Two open books lie next to each other. The left has heavily yellowed pages and shows a compass rose next to text, the left has white pages. On the left page are numbers and letters, on the right a painting.

Literature in Georgia. Between Small Literature and World Literature

In October 2018, Georgia was the guest of honor at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. For the first time after the collapse of the Soviet Union, literature from Georgia was presented in its entirety in a foreign country and foreign language. So far, only little research has been conducted on Georgian literature in the German-speaking space. However, it is the discrepancy between a small language with only about five million speakers and a tradition that reaches back 1500 years that makes Georgian literature a revealing case study, even challenging our mostly Eurocentric models of the development of world literature.

The aim of the project is to produce a book on the literary development in Georgia, with a particular focus on its asynchrony with the Eurocentric models for the periodization of literary history. Unlike previous histories of Georgian literature, which attempt to portray the entirety of Georgian literature in the style of compendia, this project chooses not to work chronologically and instead takes on a problem-oriented and thematic approach to literary analysis and organization. Thus, the project takes on a double perspective: First, Georgian literature is viewed outside the frame of national literary historiography and instead situated between the opposing and yet complementary concepts of “minor/small literature” and “world literature.” Second, theoretical issues that touch on the concepts of “national literature,” “world literature,” and “minor/small literature” are discussed from the perspective of Georgia.  The project does not compare Georgian literature to other literatures. Instead, it situates individual works or groups of works within a multilingual and intertextual context. Thus, the focus lies not on the genesis of individual works but on their intertextual resonance.


Fig. above:
Sulchan-Saba Orbeliani: Georgian Dictionary, Source: Wikimedia [left]
Newspaper H2SO4 (1924), Design: Irakli Gamrekeli (p. 23–24), Source: (with courtesy of the website) [right]

2020–2022 funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Head researcher(s): Zaal Andronikashvili


Zaal Andronikashvili


16 Nov 2023 · 6.00 pm

Lasha Bakradze: Deutsch-Georgische Wechselfälle. Graf Schulenburg und die deutschgeorgischen Beziehungen

Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Pariser Str. 1, Entrance at Meierottostr. 8, 10719 Berlin

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Project presentation
29 Nov 2022 · 7.00 pm

Tigran Amiryan, Zaal Andronikashvili, Volker Weichsel: OSTWEST MONITORING

online via Zoom / livestream on YouTube

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18 Nov 2022 · 1.00 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili: Georgian Modernities: National, International, Soviet

online via Zoom

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06 Oct 2022

Hotel Iveria – Der Turm und die Stadt

Architektur Galerie Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 96, 10243 Berlin

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22 Sep 2022 · 11.30 am

Zaal Andronikashvili: Vorstellungen von Weltliteratur in der sowjetischen Literaturtheorie: Šklovskij, Bachtin, Marr

Seminar für Slavistik / Lotman-Institut für Russische Kultur, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum

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06 Jul 2022 · 6.00 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili: Das imperiale Sujet: Modellierung des Imperiums in der Literatur

Universität Kassel, Campus Center, Moritzstraße 18, 34127 Kassel, Hörsaal 6, Raum 2113

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Panel discussion
05 May 2022 · 6.00 pm

Ostgrenze? EU Grenze? NATO Grenze? Grenzenlose europäische Literatur?

Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstraße 23, 10719 Berlin

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02 May 2022 · 8.00 pm

Nino Haratischwili, Zaal Andronikashvili: Das mangelnde Licht

Berliner Ensemble, Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1, 10117 Berlin

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27 Feb 2022 · 11.00 am

Zaal Andronikashvili: Cultural spaces in crisis and conflict

Literaturhaus Zürich

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24 Feb 2022 · 2.45 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili: Archival Echoes

Freie Universität / Online

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09 Dec 2021 – 11 Dec 2021

The Soviet Project of World Literature and its Legacies

Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Etage, Trajekteraum

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Film screening and talk
07 Dec 2021 · 5.00 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili i.a.: Kapitän Wakusch – der Schriftsteller Giwi Margwelaschwili. Ein deutsch-georgisches Leben im 20. Jahrhundert

Kino Sputnik, Hasenheide 54, 10967 Berlin

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18 Nov 2021 · 2.30 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili: Europäische Verantwortung. Warnung an Europa aus der Sowjetunion

Universität Zürich, Hauptgebäude (KOL), E-13 Senatszimmer, Rämistrasse 71, 8001 Zürich

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24 Jun 2021 – 27 Jun 2021

“Georgiens erste Republik 1918–1921: Geschichte.Literatur.Kunst” Festival with Zaal Andronikashvili a.o.


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11 Jun 2021 · 12.20 pm

Zaal Andronikashvili: Tbilissi als Kosmopolis. Zur Kultur der Mehrsprachigkeit


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Digital Conference
27 May 2021 – 29 May 2021

Inherit the World: Strategies of ‘translatio’ in the Soviet Literary Cosmopolis


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30 Mar 2021 Videos
Lectures about Tbilisi as Cosmopolis (Georgian)

1. Artarea TV: 3 Mar 2021

2. Artarea TV: 5 Apr 2021

3. Artarea TV: 19 Apr 2021


21 Oct 2020 Video
“Cultural Producers in the Eurasia Region Facing the Covid-19 Pandemic”
Zaal Andronikashvili talks to Medea Metreveli, former director of the Georgian National Book Center and organizer of Georgia’s appearance as guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2018, about Georgia’s contemporary literary and cultural landscape and the Book Fair as a turning point.
© Novinki