Vazha-Pshavela. Photo by Alexander Roinashvili
July 26, 1861
|Died||July 10, 1915
Tiflis, Georgia (country)
|Occupation||Poet, short story writer|
|Genres||Epic, Drama, Poetry|
|Notable work(s)||Host and Guest (Epic poem, 1893); Snake eater (Epic poem, 1901); Aluda Ketelauri (Epic poem, 1888)|
|Children||Levan Razikashvili, Tamar Razikashvili, Gulkan razikashvili, Vakhtang Razikashvili|
Vazha-Pshavela (Georgian: ვაჟა-ფშაველა, IPA: [vaʒa pʰʃavɛla]; July 26, 1861 – July 10, 1915) is the pen-name of the Georgian poet and writer Luka P. Razikashvili (Georgian: ლუკა რაზიკაშვილი, IPA: [lukʼa razikʼaʃvili]), a classic of the new Georgian literature.
Vazha-Pshavela was born in a small village Chargali (Pshavi mountainous province in Eastern Georgia) in a family of clergyman. He graduated from the Pedagogical Seminary in Gori 1882, where he became close to Georgian populists (narodniki). Then 1883 entered Law Department of St. Petersburg University (Russia) as a non-credit student, but returned to Georgia in 1884 due to financial restraints. Worked as a teacher of Georgian language. He was also a famous representative of a National-Liberation movement of Georgia.
Vazha-Pshavela started his literature activities in mid-1880s. In his works, he portrayed everyday life and psychology of his contemporary Pshavs. Vazha-Pshavela is the author of many world-class literary works - 36 epics, about 400 poems ("Aluda Ketelauri", "Bakhtrioni", "Gogotur and Apshina", "Host and Guest", "Snake eater", "Eteri", "Mindia", etc.), plays, and stories, as well as ethnographic, journalistic, and critic articles. He pictured the highlanders' life almost exactly ethnographically and still recreated an entire world of mythological concepts. In his poetry, the poet addressed the heroic past of his people and appealed to the struggle against external and internal enemies (poems A Wounded Snow Leopard (1890), A Letter of a Pshav Soldier to His Mother (1915), etc.).
In his best epic compositions, Vazha-Pshavela exposed the problems of interaction between an individual and a society, a human and nature, love and duty before the nation. A conflict between an individual and a temi (community) is depicted in epics Aluda Ketelauri (1888, Russian translation, 1939) and Guest and Host (1893, Russian translation 1935); its characters choose against some obsolete laws of their community.
The poet's preferences are strong-willed people, their dignity, and zeal for freedom. The same themes are touched in the play The Rejected One (1894). Vazha-Pshavela idealized the Pshavs' old rituals, their purity, and non-degeneracy with the "false civilization". The wise man Mindia in the epic Snake-Eater (1901, Russian translation 1934) dies because he cannot reconcile his ideals with the needs of his family and society. The epic Bakhtrioni (1892, Russian translation 1943) narrates on participation of the Georgian highlander tribes in the uprising of Kakheti (East Georgia) against the Iranian subjugators in 1659.
As a nature admirer, Vazha-Pshavela knows no comparison in Georgian poetry. His landscapes are full of motion and internal conflicts. The language is saturated with all the riches of his native language, and yet this is an impeccably exact literary language. Thanks to excellent translations into Russian (by Nikolay Zabolotsky, V. Derzhavin, Osip Mandelshtam, Boris Pasternak, S. Spassky, Marina Tsvetaeva, and others), translations into English (by Donald Rayfield, Venera Urushadze, Lela Jgerenaia, Nino Ramishvili, and others), translations into French (by Gaston Bouatchidzé), translations into German (by Yolanda Marchev, Steffi Chotiwari-Jünger).
Vazha-Pshavela's compositions have became available to representatives of other nationalities of the ex-USSR.
Poems and narrative stories of Vazha-Pshavela are published in more than 20 languages.
The mountaineer poet Vazha-Pshavela is indeed, as Donald Rayfield writes,‘qualitatively of a greater magnitude than any other Georgian writer’.
The five epic poems of Vazha-Pshavela ('Aluda Ketelauri' (1888), 'Bakhtrioni' (1892), 'Host and Guest' (1893), 'The avenger of the blood' (1897), 'Snake eater' (1901)) is based on the principle Golden ratio, thus this poems resembles the works of Ancient and Renaissance authors.
In 1961, a museum and memorial was built in Chargali to honor Vazha-Pshavela.
- Aluda Ketelauri, 1888
- Bakhtrioni, 1892
- Host and Guest, 1893
- The avenger of the blood, 1897
- Snake eater, 1901
- A feast, 1886
- The ogre's wedding, 1886
- A goldfinger's will, 1891
- A night in the highland, 1890
- The story the roebuck, 1883
- An old beech, 1889
- The mountains height, 1895
- The scene in the mountain, 1889
- Hunted of the homeland (drama), 1894
- The forest comedy, 1911
- Vedreba (The encounter), The romantic drama, according to the Vazha-Pshavela poems "Aluda Ketelauri" and "Host and Guest", (this movie was awarded the Grand Prix at the 17th San Remo international Festival of Author Films, 1974), the film director Tengiz Abuladze - 1967
- Mokvetili, The romantic drama, according to the Vazha-Pshavela's drama Hunted of the homeland, the film director Giorgi (Gia) Mataradze - 1992
- "Host and Gust" The Play by Synetic Theater - USA - directed by Paata Tsikurishvili - 2002 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEuJCVC4jt0
- Donald Rayfield (1994). The Literature of Georgia: A History. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 207.
- Mixo Mosulišvili. "Vazha-Pshavela". Open Library. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- "გურამ გაგოშიძე". Armuri.4forum.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- Aliko Askilashvili. "Mokvetili, Georgian National Filmography". Geocinema.ge. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- Grigol Robakidze, "Georgian Poet Vazha-Pshavela".- J. "Russkaya Mysl", August 1911 (in Russian)
- Isidore Mantskava, "Vazha-Pshavela".- J. "Damoukidebeli Sakartvelo", Paris, No: 119, 1935, pp. 9–11 (in Georgian)
- Miho Mosulishvili, "Vazha-Pshavela", Non-fiction, a series of The Illustrative Biographies from Publishing house Pegasi, 2011, ISBN 9789941917967 (in Georgian)
- "Georgian literature." Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Anniversaries with which UNESCO is associated in 2010-2011, (24) 150th anniversary of the birth of Vazha Pshavela, writer (1861-1915) (Georgia)
- Celebration of anniversaries with which UNESCO is associated in 2010-2011, (Brochure (pdf), page 68)
- Vazha Pshavela
- The snake-eater
- Host and Guest