Literature in Georgia. Between Small Literature and World Literature
In October 2018, Georgia was the guest of honor of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. For the first time after the End of the Soviet Union, literature from Georgia was presented in full in a foreign country, in a foreign language. Only little research has been done in the German-speaking world on Georgian literature. And this although the discrepancy between a small language with only about five million speakers and a tradition that reaches back to 1500 makes Georgian literature a revealing case study for challenging our mostly Eurocentric models of the development of world literature.
The aim of the project is to produce a book regarding literary development in Georgia, with a particular focus on its asynchronicity with the Eurocentric models of periodization of literary history. Unlike previous histories of Georgian literature, which are compendia and attempt to portray Georgian literature exhaustively, this project takes a problem-oriented and thematic approach to literary analysis and organization rather than a chronological one. This requires two shifts in perspective: Firstly, Georgian literature is taken out of the frame of national literary historiography and situated between the opposing and yet complementary concepts of ‘minor/small literature’ and ‘world literature.’ Furthermore, theoretical issues that touch on the concepts of ‘national literature,’ ‘world literature,’ and ‘minor/small literature’ are discussed from the perspective of Georgia, not the other way around. Here, Georgian literature is not compared with other literatures, rather, individual works or group of works are situated in a multilingual and intertextual context. Thus, it is not the genesis of single works that are in the focus but their intertextual resonance chamber.
Sulchan-Saba Orbeliani: Georgian Dictionary, Source: Wikimedia [left]
Newspaper H2SO4 (1924), Design: Irakli Gamrekeli (p. 23–24), Source: modernism.ge (with courtesy of the website) [right]
- “Tbilssi als Kosmopolis. Ein Klangporträt,” in: Angela Huber, Eric Martin (eds.): Metropolen des Ostens. Berlin: fototatpeta 2021, 116–142
- “A Tale of Two Europes: Non-Simultaneity in European Development,” in: Caroline Y. Robertson von Trotha (ed.): Realities, Challenges, Visions? Towards a New Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing 2021, 69–80
- “The Multilingualism of National Literatures: The Georgian-German Author Giwi Margwelaschwili (1927–2020),” in: The German Quarterly, Vol 94, issue 3 (2021), 375–377
- “Georgian Political Romanticism in the Caucasus,” in: Hubertus Jahn (ed.): Identities and Representations in Georgia from 19th Century to Present. Oldenburg: De Gruyter 2020, 137–149
- “puli da xarisxi. kartuli romantikuli antikapitalizmi. natsili pirveli” [English: Money and Honor. Georgian romantic anti-capitalism], in: literature.iliauni.edu.ge, part 1, 17 Mar 2020
- “puli da xarisxi. kartuli romantikuli antikapitalizmi. natsili meore” [English: Money and Honor. Georgian romantic anti-capitalism], in: literature.iliauni.edu.ge, part 2, 31 Mar 2020
- “tadzari da bazari. gviani sabchoetis paseulobebi” [English: Temple and Market. The late Soviet values], in: literature.iliauni.edu.ge, 10 Apr 2020
- “okros unitazis xibli. sabchota burzhuaziis brtsqinvaleba da sghatake. natsili pirveli” [English: The desire for the golden toilet. Splendor and misery of the Soviet bourgeoisie], in: literature.iliauni.edu.ge, part 1, 28 May 2020
30 Mar 2021 Videos
Lectures about Tbilisi as Cosmopolis (Georgian)
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.