Eastern and European cultural orientation - challenges for the Georgian literary process

Eastern and European cultural orientation - challenges for the Georgian literary process





Literature, History, Cultural-historic orientation, European culture, Georgian culture


    History of literature, along with the diversity of forms of genres, methodology, problematic and artistic approach, is also the history of cultural-historic orientation. The given thesis especially fits the history of Caucasian culture. The term Caucasus culture itself means different and individual cultural traditions of many different smaller nations including the Georgian literature and its most representative part – literature. It is a known fact that starting the Middle Ages, the center of cultural civilization has moved from Asia to Europe. Historiographic and oriental researches recognize the clear influence of early Christian philosophy on the Caucasian (Georgian) literature processes of the 5th – 9th centuries. Such culturological orientation was the result of influence from the Middle East cultural-historic region.

  During the next stage (9th – 11th centuries) the area of eastern cultural orientation extended and the so-called general literature or knight epos was founded on the basis of eastern creative method and its creativemental approaches; such influence from eastern cultural traditions continued for quite a long period of time, till the end of the 18th century… This happened when the oriental culture was not a cultural dominant and its influence amplitude weakened even over the geographically eastern area. From the beginning of the 19th century, in Georgian culture appeared the certain oriental cutting and attempt of shifting the cultural field. First “European beam” entered the Georgian literature along with European methodology, meaning the romantic school;, although, the given tendency appeared to be quite impulsive and unnoticeable for Georgian cultural cognition. Europeanization process was in fact resumed from the 1860s, when the new generation of writers appeared, although, despite their work in one epoch, their choice towards nonmaterial values was different: for one part of this generation, appealing to European values was expressed in activation of national and social issues, while in the creative heritage of the second part of them, we can see the tendency of search for and introduction of new creative methods.

Still, such closing with European values has not become the foundation for the introduction of orientation in the context of whole historic memory. In early 20th century, Georgian culture-literature again faced the toughest reality: what appeared was the clear creative crisis, which was expressed by replacement of literature values by pseudo and “cheap” literature. The given process was the result of the mentalphilosophic clash between Marxist and Nietzschean worldviews. We must presume that the given crisis became the motivation and challenge for new creative searches, which were conducted by at that time very young, future Georgian modernists. From this point started the clear and irreversible process of Europeanization; modernist philosophy introduced completely new creative forms in literature. In poetry it was the meditational perception of subjects and events, description of psychological world of a lyrical character, art of symbolic-paradigm perception, understanding of irrational world and realizing the role of a human being in it. In addition to all the aforementioned, in literature appeared a new character – a rebel citizen harshly realizing and analyzing the reality – the so-called “new perception” character.


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