Georgian writers who were nominated for Nobel Prize
25 August, 2017
Georgian writers who were nominated for Nobel Prize
As it is widely known, Georgia is the homeland of many talented people. Georgian literature is one more reason to be proud for each Georgian.

There were a few Georgian writers nominated for the most prestigious award in the world - Nobel Prize in literature.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the
most outstanding work in an ideal direction." Though individual works are sometimes cited as being particularly noteworthy, here "work" refers to an author's work as a whole. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize in any given year. The academy announces the name of the selected laureate in early October. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the initiative of Alfred Nobel in 1895; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Here is the list of the great Georgian writers who were nominated for this prestigious award:

The first Georgian nominee for Nobel Prize in the field of literature was Grigol Robakidze, famous Georgian writer primarily known for his prose and anti-Soviet émigré activities.
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Grigol Robakidze was born on October 28, 1880, in the village of Sviri, Imereti (west Georgia). After the graduation from Kutaisi Classical Gymnasium (1900), he took courses at the University of Tartu (Estonia) and the University of Leipzig (Germany). Robakidze returned from Germany in 1908 and became a leading person among the young Georgian symbolists (symbolist movement in literature).

In 1915, he founded and led the Blue Horns, a new group of symbolist poets and writers which would later play an important role in Georgian literature, particularly during the next two decades. He was greatly influenced and inspired by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, the greatest German philosopher. This is the very reason why Robakidze used a lot of mythological archetypes in his prose.

After Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, he remained in the country, but was known for his anti-Soviet sentiments. His famous play Lamara was staged by the leading Georgian director Sandro Akhmeteli in 1930, a performance which became a prize-winner at the 1930 Moscow Drama Olympiad.

After the World War II, his two books on Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler were believed to favor Nazism. Famous representatives of the Georgian Political Emigration rejected this claim.From 1931 until the death he lived as a political emigrant: lived and worked in Germany until 1946, and from 1946 - in Switzerland.

He died as broken man in Geneva on November 19, 1962. He was later reburied at the Cemetery of Leuville-sur-Orge, France, the burial ground of the Georgian emigration to Europe.
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Merab Kostava (May 26, 1939 – October 13, 1989) was a Georgian dissident, musician and poet; one of the leaders of the National-Liberation movement in Georgia. He was born in 1939 in Tbilisi, Georgia, that was part of Soviet Union back then.

Kostava graduated from the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in 1962. From 1962–1977 he worked as a teacher at a local music school in Tbilisi.

Merab Kostava was active in the underground network of Samizdat publishers, co-publisher of the Georgian underground periodical "Okros Satsmisi" ("The Golden Fleece"). He was the author of many important literary and scientific works.

In the summer of 1978 Merab Kostava was nominated for the Nobel Prize by the US Congress. At that time, the wider society knew nothing about Merabi; information about him was mainly spread among dissident circles and his comradeship.

On October 13, 1989, Merab Kostava died in a car accident. In 2013, he was posthumously awarded the title and Order of National Hero of Georgia.

Merab Kostava is author of great works: "Thoughts on the Georgian Mission"; "Thinking on Georgian Culture" etc. His literary work was awarded with the prizes of Davit Aghmashenebeli (great Georgian king) and Georgian Writers' Union.
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Otar Chiladze (March 20, 1933 — October 1, 2009) was a Georgian writer who played a significant role in the resurrection of Georgian prose in the Post-Soviet era. He is often compared to one of the greatest writers of world such as Gabriel García Márquez. He is known as “Georgian Gabriel García Márquez” because their style of writing is quite similar.

Otar Chiladze's works, primary poetry, first appeared in the 1950s. He gained popularity with  series of novels, such as A Man Was Going Down the Road (1972–3), Everyone That Finds Me (1976), Avelum (1995), and others. Chiladze also published several collections of poems and plays. He was awarded the Shota Rustaveli Prize in 1983 and the State Prize of Georgia in 1993.

His works are translated into English, Russian, Armenian, Estonian, Serbian, French, Danish, German, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian and Spanish. Otar Chiladze’s novels A Man Was Going Down the Road and Avelum, translated by Donald Rayfield, were published in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013.

In 1998, Chiladze was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature, along with five other writers from around the world.

