Neorealism in Norwegian and Georgian literature

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Kakhaber Loria


As in Norway, a whole generation of great writers died in Georgia at the beginning of the 20th century. This is precisely the time when literary tendencies emerge in both Norway and Georgia, which are clearly realistic, but nevertheless differ significantly from classical social realism. The tendencies now manifesting themselves could be called Psychological Realism, Inner Realism, Ethical Realism. The characters often find themselves in a moral conflict, constantly faced with various dilemmas; the view of women as psychological and sexual beings changes, etc. This is the kind of literature in Norway united under the concept of Neorealism, with authors such as Undset, Duun, Falkberget, Uppdal and even the late Hamsun. Neorealism is a rather special Norwegian literary historical concept. At any rate, it is not used in all national European literary histories. In the Norwegian tradition, the term is identified with a literary trend that was important in Norway in the first part of the 20th century, especially from the moment the country gained independence in 1905 and until 1940, when the Second World War came to Norway. Much more rarely the term is also used in Georgia. One of the greatest figures in Georgian literature of the last century, Mikheil Javakhishvili called his prose Neorealism as early as in 1926. Since then, this term appears sporadically in writings about Georgian literature from the first part of the 20th century. When the authorship of other Georgian writers from this period (Aragvispireli, Kldiashvili, Kiacheli) are analysed in a comparative perspective, one finds many of the features that characterise Norwegian Neorealism. One could contend, therefore, that Neorealism as a scholarly concept should be systematically accepted to define a trend that played a decisive role in literary Georgia of that time.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Minor Literature, Small Literatures, Literature in Small Nations