Alexander Mikaberidze


History of the Georgian Literature

(This material is from A. Mikaberidze's Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2007) and is copyrighted so please do not use it without explicit written permission.)


Pre-Christian Georgian literature seems to have been destroyed as Georgia underwent major religious and cultural transformations following the spread of Christianity. The Georgian oral tradition abounded in ballads, songs and legends, the most famous of them being that of Amirani. The earliest Georgian inscriptions (early fifth century) are preserved in Jerusalem and Bolnisi and the earliest Georgian literary text remains Shushanikis tsameba (Martyrdom of St. Shushanik) by Jacob Tsurtaveli, which demonstrates by its literary standards a pre-Christian writing tradition. Over the next centuries, as the Georgian Orthodox Church developed and Christianity spread, the Georgian literature expanded and developed rapidly. Books of the New and Old Testaments, liturgical collections and religious treatises were translated. Monasteries were established throughout Georgia such as those of Opiza, Ishkhani, Shatberdi, Tskarostavi, Oshki, Khakhuli, Parkhali, Garedja and many others that played a crucial role in the development of the Georgian literary tradition. Georgian monastic complexes in Greece, Syria, Palestine, Sinai and other regions soon evolved into major centers of literary, philosophical and cultural thought. Religious and secular works were translated from various languages, including Greek, Syrian, Arabic, Armenian and Persian, and original texts were created. By the end of the 10th century, the Georgian literary tradition flourished producing numerous hagiographic, hymnographical and liturgical books, monastic typicons, etc. Georgian literature was heavily influenced by the close cultural contacts with the Byzantine world on the one hand, and Muslim (Arab, Persian), on the other. 

After the sixth century anonymous Evstati mstkhetelis tsameba (Passion of Evstati of Mtskheta), the next major work of Georgian hagiography was Ioane Sabanisdze’s Abos tsameba (Passion of Abo), which described the martyrdom of Abo, an Arab perfumer from Baghdad, who converted to Christianity in Tbilisi and was martyred for apostasy. A major collection of Georgian hagiographic works is Mravaltavi (Many Chapters) while the chronicles Moktsevai Kartlisai, and later Kartlis Tskhovreba, compiled various historical sources. Basil Zarzmeli authored a life of St. Serapion Zarzmeli while Giorgi Merchule’s work contains important passages on the influential clerical figure Grigol Kandzteli. Mikel Modrekili compiled a massive hymnographic collection. In the 10-11th centuries, prominent Georgian scholars, including Leonti Mroveli and Eprem Mtsire (Epraim the Lesser), helped advance Georgian hagiographic and philosophic body of works.Many Georgian manuscripts of this era are preserved at the St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai. 

The Golden Age of Georgia (12-13th century) is the classical period of Georgian medieval literature. King David IV Aghmashenebeli proved himself a gifted writer composing Galobani sinanulisani (Hymns of Repentence, c. 1120), a powerful work of emotional free-verse psalms, which reveal the king’s humility and zeal. Several major poems were composed and translated in later years. Mose Khoneli’s epic Amiran-Darejaniani depicted the legendary hero Amirani and his titanic exploits, while Visramiani was a Georgian adaptation of Fakhruddin Gurgani’s lost poem Vis and Ramin. Chakhrukhadze’s Tamariani contained odes to Queen Tamar, followed by Ioane Shavteli’s Abdulmesia, another eulogy of Georgian kings.

The greatest work of the period (and probably in the Georgian literature in general) remains Shota Rustaveli’s magnificent poem Vepkhistkaosani (The Knight in Tiger's (Panther's) Skin). It was written during the reign of Queen Tamar between 1178 and 1213 and consists of some 1,576 to 1,669 quatrains, depending on the version. Quatrains are written in a unique style with 16 syllables in each verse, whose rhymes and rhythms remain unsurpassed to this day. While there are few surviving examples from earlier centuries, the oldest surviving manuscript dates to 1646. The epic has as its theme courtly love, knightly comradeship, and heroic quest. It follows two story lines, one about the Indian knight Tariel and his beloved Nestan-Daredjan and the other of the Arab knight Avtandil and his love Tinatin. The poem follows the knights’ quest in search of Nestan-Daredjan, who has been kidnapped and imprisoned in the Kadjeti fortress, a symbol of tyranny and wickedness. Throughout his poem, Rustaveli preaches the underlying principle that justice and righteousness prevail over lawlessness and evil. Vepkhistkaosani combines elements of Christianity, neo-Platonism and Eastern religions into a unique philosophy that breathes with humanistic ideas. Far ahead of its time, the poem calls for individual freedom as well as freedom of thought and emotions and life free of predestination. Rustaveli demonstrates the influence of the Greek philosophers and cited works of Plato, Proclus, Nemesius, and Dionysius the Areopagite. In medieval Georgia, Vepkhistkaosani was often regarded as one of the most treasured possessions, and, until the 19th century, tradition required brides to bring a copy of it in their dowries.

