Vardosanidze.

    The monograph is the first serious attempt and yet a beginning of the study of the rich and unrecorded material created around Georgian literature in the Slavic language world.

    Elguja Khintibidze

    Грузинская литература в восточноевропейской науке

    Данная монография «Грузинская литература в восточноевропейской науке» выполнена в рамках проекта-гранта (№ 030-08) фонда Руставели (фонда  картвелологии, гуманитарных и социальных наук), финансированного в 2008-2010 гг. Группа ученых, выполнявшая проектное задание, провела большую и трудоемкую работу в различных аспектах: изыскание  литературоведческих публикаций исследователей грузинской литературы в Восточной Европе (монографии, сборники научных трудов, научные и научно-популярные статьи) и составление библиографий, аннотирование собранного материала, составление научных обзоров по всем направлениям. В проекте-гранте участвовали профессор Э. Хинтибидзе (научный руководитель),  проф. М.Филина, проф. Н.Поракишвили, проф. М.Элбакидзе, ассистент-профессор Е.Гогиашвили, докторанты Н.Чакунашвили, С.Гулиашвили, Т.Хапава, а также вспомогательный персонал и приглашенные по договору сотрудники: проф. А.Чантурия, старший лаборант ТГУ Ц.Вардосанидзе, доктор филологии Р.Чантуришвили, студентка А.Кондратенко.

    Важнейшей причиной, препятствовавщей выполнению проекта, оказались обстоятельства политического харатктера. В частности, в результате вооруженного грузино-российского конфликта августа 2008 года резко осложнились отношения между этими двумя странами, что значительно осложнило исследование грузино-русских литературных взаимосвязей. По плану проекта была предусмотрена командировка в Москву для работы в библиотеках. Неоднократное ходатайство фонда Руставели, научного руководителя проекта, просьбы участников проекта о выдаче визы остались без ответа как со стороны представительства Российского посольства в Грузии, так и Министерства иностранных дел Российской Федерации. Эту сложность мы постарались компенсировать напряженной работой в библиотеках Грузии и Европы.  В рамках проекта были осуществлены две поездки (командировки) в страны Восточной Европы: в Польшу (проф. М.Филина) и Чехию (проф. М.Элбакидзе). Основная работа по составлению библиографии была выполнена в нашей стране, в частности, в Тбилиси: в Национальной парламентской библиотеке, в библиотеке Академии наук Грузии, в библиотеке Тбилисского государственного университета им. Ив.Джавахишвили; использовались также библиотеки отдельных институтов ТГУ, личные библиотеки (особенно следует отметить значительные специализированные собрания – личные библиотеки по польской литературе профессора М.Филиной и  по русской литературе профессора Н.Поракишвили).

    Данная монография является продолжением того дела, которое в конце прошлого столетия было начато мной, профессором Э.Хинтибидзе. В частности, имеется в виду библиографическое исследование и монографическая разработка того массива материалов, который собрался в ведущих странах Европы по освоению грузинской литературы, а в более общем плане – по изучению грузинского литературного процесса в широком значении понятия. В 1994 году отдел прессы и информации Североатлантического блока (НАТО) выделил грант на мой двухлетний грант – «Изучение грузинской литературы в Европе». В 1995-1996 годы над этим проектом вместе со мной работала созданная мной группа, состоявшая из сотрудников ТГУ, моих аспирантов и студентов, а  также иностранных специалистов.

    Результаты исследования  в форме моей подробной научной статьи были помещены на веб-странице НАТО (www.nato.int/acad/fellow/94-96/elguja/03/htm). Проведенное изыскание было оценено настолько высоко, что работа в этой области была продолжена мной и моими коллегами, и в 2001 году в Амстердаме на английской языке, а в 2003 году на грузинском в Тбилиси под моей редакцией была выпущена монография «Грузинская литература в европейской науке». Определяя более четко границы исследования, следует отметить, что в монографии помещены материалы об изучении грузинской литературы в Западной Европе, в ее четырех крупнейших странах: Англии, Германии, Франции и Италии. В процессе работы над этой монографией, среди иных задач выяснилось,  что изучение грузинской литературы и освещение литературной жизни Грузии в Восточной Европе  происходило по разным направлениям, и их исследование требует учета всего комплекса проблем и огромного материала, связанного с изучением грузинской словесности русской научной мыслью. Поэтому во вступлении к предшествующей монографии я отмечал: «О грузинской литературе писалось и на языках народов Восточной Ервопы – на чешском, польском, словацком, болгарском и т.д., особенно после окончания второй мировой войны. Это связано с тем, что Европа была разделена на два политических лагеря, и Восточная Европа вместе с бывшим Советским Союзом оказалась в едином мощном политическом, экономическом и культурном блоке. Тональность изучения грузинской литературы в этом регионе Европы задает русский литературоведческий материал о грузинской литературе. В частности, переводы произведений грузинской художественной литературы на языки народов Восточной Европы осуществлялись в основном с русского языка; научные исследования о грузинской литературе и художественные произведения в значительной степени переводились также с русского языка или писались на основе русскоязычных изысканий; статьи в различных энциклопедиях о грузинской литературе переводились в основном с русского и т.д. поэтому я считаю, что изучение разработанности проблем картвелологии в Восточной Европе должно происходить в контексте рассмотрения русскоязычной картвелологической литературы». Так сформировалась идея монографического изучения грузинской литературы в восточноевропейских странах.

