Anna Imnaishvili                                                                                                                                                                        # 6

Beginning of Post Modernization in Space of the Georgian Culture


In Georgian reality, post modernization is still under suspect until now. It  is still disputable, whether this phenomena  is in us or not and If there is such, in which kind. Having implemented in face of experience or just simply, the Georgian authors have contributed in the world Cultural Aesthetics, having written in such a way. I still suppose, that postmodern in Georgia didn't turn out to be in well-prepared state, nevertheless, that the Georgian consciousness learnt about this trend later in the middle of 90s.

How did the Georgian Cultural space accept postmodern? The polemics was held about it in Georgian science of Literature. The critics Levan Bregvade, Bela Tsipuria, Nugzar Muzashvili were reviewing not only the writing of the last ten years of XX century from this point of view, but the creation of authors of earlier period, i.e. the men of letters proof, that we can see the postmodern in prose of Otar Chkheidze, Guram Dochanashvili, Naira Gelashvili, Jemal Kachkhadze and Revaz Inanishvili (,,Jargvale"). The findings and regulations of the men of letters are exactly comprehended. In the works of the above mentioned authors, they noticed the main characteristic features of postmodernism, intellectuality, essentiality, interpretation.

The Georgian poet and theorist Dato Bakradze considers, that the systematical presentation of Postmodern theorists on our background hasn't gained the desirable result.

The concept-postmodern was for the  first time mentioned by Poet David Chikhradze in the Georgian Art Journalism. Dato Barbakadze mentioned the artists - Karlo Kacharava and Gia Bugadze as the Georgian researchers of Postmodern with David Chikhradze. If the first one was interested in Postructuralism, the other was continuously reviewed the  various issues of Postmodern in his mini researches. By Dato Barbakadze's principal thinking: "Any text created in our cultural space and  oriented on Postmodern, which is aimed on working in the very our space, is predestined from the very beginning  for being and will be in such a text, as our mother contents in not giving its opportunity" (Bakradze 1998:104-107).

It's not  important who was the first, who mentioned Postmodernism in the Georgian Cultural Space or began the "making of this trend into Georgian", but the  important is, who began the "creation" of the Georgian Postmodernism - this innovation and herewith the successful belong to Zurab Karumadze and Aka Morchiladze in artistic literature.

In 1996, in Likani, there was held four days conference under the leadership of Zeinab Saradze - ,,Georgia in face with Postmodern". In fact, through this conference made the great part of the Georgian intellectuals know a lot in aesthetics of Postmodernism (Though, before it, two years earlier, there was held the seminar regarding the Postmodernism, where the Georgian theorists and the men of letters made the reports). Zurab Karumadze reminders about Likani conference: "The writers, critics, translators and the future publishers were participating in that conference. Besides the lacking of critics, the talking concerned with originated literary problems, from which one of them was the lacking of parody literature in the Georgian classical tradition and the late Mr. Vakhushti Kotetishvili showed the best examples of the Georgian Carnaval literature, certainly at the table, which were laid after the sessions and of course it was the People's poetry: the pearles of Skabrez and Parody, in short we had a great time, which was expressed in special publication under the title ,,Tetrameroni" (Karumadze 2009: 12).

If by David Barbakadze's opinion: "The Georgian mother-contents" is not giving the opportunity to be oriented on Postmodern, the writer Naira Gelashvili says, that "The Georgian Postmodern, it is lipstick on dead's lips". This trend was risen in the other political and state space. It occurred in built and won state and it is a natural result of the certain cultural stages. When the state is built, the civil society is formed, the  human being is protected, the civil society is formed, the human is protected, the writer is has the right of the luxury, to refuse for some values and such negation is making a good influence on the reader having a normal psychics. In our case, when all these don't exist, when the consciousness of society is criminal, the anarchy is dominated and all of us are unprotected, similar art acts as a lipstick on dead's lips.

In the art, the only aim  of which is an official novelty and virtuosity, nihilism is expressed, which is pushing the society still lacking the spirituality to more nihilism and cynicism (Gelashvili 2003:16).

What was Postmodernism pushed by for formation in Europe. Mechanization and Industrialization, dehumanization of mankind, wars, atomic catastrophes, terrorist acts - these are the reasons, which resulted the radical crushing  of the values of XX century and the crisis of writing. Certainly, global tragedies of this range, had not occurred in Georgia, but the breaking of our mentality and nihilism was resulted from the final of national movement and than the war of Abkhazia. Tskhinvali problems and the civil war were percepted not less tragically, but the result of Abkhazian war, is special with essential tragism. It caused the breaking of all kind of illusions and as a result of it - dehumanization and nihilism. Thus, we, as a result of tragedies we suffered from (what was accompanied by global crisis) turned out to be the members of Postmodern society and the bearers of this sensation.