The Mongol invasions in the 13th century and Tamerlane’s forays a century later marked the decline in the political and cultural life of Georgia. The Eastern provinces were ravaged by the enemy invasions and many priceless manuscripts were destroyed. The Georgian presence in monastic centers abroad also weakened. Literary work in the 14th century was mostly confined to the copying of old manuscripts. The fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 dealt a major blow to Georgia, which found itself separated from Christian Europe. 

The 15th -18th centuries are distinguished by an upswing of cultural life. Patriotic in nature, the new Georgian literature was marked by interpolations of and sequels to Shota Rustaveli’s Vepkhistkaosani as well as the influence of Persian literature. Serapion Sabashvili-Kedelauri began writing Rostomiani, a Georgian version of the famous Persian epic Shahname, and his work was completed by Khosrov Turmanidze. Among other Persian translations, Georgian writers produced Barzuname, Utrutiani, Saamiani, and Baamaniani. A sequel to Vepkhistkaosani, Omainiani followed the adventures of Tariel’s offspring. Bagrat Mukhranbatoni authored a treatise on Islam, entitled Motkhrobai sjulta ugrmtota ismailita(Treatise on the Faith of the Infidel Ismailites), in which he compared Christianity and Islam. Rusudaniani, one of the most important works heralding the Georgian renaissance, was written in the 1640s and later versified in 1732. In 1681-1687, Ioseb Tbileli wrote Didmouraviani, an epic poem of the struggle of Georgian people against foreign threats and the exploits of Giorgi Saakadze. 

The late 16th and early 17th century saw a tendency to versify many works, including Sulkhan and Begtabeg Taniashvili’s poetic version of Amirandaredjaniani, King Archil’s Visramiani and Mamuka Tavakalashvili’s and Bardzim Vachnadze’s adaptation of Rostomiani.

In the 17th century, King Teimuraz I, a talented poet fluent in several languages, adapted from the Persian the romances of Leila and Mejnun (Leilmajnuniani), Josef and Zuleika (Ioseb zilikhaniani) and wrote numerous poems, including Tsigni da tsameba Ketevan dedoplisa, Gabaaseba gazafkhulisa da shemodgomisa, Gabaaseba bagisa da ghvinisa, Majama, Tamaris sidze davit garejas, Gremis sasakhle, etc. that breathed new life into Georgian literature. King Archil also proved himself a gifted writer of such works as Archiliani and Gabaaseba Teimurazisa da Rustvelisa that pulsated with patriotic sentiments. His writings influenced the contemporary Georgian literature and founded a new literary movement of realism (martlis tqma). King Archil also produced treatises on a number of subjects, among them Saqartvelos zneobani, Leqsni asni ormukhlni, Leqsni asdaatni and Leqsni aseulni, and translated several works from Russian. Among other authors, Peshangi Bertkadze wrote Shakhnavaziani on the life of King Vakhtang V while Joseph Saakadze produced Didmouraviani about Giorgi Saakadze.

In 1704-1724, King Vakhtang VI became a central figure in Georgia’s literary life. A monarch, scholar and poet, he translated Persian poems and collected and edited many historical works. On his orders, old manuscripts were sought and copied, important calligraphic schools were founded and new translations and original works appeared. In 1709, he established the first printing press in Tbilisi. Vakhtang’s tutor and companion Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani produced the first encyclopedic dictionary of the Georgian language, Sitkvis kona, which still remains relevant today, and authored many didactical fables, including Sibrdzne Sitsruisa and Stsavlani. Mamuka Baratashvili, authored a 63 verse long poem Qeba mefisa bakarisa and his other poems celebrated earthly love; his greatest work Chashniki anu leksis stsavlis tsigni (1731) served as the first modern “poetics” treatise in Georgian. Baratashvili’s innovation included breaking free of medieval Georgian meters and themes, which made him influential on later poets. In the mid-18th century, David Guramishvili wrote his Davitiani, which included the poem Bedi Kartlisa. King Teimuraz II left a rich literary legacy which includes his famous Dghisa da ghamis gabaaseba, Tavgadasavali, Sasakhlis qeba, Gabaaseba rustaveltan and translation of Timsariani. 

