Georgian literature at the crossroads: cultural challenges from colonialreality to Europeanization

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Tamar Paichadze


Integration of culture with Euro-Atlantic cultural space is a significant challengeof the Georgian literature in the process of new historical regulation.  The given issue is especially important for a post-Soviet period country.  At that point the new genres, themes and images in the culture and literature gain specific meaning.  The modern cultural process in searching for certain forms, which allow adapting Georgian culture with European standards.  

The word “Europe” does not of course mean a leveled space, a united cultural or even political monolith. Europe has many, strong co-perception of common history, mutual intersections; there have been many events in the history of  Europe which affected not just one specific country, although there is quite clear perception of different peoples, their lifestyles.  

The discussion about Georgian culture being European, or non-European started in 1990’s; Degree of integration became decisive;  Are we ready for Georgian culture to integrate with European cultural and Euro-Atlantic space?  When speaking about Georgia we must consider two issues.  To what extent our culture is compatible with general principles of liberal democracy, meaning to what extent our cultural-mental area can integrate with European countries considering its historical and cultural peculiarities.  

In Georgia, just as in all other post-totalitarian countries the processes developed in the opposite direction:  the so called violent model was dominant, which was against the essence of western civilization, when we first gain a country and then a country forms a new culture.  The certain reflection of dominant culture is the direct result of the above mentioned; against this oppression which resulted in pseudo and fictional imagination of Georgian mentality and tolerance. Totalitarian consciousness prohibited fictional shows, mystical and sacral problematic, the so called “immaterial themes” in each field of arts.      

These processes have been gradually revealed in Georgian culture/literature 

which is reasoned by three main factors:  I-freedom from totalitarian regime; II-tradition of integration of Georgian culture with European processes (at the boundary of XIX-XX centuries); III-critical-analytical and esthetic-democratic innovations in Georgian literature – new genres in new art reality.  

Thus, Georgian culture is at the crossroads: the process of cultural exchange from a colonial framework to an open, free creative process is still in the present process with its multifaceted manifestations

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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