CULTURE
“It is a shame this nation is still unknown to us, Europeans” - Stefan Zweig on Georgians
14 December, 2015
Stefan Zweig, the world famous Austrian novelist, playwright and journalist who helped an outstanding Georgian writer Grigol Robakidze with publishing his novel The Snake’s Skin described Georgian nation from his own perspective in the introduction of the book. These two great writers were introduced to each other in Moscow at the jubilee of Lev Tolstoy on September 10 of 1928. In 1926 the novel The Snake’s Skin was published for the first time in Georgian and in 1928 Grigol Robakidze
translated it himself into German, and left for Germany thereafter for its German publication. The great Austrian writer was extremely amazed and inspired by Georgian author’s book. Robakidze’s works were also recognized and praised by such outstanding literary figure as Romain Rolland, the French dramatist and Nobel Prize laureate as well as many other European writers.

This is what the great Austrian novelist amazed by Georgian author’s work wrote about Georgian people and generally the book:

“Georgian nation appeared in front of us through Grigrol Robakidze’s novel .This is an ancient nation , who has met Alexander the Great himself during his campaigns and luckily has not been influenced neither by Turkish nor Persian invaders.

Georgian nation resides in world’s one of the most beautiful areas. It is a shame that these people who have made their name through their songs and legends are still unknown to us, Europeans.

From this book I learned how rich this nation is with its mystical power, to what extent it is filled with heroism and at the same time is captivated with modern ideas. Now a completely new and incredibly attractive world has emerged in front of us, because every country and nation starts its existence only after they start telling and narrating about themselves.

This novel has something chaotic, fiery lines, extracted from old legends and ballads are beautifully knitted into the carpet of narrated stories. This book has broadened my outlook on life. The fantasy is more and more attracted by the Tashkent and Tbilisi cities illuminated with east crimson dawn. This is a book that serves a strong proof that in today’s scientific world creative mythos still exists. “

It is noteworthy that Robakidze and Stefan Zweig’s private letters have been preserved at Zweig archive in the University of Fredonia, in the USA as well as in the archives of Jena library in Germany by Cornelius Bergmann an employee from Diederich’s publishing house.

The novel The Snake's Skin is about entire universe, where the space is complete and united. The scene takes place at the entire planet: the West and the East; Russia, Europe and finally Robakidze’s motherland – Georgia. This is an adventure of Archibald Mekeshi’s soul taking place throughout the centuries.

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