Perspectives on the Development of Literature in the Context of the Colonial Regime and the Independence of the Country

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Gia Arganashvili


While the national literature has been developed for centuries under the conditions of the colonial regime, it is natural for the reader to find difficulty in distinguishing between fictional works created in the conditions of freedom and the colonial regime.

If we analyze this issue with the example of our country in mind, then we must confront both the literature created under colonial rule and in the time of freedom. Indeed, it is through such a comparative analysis that we can then identify the literary peculiarities characteristic of both eras.

At the same time, it is natural to consider the author's creative individuality as well as the paradigmatic features of each epoch in which the author is inculcated.

Considering all of this, we can analyze, on the one hand, the work of Shota Rustaveli (12th century, Golden Age of Georgia), and on the other hand, the work of Nikoloz Baratashvili (19th century, a country that became a province of Russia). These two literary works provide an excellent platform for discussing the most fruitful conditions for literature development.

In this case, the subject of relative controversy will be the hero-knight of the epic ("Panther-skinned"), and on the other hand the lyrical "Meran" character - also a rider who, like the first, tries to cross the border of destiny over to a promised land of harmony.

It is important to recognize that "Merani" is as highly acclaimed as Rustaveli’s “Vepkhistkaosani." If the classical epic tradition is perfectly found and manifest in Rustaveli's poem, then "Merani is the most brilliant example of lyrical self-expression characteristic of romantic poetry" (Guram Asatiani).

Lastly, we should not assume that this research will necessarily lead us to a banal conclusion, one in which the literature produced under colonial rule inevitably reflects a process of resistance or obedience to the current situation. The solution to the current situation is often to isolate oneself from reality. An even more effective way to escape colonial influence is to focus on a different cultural space which, in turn, carves a whole new modern paradigm for considering the national interest.

This research is relevant and timely and, thus, we hope its results will be read with enthusiasm and appropriate interest. And, perhaps more importantly, we hope that these dual perspectives of literature (colonial, independent) will be thoughtfully acknowledged.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial and Neocolonial Experiences