Past Event

The Doublespeak of Georgian Literature and Translation

April 2, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219

Please join the Harriman Institute for a discussion with Khatuna Beridze and Bela Tsipuria. Moderated by Valentina Izmirlieva.

Georgian literature and translation present the vibrant national discourse of the 19th century, which was shaped by the generation of the 1860s and revitalized and reshaped by modernists in the 1920s to confront the challenges posed by Soviet influence. A literary journey through Stalin’s era to the period of the Thaw shows how the Georgian writers Chabua Amirejibi, Otar Chkheidze, Nodar Dumbadze masterfully weaved together Soviet and national discourses through their works, as well as through their lifestyle as a form of resilience. The hybridity became the quality of Georgian poetry and prose, as well as literary criticism and translation.

A journey into the world of Soviet translations will reflect on the ideological shifts in the poetry of Titsian Tabidze, Galaktion Tabidze, and Simon Chikovani. Reflecting on the metaphor of translation within Georgia-Russia political and literary exchanges, one observes the imagination of Georgia and its reconfigured geo-cultural identity under the stringent censorship policy within the Soviet Empire. The unveiled archival bulletins from the Center for Soviet and East European Studies of Southern Illinois University, dating back to 1975 explore Georgian-American cultural relations during the Soviet regime. The bulletins, curated by the director Herbert Marshall, not only present his translations of Georgian poetry, but also shed light on the remarkable historical discovery of Shota Rustaveli's fresco by a Georgian expedition in Jerusalem in 1960. The recent charity publication of the book ‘It turns out that you were in the basement of the Mariupol theater, my God!’ - ‘Виявляється, ти був у підвалі маріупольського театру, боже!’ presents Georgian and Ukrainian poetry of war in three languages, a collaborative effort between Ukrainian and Georgian professors, including K. Beridze’s translations.

Contact Information

Eileen Huhn
(212) 854-6217