Otar Chkheidze's Novel The Mist and Our Modernity

Otar Chkheidze's Novel The Mist and Our Modernity





Otar Chkheidze's Novel The Mist and Our Modernity


Otar Chkheidze's novel The Mist describes Georgia's life as part of the Soviet Union. It is not about the first period of the re-annexation of the small country by the Empire, but about the subsequent years, which is also confirmed by one phrase of the main character, Salome: "Thank God, we finished with the “proletculturschina” (proletarian culture) on time." i.e. The "elite" society, which mainly consists of family and relatives of state officials, has the full right to play "aristocracy": gatherings all night, entertainment based on the best planned programs, going to theater and opera every evening, etc. The novel depicts the falsity, ruthlessness, utilitarianism of this society. The author shows and mocks many defects of this society mainly using irony. The novel is based on historical reality - the "cleansing" of scientific institutions by the Soviet ideology from scientists of non-communist, bourgeois thinking, the promotion of non-professionals, “erasing” of honorable and valuable people from science in the name of truth. Otar Chkheidze also describes a specific historical fact - repressions against the Institute of Psychology; not criticism of Uznadze's "Theory of Mood" (which was the image of Georgia abroad and in the entire cultural world), but the attempt by so-called Soviet scientists, to destroy it; Otar Chkheidze does not stop at the literary interpretation of only one fact and shows that the described is typical for the entire Soviet Union. The finale of the work is shrouded in obscurity, the future of the characters is unknown, the reader's interest is high, which the write is well aware of: “A good speaker and a good listener should not be separated from each other so easily, but who knows, will we be named good speaker and good listener, huh? !" When the novel was written, it was still 1954, “the Chief” (Stalin), just died recently and no one knew what new challenges history was preparing for both speakers and listeners;  no one knew whether they would remain "good" or not.

In addition to showing the historical context and the typicality of the event, our task is also to show the reader that in our society the remnants of Soviet ideology are still strong nowadays, which partly derives from a sense of elitism, while each “regime” has its own elite.



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ჩხეიძე ო. (2020). „ბურუსი“, თბილისი : გამომცემლობა „ჩვენი მწერლობა“.