Georgian Literature

Georgian literature. Within the Caucasian culture, Georgian literature is the only surviving ancient literature. It has been tangible since the 5th century and initially dealt with religious issues. After Persian and Turkish rule in the 15th to 18th centuries, it was under Russian influence from the 19th century. Since Georgia regained independence in 1991, literature has played a key role in social and cultural discovery processes. According to Countryaah, Georgia is among countries that starting with letter G.


From the 5th century onwards, hagiographic works can be traced back to Jakob Zurtaweli’s »The Sorrows of Saint Shushanik«. Nonetheless, their design suggests narrative traditions that go back further. In these and subsequent works, religious, but also historical, national and philosophical questions are raised, human fates are described and descriptions of nature are provided. The 12th century shows a mature secular literature with high ideals. The economic boom accompanied by a lively literary translator activity was in the 13./14. Aborted in the 19th century by the invasion of the Mongols. Many works of Georgian literature were lost during this time, five writings from the 12th century alone have survived: inter alia. works by Mose Chonelis (12th century) and Sargis Tmogwelis (12th century) as well as by Schota Rustaweli “The Recke in the Tiger Skin” (around 1200; German).

15th to 18th century

From the 15th to the 18th century, Georgian literature developed in the context of Persian or Turkish rule. Your influence will include visible in the works of King Teimura I (* 1589, † 1663). King Artschil II (* 1647, † 1713), who also worked as a poet, already polemicized against the orientation towards Persian culture. S. S. Orbeliani published a Georgian dictionary and wrote the collection of fairy tales and fables “The Wisdom of Lies” (German) from 1686–95 with educational content. Dawit Guramishvili’s (* 1705, † 1792) compilation »Davitiani« contains poems and poems in which he addresses the deportation he personally suffered from his homeland and formulates the writer’s tasks. Besiki (actually Bessarion Gabashvili; * 1750, † 1791) was v. a. known as the author of love poetry.

19th century

After Georgia was forcibly incorporated into Tsarist Russia (from 1801), Georgian literature came into contact with Russian and, through this, with Western European literature. Aleksandre Tschawtschawadses (* 1786, † 1848) poems are oriental formulaic in the traditional sense and are characterized by the love of life and the melancholy of Romanticism. With N. Baratashvili, the most famous of the Georgian Romantics, Georgian literature finally broke away from exclusively Eastern influences. Baratashvili dealt with v. a. with questions of national identity. Giorgi Eristawi (* 1811, † 1864) revived Georgian theatrical art in the 1840s. I. Chavtschawadze and the poet Akaki Tsereteli (* 1840, † 1915) rekindled Georgian self-confidence in society and literature with, among other things, criticism of serfdom. In the 1880s, with the works of Aleksandre Qasbegis (* 1848, † 1893) and Wascha Pschawelas (* 1861, † 1915)a realistic literary current that, among other things, poetically generalized the life of Georgian mountain dwellers (so-called Georgian “mountain school”). In the course of this, the socially critical tendency of Georgian literature was further strengthened, especially since the Russian revolutionary movement raised hopes for national liberation.

Early 20th century

Galaktion Tabidze (* 1892, † 1959) became the most prominent poet among Georgian writers of the 20th century. In his poetry he sang, among other things. the ideas of the October Revolution. The different literary currents of this time combined with diverging political positions and found themselves in groups of writers such as the so-called Academic Association, in the union of proletarian writers as well as in the groups of the symbolists (who came to be known as the “blue drinking horns”) and the futurists again. From the mid-1920s, prose gained popularity while poetry lost its influence. Michail Dschawachischwili (* 1880, † 1937), K. Gamsachurdia and G. Robakidze In their novels they deal with coming to terms with the past and the preservation of national values.

After 1945

During the Second World War, many Georgian writers served on the front lines. They processed their experiences of violence and death v. a. in lyric. From the end of the 1950s, the literary topics expanded again. The narrative was increasingly discovered as a prose form, just as prose became the leading genre again from the 1960s onwards. Became known inter alia. the humorous works of Nodar Dumbadze (* 1928, † 1984) as well as the novels by Tschabua Amiredshibi (* 1921, † 2013) and Otar Tschiladze (* 1933, † 2009), which are created through the individual focus on their characters and excluding specific historical events describe social living environments.

After Georgia gained independence, novels appeared in the 1990s that deal with the Soviet era – for example in Chiladse’s »Awelum« (1995; German). At the same time, younger authors began including accompanied by the founding of her own publishing houses to print her poems and stories.

Georgian Literature