    Начиная со второй половины XX  века в картвелологической науке со всей очевидностью проявилась тенденция к осмыслению грузинской культуры в процессе мировой цивилизации, в частности, к изучению грузинского мира в сопоставлении с процессом развития общественной, религиозно-философской мысли и литературного процесса Средневековья, Ренессанса и Нового времени. Европейская сущность грузинской общественно-релогиозной и литературной мысли отмечалась грузинскими интеллектуалами еще в более ранние времена. Однако необходимость аналитического осмысления и научного обоснования  этого феномена грузинской культуры остро встало на повестке дня в конце XX  столетия, в период утверждения политической независимости и возрождения государственности Грузии,  активного и четкого стремления Грузии к вхождению в содружество европейских народов и европейские общественные структуры.  Стремление грузинской общественной мысли к Европе четко выражено в историческом и  политическом курсе Грузии, так и в направлении религиозных верований, а ярче всего в многовековой грузинской литературе. Грузинская словесность V-X веков, словесность страны, которая находилась под игом или в сфере влияния сильнейших восточных империй – Персии и Аравии, носила отчетливо западный характер, полностью была ориентирована на Византию. Грузинская светская литература XII столетия, предтечу которой ищут в персидской литературе, переосмысливала восточнные, арабские и персидские поэтические стили и направления в рамках собственного, христианского  мировоззрения и развивалась в направлении европейского Ренессанса. Полностью оправдывается мысль Иванэ Джавахишвили о том, что в XVI-XVII веках грузинская интеллектуальная элита смогла в условиях политического противостояния Персии  не на жизнь, а на смерть, для сохранения собственного культурного и литературного мира использовать великую персидскую литературу. Когда же возникли окольные, еще смутные возможности сближения с европейским мышлением (начало XIX  столетия), грузинская письменность через ареал русской культуры широко открыла двери европейской литературе.
    На фоне этих исторических реалий перед грузинской картвелологией стоит неотложная задача: изучение и анализ европейского взгляда на грузинскую литературу, процесса ее освоения и оценки. Мы должны проследить, как представляют иные культуры грузинскую литературу, как она воспринимается иным мышлением, должны сравнить собственное видение действительности и видение чужое, должны помочь европейцам в правильном, глубинном осмыслении стремлений многовековой грузинской литературы и в изучении отдельных ее фактов. Следует отметить, что стремление увидеть собственное глазами представителей иного мира, оценить по-новому собственную литературу сквозь призму иного мировидения, иной системы знаний, не является уникальным, свойственным лишь для грузинского мировидения. Это естественный процесс сосуществования различных литератур. Это один из существенных элементов диалога культур. Более того, стало общепринятой истиной, что диалог культур является своего рода гарантией обогащения и развития каждой области культуры, а в данном конкретном случае, литературы. Для осознания этого процесса часто приводят мысль Михаила Бахтина: «Чужая культура только в глазах другой культуры раскрывает себя полнее и глубже. Один смысл раскрывает свои глубины, встретившись и споприкоснувшись с другим, чужим смыслом: между ними начинается как бы диалог, который преодолевает замкнутость и односторонность этих смыслов, этих культур».

    Таков общий контекст, в котором перед нашей национальной наукой стоит задача изучения и анализа европейского научного взгляда на грузинскую культуру, грузинскую литературу. Говоря шире – нас интересует видение грузинской культуры европейскими интеллектуалами. Такова цель, определившая необходимость проведенного нами исследования.

    В моей упомянутой выше монографии («Грузинская литература в европейской науке»), как уже отмечалось, внимание было сосредоточено на четырех ведущих странах Западной Европы (Германии, Франции, Англии и Италии) и на основе подробного анализа изученности грузинской литературы в этих странах была составлена общая картина освоения грузинской литературы в Западной Европе. Ныне, в новой монографии – «Изучение грузинской литературы в Восточной Европе» –  акцент перемещен на ту группу стран Восточной Европы, в которых проявился четкий интерес к грузинской словесности и в которых много сделано для ее осмысления. Это страны славянского мира, в частности, Россия, Польша, Украина, Белоруссия, Чехия, Словакия. В этих странах на протяжении двух минувших столетий проявился высокий интерес к грузинской письменности. Перевод памятников литературы на языки этих народов, изучение истории и проблем грузинской  словесности, особенно освоение грузинской литературы в России, дало стимул и задало тон в изучении и распространении этой литературы во всей Восточной Европе, более того – в иных странах мира.

    Достаточно привести два факта. Первый солидный обзор мира грузинской культуры, религиозной сферы, духовной жизни, истории Грузии и ее литературы был опубликован на русском языке: Евгений Болховитинов. Историческое изображение Грузии в политическом, церковном и учебном ее состоянии. СПб. 1802. Первый перевод шедевра грузинской словесности – «Вепхисткаосани» Шота Руставели увидел свет на польском языке в Варшаве, в 1863 году, его выполнил польский политический ссыльный  Казимеж Лапчинский (Rustaweli Szota. Skóra tygrysia. Podał K. Łapczyński. „Biblioteka Warszawska”, 1863).

    the whole Summery in Russian:

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