The period is noteworthy for the work of Bessarion Gabashvili, popularly known as Besiki. His poems Sevdis baghs shevel, Me mixvdi magas shensa bralebsa, Me shenze fiqrma mimarinda, Shavni shavni and, most of all, Tano tatano and Dedopals anazed remain among the best examples of Georgian romantic poetry. His heroic poetry includes the poems Aspindzistvis and Rukhis omi while his Rdzal-dedamtiliani, Chabua orbelianze and other lyrics reveal his satirical skills. His poetic rhythms and rhymes remain among the finest in Georgian literature and set the standard that the next generations of poets struggled to match. Timothy Gabashvili, an official at the royal courts, traveled extensively through the Caucasia and Middle East and described his experiences in Mimoslva. Giorgi Avalishvili and David Cholokashvili translated plays from foreign languages and helped develop Georgian dramaturgy. In Tbilisi, Sayat Nova or the King of Songs established himself as one of finest folk singer-songwriters, whose numerous songs described the life and toils of common people in Georgia and the neighboring countries.

The Russian annexation of Georgia in early the 19th century began a new stage in the history of Georgian literary culture. Ioann Bagration wrote his Kalmasoba, which discussed literary-mythological issues and analyzed Georgian poetry. The literary school of Georgian romanticism found full expression in the works of Alexander Chavchavadze, Nikoloz Baratashvili and Grigol Orbeliani. Chavchavadze was fascinated by the ideas of the Enlightenment and translated many works of the French philosophers. His poems, Gogcha, Vai droni, droni, Isminet msmenno, Kavkasia and others, lament the lost past of Georgia while his Sikvarulo dzalsa shensa remains one of the most romantic poems in Georgian literature. Orbeliani’s poetry is noteworthy for its feelings of patriotism and humanity. Among his major works are Iaralis, Mukhambazi and Sadghegrdzelo anu omis shemdeg ghame lkhini Erevnis siakhloves. Despite leaving only some 40 poems and lyrics, Baratashvili is considered the best poet of Georgian romanticism. His ingenuous squib portrayed a complex inner world of the human soul. The feeling of loneliness run thorough his early poems (Twilight over the Mtatsminda, 1836, and Reflections on the Kura's Banks, 1837) and reached its climax in the poem Lonely Soul (1839). In his poems, Baratashvili sang of high moral ideals and sought his own path to improve society. The poet's struggle against the powers of darkness found expression in one of his best poems, Merani, which has been influential on later Georgian poets. With its mystical vision of future, it also served as a symbol of progress and eternal movement forward. 

The next generation of Georgian writers included Solomon Razmadze, Alexander Orbeliani, Vakhtang Orbeliani, Giorgi Eristavi, David Machabeli, Mikhail Tumanishvili, Grigol Rcheulishvili and others. In the mid-19th century, romanticism was gradually replaced by critical realism. Giorgi Eristavi founded the first Georgian theater company in 1850 and established himself as an eminent dramatist and playwright. Among his finest plays are the bitter comedies Dava any tochka da zapetaia (1840) and Gakra (1849) that ridiculed contemporary society. His fellow dramatist, Lavrenti Ardaziani, wrote the first social novel, Solomon Isakich Mejganuashvili, which reflected the rise of middle class in Georgia and the struggle between the bourgeoisie and nobility. Georgian realism was further developed in the works of Daniel Chonkadze, whose novel Suramis tsikhe criticized serfdom, nobility and clergy. 

The second half of the 19th century produced a group of Georgian writers, whose works and activities were instrumental in reviving the Georgian language, spreading literacy and awakening Georgian national consciousness. These authors, also known as Tergdaleulni, were oftentimes inspired by the events in Europe, especially the Revolutions of 1848 and the unification of Italy in the 1860s. They favored liberal reforms and directed their energy to the revival of the Georgian literature and language. As a result, Tergdaleulni clashed with older generations of writers and conservative elements of the society, often known as the “fathers” or Mtkvardaleulni. Unlike “the fathers,” who used the medieval language of the church, the Tergdaleulni used the vernacular language for their publications in order to make them more accessible to the common people and called for a language reform which incensed the conservatives. When the “fathers” closed the pages of their newspapers to them, the Tergdaleulni turned to the journals Droeba, Sasoflo gazeti, Krebuli, Obzori, Iveria, Kvali and Tifliski vestnik, which played an important role in spreading their ideas. Giorgi Tsereteli earned the reputation of a talented publicist and author of critical realism novels and articles on history and literary criticism. He served as the first editor of the journals Droeba, Kvali and Krebuli. Anton Purtseladze’s works are dedicated to historical themes and include Marabda, Didi Mouravi, Matsi Khvitia and others. Raphael Eristavi gained fame for his vaudevilles and plays - Nino, Ghvino, Mbrunavi stolebi, Jer daikhotsnen, mere iqortsines, Khevsuris samshoblo etc.- that dealt with problems of the common people. Iakob Gogebashvili made important contributions to pedagogy and his textbook, Dedaena, set new standards and was important in spreading literacy in Georgia.

