Konstantine Gamsakhurdia

Picture of Konstantine Gamsakhurdia

Date of Birth: 05/03/1893

Age: 82

Place of birth: Abasha

Citizenship: Georgia


The Youth and the beginning of the literary career

Gamsakhurdia was born in the village of Abasha in the Samegrelo region zapadnogruzinskie in the family of a nobleman Simon Katsievicha Gamsakhurdia and his wife Elizabeth, nee Topuridze.

Secondary education the future writer was in Kutaisi high school, and then continued his education at St. Petersburg University, where he attended lectures and seminars orientalist Nikolai Marr, having familiarized with its "Japhetic theory" in philology. Soon Gamsakhurdia from ardent supporters Marr turned to his opponent, left the university and moved to Germany, where he continued to study at Konigsberg, Leipzig, Munich and Berlin. Gamsakhurdia also attended lectures at the Sorbonne, the Swiss universities. As a result, he received his doctorate in philosophy at Berlin University (1918).

In Germany in the 1910s Gamsakhurdia began to publish his first poems and short novels. In the early works of the writer clearly visible influence of German expressionism and French Symbolism. Gamsakhurdia came into the circle of famous German writer, was on friendly terms with Thomas Mann.

After the First World War of 1914-1918 Gamsakhurdia as a citizen of Russia, and was interned in the camp of Traunstein in Bavaria, where he was released thanks to the efforts of German writers. After the 1917 revolution in Russia and the proclamation of the independence of Georgia in 1918 Gamsakhurdia refers to the newly created Georgian Embassy in Berlin with the requirement to fight for the release of prisoners and internees Georgians and their return to their homeland.

Return to Georgia and repression by the Bolshevik regime

In 1921 Gamsahurdiavozvratilsya Georgia. Capture the Georgian Bolsheviks, he took the first neutral. He edited various journals in Tbilisi. However, the actual practice of the Bolshevik Sovietization, the increase of repression and oppression of freedoms in Georgia led to open anti-Bolshevik performance Gamsakhurdia and his supporters in 1922 on the anniversary of the Bolshevik occupation. In the 1923-1924 year, Gamsakhurdia and his followers created the "academic group", which put forward the slogan "The Art of apolitical and independent of social relations."

In Tbilisi, the first novel Gamsakhurdia "Dionysus Smile" (1925) was published, which fully reflects the philosophical and aesthetic views of the early period of the writer. The novel was written six years. The protagonist of the novel is a Georgian intellectual in Paris who broke away from the mother company, but remained a stranger and in the city of his ideal. Soviet criticism of the novel met with hostility, accusing the author of decadence.

After the defeat of the August anti-Soviet uprising in 1924 in Georgia, Gamsakhurdia was ousted from Tbilisi State University, where he taught German literature. March 1, 1926 he was arrested and taken to Moscow. June 28, 1926 Board of the OGPU sentenced the author to 10 years` imprisonment for taking part in anti-Soviet uprising. Gamsakhurdia was serving a sentence in the Solovki prison camp on the White Sea. Released on parole December 21, 1927 on the basis of the decision of the CEC of the USSR Presidium of the November 23, 1927.

This period of his life until the end of days Gamsakhurdia remained silent. According to relatives of the suicide was saved work on the translation of "The Divine Comedy" by Dante and "The Sorrows of Young Werther," Goethe. Simultaneously Gamsakhurdia wrote a biographical novel about Goethe`s "Pages of Life Goethe" (1930), which laid the foundation for the development of the theme of fate of the artist in a totalitarian society.

In the early 1930s, Gamsakhurdia was supported by the first secretary of the CC CP (b) Georgian Beria, in exchange for a promise to write a "socialist" novel. The novel "The Rape of the moon" (1935-1936) unfolds against the backdrop of collectivization in Abkhazia, but the author`s pessimism with regard to the fate of the main characters has caused criticism of the government, and Beria was dissatisfied with this product. In 1937, Gamsakhurdia was arrested on charges in connection with the director of the State Publishing House Georgia Gasviani Lida, who was convicted of Trotskyism. Through the intervention of Beria Gamsakhurdia was released.

Despite dissatisfaction with the policy of Stalin and Beria in Georgia, which destroyed the best intellectual and cultural forces, Gamsakhurdia was forced not only silent, but also to join the chorus of praises addressed to the "great leader." In 1938 he began the publication of the "leaders" of the novel about the childhood of Stalin. Expressionism writer in the image of the future dictator angered government circles, and the publication has been discontinued.

The mature period of creativity

At the height of the Stalinist terror Gamsakhurdia began work on his main work - a novel about the tragic fate of the artist in a totalitarian society "Hand of the great master" (1939, final version 1956). The historical background of the narrative has been the construction of an Orthodox church Svetitskhoveli in Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia in 1010-1029 years. pozakazu King George I and Catholicos Melchizedek Georgian architect Konstantin Arsakidze. In the novel, the fate of the main antagonists of heroes Arsakidze and George are woven into a tragic tangle - they compete for the love of the daughter of one of the eristavis Shorena. Both are torn between love and duty (ruler or artist). The tragic conclusion of the writer - the person can not find happiness in a totalitarian society. Fate leads to frustration and death of both characters, they both fall victim to the totalitarian system, despite the fact that the external signs are on opposite sides of power. In the novel, the writer expressed in allegorical form the tragedy of the Stalinist era.

The same theme, although in a more subdued version heard in the monumental historical tetralogy "David the Builder" (1946-1958), which the unfolding events in the 12th century - the heyday of the Georgian feudal state.

In the novel "Flowering vines" (1956) draws Gamsakhurdia collective farmers 30-40th., Transformed the badlands Gveleti in vineyards. Gamsakhurdia - a master image of public relations, ceremonies, household items. He made a significant contribution to the development of Georgian prose.

Memoirs Gamsakhurdia "Communicating with ghosts" (1963) and his last will and testament (1959) were banned from publication and published only since 1991.

Gamsakhurdia is buried in the park of his mansion "Colchian Tower" because the will categorically refused burial in a national Mtatsminda pantheon because of the fact that there are buried Communist leaders.

He was married to Miranda (Machiko) Palavandishvili, children from this marriage: son of Zviad - the first president of Georgia and daughter Tamara.

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