We are completely comprehending Nugzar Muzashvili's thinking regarding the ,,Georgian Situation": ,,Georgia was introduced in "Postmodern Century" not by crisis of individualism and rationalism, such think had never existed to us, but the ten years of freedom. Very quickly developed events and comprehensiveness had risen the mistrustfulness to the stories, through the which our society carried out its foundation during the last two centuries and legitimating of its own views on surrounding world.  Accordingly, if the base of Western Postmodernism can be explained, as a great disappointment with rationalism, as such point of view turned out to be feeble in adequate reaching the world, the base of Georgian Postmodernism was connected with its own identity or entity. On the background of present crisis, all the "knowledge", what we had about ourselves unintentionally turned out to be under the common doubt. There were revealed the apologetic, pathetic, unreal contents of our stories" (Muzashvili 2001:3).

Postmodernism in Georgia was developed from painting and writing. Though, as Zurab Karumadze notes, the signes were already well revealed in post Soviet Georgia: in performances by M.Tumanishvili and R.Sturua, movies by G.Danelia, E.Shengelia, R.Esadze, Otar Ioseliani, Irakli Kvirikadze. If we still share Levan Bregadze's opinion: in the works of Avto Varazi, Sergo Parajanov, Givi Margvelashvili, Mukhran Machavariani were obviously revealed the signs characteristic for Postmodernism. The critics name Ana Kalandadze, Mukhran Machavariani, Otar  Chkheidze, Lia Sturua, Besik Kharunauli, Naira Gelashvili, Maka Jokhadze as Postmodernists and herewith it notes, that this phenomena of the Western Culture with the certain sings was already noticed to be in the work of generation of II world war. Herewith, it occurred earlier in the Georgian Cultural space, than in writing of Russia and the post Soviet Republics. Besides the scientist approves: "that none of the literary trend except the critical realism had not been so naturally recorded in the Georgian literary space, as Postmodern" (Bregadze 2005: 56). The literary Nugzar Muzashvili approves, that "Postmodernist world feeling, because of various reasons, became the epoch event in our country as well. The great part of our society obviously turned out to be mentally ready not only for accepting the Postmodernist aesthetics, but its appraisal as well" (Muzashvili 2001:3).

First of all, we should note, that these thinkings concerns with various periods of writing and if we can agree with Nugzar Muzashvili's thinking, giving the consent on Levan Bregadze's thinking is a difficult mutter without a deep and well-grounded research, as it is the one thing, when the signs of any trend appear in literature - superficial, uncomprehended, without the conceptual base and the it's quite another, when these signs are obtaining the face of tendencies and are formatted is a trend.

What is the base for the Georgian men of letters to come to such conclusions. Postmodernism, from one party, with its creative freedom, ideas, trend to playing, parodies was willingly accepted by the Georgian reader since 90s, for the certain part, because of require of having some novelty, "being tired", vagueness of political situation and the reasons, which are named by Nugzar Muzashvili. But the  same World feeling was impossible for the Georgian literature of 60-70s, which declares the  complete and non compromise readiness for the restoration of traditional system of views and enforcement of national narration. It was their very first task. Post the II world war period was special with pathetic of won country and not with "Postmodern feeling", searching the novelties and deheroization are not connected with the aspirations, which  in the next ten years were called as "Epistemological doubting" and "Postmodern irony" by the Western Philosophy. We can't see the requirement to give inadequate names to the events by quick and non argumented findings and through it make a false imagine on really and objectively occurring literary process.

The following remark belongs to Levan Bregvadze: "In Western science of literature it (Postmodernism) is beginning the inculcation since 60s and to us - from the end of 80s "during the period of Perestroika" ("Critics #1, 29 dated 2005). This thinking is already well-grounded, since 9 April 1989. Post Soviet Georgia is beginning its existence, which  was born with Postmodernist features.

Difference in opinions in connection with the beginning of Georgian Postmodernism is natural. As for the literature of 90s, Postmodernist tendencies are already clear and obvious here and the innovators and incalculators of these tendencies are the youth of 90s, which is already a material of difference research.


  1. Bakradze 1998: Luka Bakradze (one of the pen-name of Dato Barbakadze), "Postmodern and Georgia", The Journal "Tsiskari" №4, 1998.

  2.  Bregadze 2005: Bregadze Levan, "Post Soviet Culture space and literature process". "The Almanakhi", ,The critics", №1 2005.

  3.  Gelashvili 2003: Gelashvili Naira "Postmodernism in Georgia - It is a lipstick  of dead's lips". The Newspaper "The New Version" №85 2003.

  4.  Muzashvili 2001: Muzashvili Nugzar "Postmodernist biography". The Newspaper "Chveni Mtserloba" №48, 2001.

  5.  Karumidze 2009: Z.Karumidze. "Post Soviet Georgia and Post modernism". "The Hot Chocolate" - literature №25, №26, 2009.



Volume 3, Issue 2


Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Georgian Electronic Journal of Literature