Ilia Chavchavadze emerged as one of the leaders of this movement and his numerous literary works became classics of Georgian literature. His first major works, Sakhrchobelaze, Katsia-adamiani? Kako-qachaghi, and Otaraant kvrivi, portray with subtle humor, irony and detail the degeneration of the Georgian gentry and the life of the common people. His later works, Mepe Dimitri Tavdadebuli and Gandegili, exalt self-immolation and religious redemption while his many poems, including Achrdili, Elegia, Kartlis dedas, Kvarelis mtebs, etc., are filled with patriotic sentiments. Mgzavris tserilebi revealed his criticism of contemporary society and set out his goals for the national revival of Georgia. 

Chavchavadze’s close associate was another great poet Akaki Tsereteli. He helped found the Georgian Drama Society and played an important role in the development of Georgian journalism. Tsereteli established and edited several popular magazines, including Akakis tviuri krebuli and Khumara. Tsereteli’s reputation as one of the finest Georgian writers is based on the numerous poems and novels he authored throughout his life. Among his major lyrics are Alexandra (1860), Simghera mkis dros, Glekhis aghsareba (1863), Tsitsinatela (1869), Mukhambazi, Aghmart-aghmart, Rom itsode chemi gulis dardebi (1876), Gazapkhuli (1881), Khanjals, Qebata qeba (1882), Amirani (1883), Chaghara (1886), Satrfos, Gantiadi (1892), Tqveni chirime (1905), and Momakvdavis fiqrebi (1911). Many of his poems were made into songs and Suliko (1895) still remains one of the most popular songs in Georgia. Tsereteli’s epic poems include Bagrat didi (1875), Tornike Eristavi (1883), Tamar Tsbieri (1885), Kikolis Naambobi (1889), Patara Kakhi (1890), Natela (1897), and Gamzrdeli (1898). He proved to be equally talented as a writer of prose, authoring Bashi-Achuki (1895-1896) and the insightful autobiographical Chemi tavgadasavali (1894-1908).

In the 1880s-1890s, another group of writers, influenced by the ideology of narodniki, established the journal Imedi in Tbilisi. Among its active members were Soprom Mgaloblishvili, Ekaterine Gabashvili, Niko Lomouri and others. They directed their efforts to the development of specific genres, including autobiographical and social novels, which sought to publicize the toils of the common people. Ivane Machabeli emerged as a preeminent translator of European works and produced translations of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Richard III, Julius Ceasar and others works. In 1881, Alexander Kazbegi’s novel Elgudja became a scandal because of its positive portrayal of mountaineers and their struggle against Tsarism. It was followed by Alexander Kazbegi’s Eliso (1882), Mamismkvleli (1882), Tsiko (1883), Khevisberi Gocha (1884) and other novels, which described in fascinating and engaging detail the life of Georgian mountaineers, their customs and oppression. Luka Razikahsvili, publishing under his pen-name Vazha Pshavela (A lad from Pshavi), produced instant classics of Georgian literature, among them the poems Aluda Ketelauri, Bakhtrioni, Stumar-Paspindzeli, Gogotur and Apshina, Gvelischamia, Eteri, Mindia, etc. These poems discuss the conflict between love and duty, individual morality and society’s imperatives, and combine the native folklore of the Georgian mountainous regions with European literary traditions. Vazha Pshavela’s portrayals of mountain landscapes and beauty remains unsurpassed in Georgian literature

