Friedrich Nietzsche and Georgian Expressionistic Drama

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Ani Javakhishvili


The following study aims to determine general philosophical, theoretical and poetical concepts of expressionistic drama and analyze how this genre was revealed in the field of Georgian literature.

The essential philosophical base of expressionistic movement is decisively related to Friedrich Nietzsche’s theories (especially the concept of overman, concept of eternal return, Apollonian and Dionysian concepts. We aim to underline how Nietzsche’s ideas are reflected in the expressionistic paradigm and how Georgian authors have transformed them in their expressionistic works.

To underline the key elements of expressionistic drama, we analyze Nietzsche’s Theory of Tragedy, which is given in his first work The birth of Tragedy from The Spirit of Music. Besides, based on the analysis of 1910s German expressionistic dramas (including works by Ernst Toller, August Stramm, Georg Kaiser) and expressionistic manifest by Kasimir Edschmidd (“Uber die Expressionismus in der Literatur und die neue Dichtung”) we determine general poetical and formal elements of expressionistic drama.

Based on this theoretical background, this paper aims to analyze Georgian expressio­nistic drama, which includes works by Konstantine Gamsakhurdia and Grigol Robakidze. Konstantine Gamsakhurdia is considered as one of the most prominent and influential modernist authors in Georgia. Regardless of the fact, his expressio­nistic drama The Eternal Shell has not been analyzed in Georgian criticism yet. Accordingly, this study is the first attempt to determine its theoretical and philoso­phical aspects applying comparative and hermeneutic method of analysis; 

Grigol Kobakhidze’s expressionistic dramas (Maelstorm, Londa and Lamara), which have been staged multiple times, are significant as they have close connection with the European expressionistic dramas and movies (especially: Metropolis by Fritz Lang). These dramas convey the alienation of fragile modernist world, where “God is dead” (Nietzsche) and the human is left alone suffering in anticipation of inevitable catastrophe.

We think that Georgian expressionistic drama is subtle and noteworthy part of the European expressionistic movement; So, this research is attempt to discover connec­tions, similarities and differences between Georgian and European expressionistic literary paradigms. 

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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