Razikashvili - Vazha Pshavela
The greatest Georgian poet
Razicashvili - Vazha Pshavela was
born on July 12 (26), 1861, in Chargali-village (Pshavi,
East Georgian highland region).
Vazha Pshavela studied in Telavi Cleric
College and Gori Teaching Seminary, where he became close to
Georgian populists. Upon finishing the seminary in 1882, became a
rural teacher; protected the peasants from oppression.
In 1883, he entered Law Department of St.
Petersburg University as a non-credit student, but returned to his
homeland in 1884 due to financial restraints. Ploughed, grazed
sheep, and hunted.
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 36 epics, about
400 poems, 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) and "The Guest and His Host" (1893); 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 "The
Snake-Eater" (1901) dies because he cannot reconcile his ideals
with the needs of his family and society. The epic "Bakhtrioni"
(1892) narrates on participation of the Georgian highlander tribes
in the uprising of Kakheti (East Georgia) against the Iranian
subjugators in 1659.
Vazha Pshavela's works have been translated into many foreign
Vazha Pshavela died in Tiflis (Tbilisi) on June 27 (July 10),
1915. Buried ibidem, in the Pantheon of the Mtatsminda Mountain.