In the 1890s, the realism movement in Georgian literature was uplifted by a new generation of authors, including Egnate Ninoshvili, Shio Aragvispireli, Davit Kldiashvili, Vasili Barnovi, Alexander Eristavi-Khostaria. Their work – Ninoshvili’s Simona, Kristine, Gogia Uishvili, Paliastomi, Guriis Ajanqeba, etc; Aragvispireli’s Mitsaa, Agsdeg, Polli, Shio Tavadi and Gabzaruli Guli; Kldiashvili’s Mikela, Solomon Morbeladze, Samanishvilis dedinatsvali, Kamushadze’s gachirveba, Mikhail Javakhishvili’s Eka, Tetri sakelo, Kvachi Kvachantiradze, Jakos khiznebi, Arsena Marabdel and, Kalis tvirti and others portrayed social inequality, the grim reality of oppressed peasants and the underlings and decadent lords, the struggle between individual happiness and public morality and conflict between the individual and society. Vasili Barnovi pioneered the genre of historical novel with his Isnis tsiskari, Sakhifato sikvaruli, Mimkrali sharavndedi, Trfoba tsamebuli, Khazarta sasdzlo, Armazis mskhvreva, Giorgi Saakadze, Dedofali Bizantiisa, Tsodva sichabukisa, Tamar mrtsemi and others. Barnovi’s rich vocabulary and rhythmic prose style popularized the historical novel in Georgia and established the standards of this genre. In 1919, he also authored Kartuli sitkvierebis istoriis gakvetilebi, the first textbook on the history of Georgian literature. Simultaneously, folk song writer Ietim Gurji’s poems dealt with the everyday toil of artisans, merchants and peasantry and sang the praises of Tbilisi and its unique atmosphere. 

The first decades of the 20th century saw the establishment of the Tsisperkantslebi group that played an important role in reviving and developing Georgian poetry and prose. It was created under the guidance of the poet Grigol Robakidse and eventually included such prominent poets as Paolo Iashvili, Titsian Tabidze, Galaktion Tabidze, Nikolo Mitsishvili, Kolau Nadiradze, Valerian Gaprindashvili and others. The Tsisperkantselebi sought to connect the traditional Georgian culture with modern trends and were influenced by symbolism. They thrived during the liberal years of the democratic republic in 1918-1921 but came under pressure following the Bolshevik occupation of Georgia. Some of the group members emigrated to Europe while others stayed behind. Robakidze moved to Germany, where he produced his major works Lamara, Londa, Malshtremi and Gvelis perangi. His works remained prohibited in Georgia until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The repression of the 1920s and the 1930s profoundly affected Georgian literature as Socialist themed works appeared en masse. Those writers who stayed behind were persecuted by the Soviet authorities for their “decadent” poetry during the Stalinist purges in the 1930s. The most important of them were Titsian Tabidze and Paolo Iashvili, whose lyrics often combined symbolism and mysticism. However, Iashvili was hunted down until he committed suicide inside the building of the Georgian Writers’ Union in July 1937 while Titsian Tabidze was imprisoned and died in exile. Another fellow Tsisperkantseli, Kolau Nadiradze, escaped certain death when his interrogators were themselves arrested during the purges but for the remainder of his life he distanced himself from the social scene. Galaktion Tabidze survived the purges and authored hudnreds of poems that established him as one of the greatest Georgian poets and accorded him the rare honor of being known simply as Galaktion. Among his most famous poems are Usikvarulod, Me da Ghame, Kari hkris, Droshebi chkara, Sasaplaoni, etc. However, Tabidze committed suicide in 1959. One positive aspect of the persecution lay in the fact that many Georgian writers, unable to express their own ideas, turned to translation of European poetry and proze which introduced Georgian readers to diverse genres and works.

Despite the Soviet censorship and emphasis on Socialist ideals, the period also produced several great writers. The foremost of them is Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, who authored several epic Georgian historical novels, including Dionisos ghimili, Mtvaris motatseba, Didostatis marjvena, Vazis kvaviloba and Davit Aghmashenebeli. His works brought unprecedented subtlety of phrasing to Georgian prose and established new models of syntactic construction. Leo Kiacheli gained his fame with Gvadi Bigva, Tavadis Kali Maya, Almasgir Kibulan and Khaki Adzba. Joseph Grishashvili, arguably one of the finest Georgian poets of the past century, wrote his memorable love lyrics and translated into Georgian the works of Armenian, Azeri and Russian poets. Anna Kalandadze, one of the most acclaimed Georgian poets, began publishing her short and personal poems in the 1940s and quickly gained popularity with her laconic but subtle and intimate lyrics. Grigol Abashidze revived the classical style poems and intertwined themes of past and present, historical symbolism and philosophy. He later produced a series of acclaimed historical novels, including Lasharela, Didi ghame and Tsotne dadiani anu kartvelta datsema da amaghleba. 

