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LITERARY RELATIONS – ONE OF THE BASES OF THE IDENTITY IN THE PROCCESS OF EUROPEANIZATION OF GEORGIA (19th CENTURY)

TAMAR SHARABIDZE
Ivane Javakhishili Tbilisi State University

In Georgia, the Europeanization process started from the 19th century. This process was expressed in returning to the Christian mentality, supported by the literary relations, formed in the country during this period.
It was the aspiration for European culture, via Russian culture. This aspiration had created examples of those identities, which represent the basis for Georgian Russian European literary relations. Russian and European writers had influenced Georgian writers, but this influence was mainly expressed in the external form, which they had adjusted to the traditional character of our literature. Georgian writers aimed at transferring what was prominent and important in newly introduced European and Russian literature to Georgia, which was unprecedented in our literature. It was striving for enriching their country and literature and not simply copying. Georgian public figures of the first half of the 19th century were translating from Russian, as well as from European languages. It is interesting to mention that during the translation work they were tempted to imitate; almost original works that were created were new for Georgian literature due to their form, size and plot and Georgian poets’ emotions were based on them. Al. Chavchavadze’s imitations are: the verse “When Contemplating” (written under the influence of Voltaire’s “Am _me de Boufflers”), “My Dear Love” (imitating Zhukovski’s Verse “Song (From French)”, “You are a New Daffodil” (the author is unknown) and “Anacreontic” (from French translation of Greek verse). Apart from the themes, Al. Chavchavadze’s translations presented certain novelty in terms of versification. When translating the Verse “Colour Dark, Colour Black”, the poet introduced new size and new metre. When translating Pushkin’s “For Petre Bagrationi” and “Copper Rider”, he introduced a blank verse, so called white verse. Other distinguished examples of Russian European Georgian literary relations were Gr. Orbeliani’s “Toast” and V. Zhukovski’s “The Singer in the Camp of Russian Belligerents”, (which is the imitation of English writer’s, Thomas Grey’s creation “The Bard”). The mentioned example of influence makes obvious how the structure of poem without plot is transferred from the European to Russian literature and afterwards, to Georgian. Gr. Orbeliani’s “Confession”, which is the imitation of one chapter of Decembrist Poet Condrati Rileev’s unfi nished work “Nalivaiko”, refers to the imitation of form and not of the plot or content – both poems describe spiritual emotions, expressed in the form of confession. In the first half of the 19th century, Gr. Rcheulishvili was under the greatest influence of European literature. He had undertaken enormous attempt of transplanting new plot, different from Georgian subject matter, into Georgian reality. If before, in the process of translation and imitation, Georgian literature was mainly, assimilating forms (blank verse, poem without plot, confession) from European and Russian literature, Gr. Rcheulishvili took the plot directly from the European writers and adjusted it to the Georgian environment and life. These plots differ from the patriotic subject themes established in the Georgian literature, but do not exclude this feeling. The novelty was expressed in showing the diversity of characters and psychological nature of the character’s emotion; everyday life intrigues full of surprises were based on it. Gr. Rcheulishvili described to the Georgian reader human relations connected with the feeling, even ungovernable passion, but interesting as anything forbidden and unacceptable. From this viewpoint, he is the innovator. His name is connected with one more novelty – an attempt of establishing “Horror Romanticism” in Georgian literature. Our task is to reveal the literary relations, present during the process of Europeanization of Georgia and analyze how important these relations were for the development of Georgian literature, in terms of diversity of subject matter, genres and structural forms of literary work. We should not forget that the very establishment of literary trends in Georgia is a result of Europeanization process. These trends are established on national ground and differ from literature of preceding epoch by the peculiarities of expression only.

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