Chiladze died after a long illness in October 2009 and was buried at the Mtatsminda Pantheon in Tbilisi, where some of the most prominent writers, artists, scholars, and national heroes of Georgia are buried. His elder brother Tamaz Chiladze is also a writer.
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Mzechabuk "Chabua" Amirejibi (November 18, 1921 – December 12, 2013) was a Georgian novelist and Soviet-era dissident, notable for his masterpiece named Data Tutashkhia.

He was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996 and 1999.

Chabua Amirejibi began his literary career in his late thirties with short stories including The Road (1962), My Ragger Uncle (1963), The Bull’s Confession (1964) and Giorgi Burduli (1965).

Amirejibi's most famous novel and one of the best works in modern Georgian literature, Data Tutashkhia (1971-5), brought great l success to the writer. The novel follows the life of outlaw Data Tutashkhia, who spends years eluding capture by the Tsarist police ((Russian secret police). The book, and the feature film based on it, turned Data Tutaskhia into an iconic hero, widely popular in Georgia.

In 1992, Chabua Amirejibi was rewarded with the prestigious Shota Rustaveli State Prize.

His most recent work, George the Brilliant is a historical novel about the 14th-century Georgian king preaching national pride, published in 2005.
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David Magradze (born June 28, 1962) is a Georgian poet and politician. He is the author of lyrics of the current National Anthem of Georgia (2004).

In 1984 he graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Philology.

David Magradze earned fame in the 1980s. He edited the leading Georgian literary journal Tsiskari for several years.

He has been awarded the Georgian Order of Honor. His poems have been translated into English by the Poetry Translation Centre  as well as into German, Italian, Russian, and Armenian languages.

He published several collections of poems, including Marula (1987), Nikala (2002), Salve (2004), Nafexurebi cyalze (The Steps on the Water) (2011) and Giacomo Ponti (2011).

He has won many awards including, in 2005, the Golden Feather from the International Federation of Journalists for his text for the Georgian National Anthem. In 2008, he received the Europe International Medal from Pope Benedict XVI for his collection Salve. In 2009, the Academy of Culture of Verona awarded Dato Magradze and Anton Mazreku (an Albanian poet) an international medal, for their work promoting freedom of speech.

In 2011, Magradze was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature by European Council of International Experts, International Culture Association and one of the Swedish institutes.
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Giwi Margwelaschwili is a famous Georgian writer and philosopher. 89-year-old Margvelashili lives in Berlin and writes in German. He is the son of the notable Georgian intellectual Tite Margwelashvili.

Giwi  Margvelaschwili was born in 1927, in Berlin, in the family of a Georgian expatriate, Tite Margwelashvili, who fled to Germany in 1921, following Soviet invasion of Georgia. In 1946, father and son were allured into the area controlled by Soviets, in Berlin, and sent to the special camp. While Tite was deported to Tbilisi and shot as a traitor after eight months of interrogation and torture, Givi was released after 18 months in the camp. He was not allowed to return to West Berlin and so he moved to his relatives in Georgia.

Giwi studied at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Tbilisi and after graduating worked there as a lecturer for many years. He also wrote novels, short stories and plays in German but none of his works had ever published during Soviet times.

By the end of 1980s, Margvelaschwili was allowed to travel to West Berlin for the first time in 40 years. In Germany, several of his works were published, including Kapitän Wakusch, Die Grosse Korrektur and Muzal, as well as a prosaic collection Der ungeworfene Handschuh: ontotextologische Versuche.

The writer is particularly notable for his publications in Georgian and Russian languages, such as:

"Theme Time and Existential Time"(Tbilisi, 1973),"The Existential and the Categorical in Martin HeideggerÕs Ontology"(Tbilisi, 1975),"The Finality Problem in the Ontologies of Nikolai Hartmann and Martin Heidegger,"(Tbilisi, 1982),"The Civilized World Problem in the Existential Ontology"(Tbilisi, 1998),"Philosophical Works, 5 volumes," (Tbilisi, 1999-2000).

Margwelaschwili  is a recognized philosopher and existentialist in Germany. In 1997, he was elected an Honorary Doctor of Tbilisi State University and in 2006 was awarded  Goethe Medal. In 2013 Giwi Margwelaschwili  prize was set up in Georgia and the first person to be awarded was Margwelaschwili himself.

In 2016 Margwelaschwili was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature.

Related stories:

Georgian author’s book earns recognition at Leipzig Book Fair

89-year-old Georgian writer nominated for Nobel Prize

“It is a shame this nation is still unknown to us, Europeans” - Stefan Zweig on Georgians

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