While the late 1950s were politically the period of the Thaw, the administration of Vasili Mzhavanadze was anti-intellectual and literary circles and journals were either suppressed or kept under the tight control. Major periodicals included the Literaturnaia Gruziia and Mnatobi, under the editorship of Mikheil Mrevlishvili and Vano Tsulukidze respectively, while the monthly journal Tsiskari was founded in 1957. However, old Party functionaries often dominated these journals and thwarted the rise of the younger talents. Throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970, the book publishing remained under direct Party control. Nevertheless, younger voices could still be heard and Mukhran Machavariani, influenced by Walt Whitman, celebrated love and nature and earned fame as a talented poet and translator of European poetry, whose works remain popular for the last five decades. In the late 1950s, Tariel Chanturia emerged as one of the more artistic poets, whose works were published in the literary journals Tsiskari and Mnatobi. Giorgi Shatberashvili’s short story Mkvdris mze enjoyed great popularity in 1959. Nodar Dumbadze remains one of the popular authors in Georgia. His first works appeared in various journals in the 1950s and his first anthology of stories Sopleli bichi was published in 1960. The same year, Dumbadze wrote one of his best, and most popular, novels Me, bebia, iliko da ilarioni, followed by three more successful novels Me vkhedav mzes, Tetri bairaghebi, and Maradisobis kanoni which discussed social and moral problems within Georgian society. 

In 1972, Eduard Shevardnadze was appointed the first secretary of the CP of Georgia. Unlike his predecessor, Shevardnadze provided more financial and political support for Georgian literature, cinema and theater; however, he also never hesitated to persecute and severely punish any intellectual who dared to challenge his policies. In the 1970s, the number of literary journals increased as Kritika was founded in 1972, Saunje in 1974, and Gantiadi in 1972. Otar Ioseliani established himself as one of the leading dramatists, whose Sanam uremi gadabrundeba and Ekvsi shinabera da erti mamakatsi enjoyed critical and popular acclaim in Georgia and eastern Germany. One of the greatest works of the 1970s came from the pen of Chabua Amirejibi, whose epic Data Tutashkhia (1973-1975) was conceived while he was in prison in Siberia. The novel follows the tragic life of Data Tutashkhia, who is forced to lead a life of brigandage against the Russian authorities and oppression. However, the larger theme of the book deals with the issue of fate, personal freedom, morality and injustice. Amirejibi’s next work, Gora Mborgali (started in 1978), dealt with his experiences from childhood to middle age and imprisonment in Siberia, but it was not published until 1995. In stylistic sense, Otar Chiladze proved to be a more fluent writer as he turned away from Soviet themes and his novels sought to combine myth and history as shown in his Gzaze erti katsi midioda (1972-1973), Kovelman chmmena mpovnelman (1976), and Rkinis teatri (1981). His latest work, Avelum, appeared in 1995 and dealt with the disastrous years of 1989-1991. Chiladze also wrote a number of successful plays, including Nates tsiteli tsaghebi, Labirinti, etc. In similar fashion, Rezo Mishveladze proved himself to be a master of novelettes and short stories with his collections Mtsukhri (1983), Elda (1987), Ganacheni (1990), Samotsdarva akhali novella (1997), Ai kvekana (1999), and others. 

The 1990s saw the rise of a new generation of writers and poets who tend to break away from traditions and established norms; thus Lasha Bughadze’s recent novel on Queen Tamar led to an uproar for its graphic portrayal of intimacy between the Georgian queen and her Russian husband. The new works are written in colloquial Georgian, instead of literary language, which make them more affable to younger generation of readers. Guram Dochanashvili is often acknowledged as one of the more talented contemporary writers for his novels Samoseli pirveli, Lodi Nasakdrali, Katsi romelsats literatura dzlier ukvarda, and others. Aka Morchiladze (Giorgi Akhvlediani) enjoys critical and popular success with Paliashvilis kuchis dzaglebi, Santa esperanza, and Gaseirneba karabaghshi. His works reveal the predicaments facing the Georgian society, especially the youth. David Turashvili became prominent with his travelogues and novels Katmandu, Merani, Natsnobi da utsnobi amerika, and his play Jeans Generation. Among other prominent writers are Zaal Samadasvili, Jemal Kartskhadze, Rezo Tabukashvili, Beso Khvedelidze, Irakli Javakhadze, Nugzar Sataidze, Vazha Gigashvili, Tamar Pkhakadze, and others. Contemporary Georgian poetry is enriched by the works of Gaga Nakhutsrishvili, Rati Amaghlobeli, Dato Maghradze, Vazha Khornauli, and others. 

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