Writer Guram Panjikidze – 80
09 May, 2013
Writer Guram Panjikidze – 80
The well-known Georgian novelist Guram Panjikidze would have been 80 on the 22nd of April of 2013. He lost his life tragically at the age of 54 when this talented man of letters was full of vigor, thoughts and creative energy. I remember like yesterday how the astounded nation was shocked and traumatized to have so unexpectedly lost the man whose patriotic life and sharp pen were both unreservedly put at the altar of serving the Nation faithfully. I knew
Guram personally and it was very hard to imagine him lifeless – always moving, always working, always in action!
This hard-boiled and reliable man was a loving husband, wonderful dad, dedicated friend and thoughtful creator of novelistic images which we all were in need to know and emulate. The characters that populated the numerous pages of his truly popular books did not leave anybody indifferent. They were all crystal-cut and clearly visible to make you feel either like loving them or hating them as if their life-size images were grandiosely erect in a reader’s actual life. You wanted either to cooperate with his characters or to fight them so fiercely as if they were your close friends or your personal enemies respectively. You consulted the good guys of his novels and you denounced the bad ones publicly. They were just part of your life. What did all that mean in reality? In the weird soviet times, the intensified process of turning a human being into a dull and submissive automaton was ubiquitous, and the heroes of Guram Panjikidze’s rich and extensive imagination defied the process, thus telling us that not all was over. He gave us hope that the fight for truth has a chance and giving up would be disastrous. That’s what he did with our society, with our wonderful but socially restrained people. As a matter fact, I can call Guram Panjikidze – the darling of the Georgian reader – a liberator of the frightened and the frustrated.
Engineer, writer, journalist, editor and public figure – he excelled in all those walks of life. He took pains of those times of our youth and adulthood with dignity, understanding that the unfair and cruel regime was dangerous to fight with, but not as invincible as some of his peers had thought. This was so important to know for survival! On top of all that, he had a contagious ability to exude a positive charge for life, notwithstanding the incongruity of soviet reality. It was fortunate that he had lived long enough to witness the demolition of the communist monster, but even then he was against the stupid political disorientation which any revolution is likely to bring about.
Guram Panjikidze gave us himself in the image of a young technocrat Levan Khidasheli (‘The Candid Eye’) whose smarts and sturdy muscular character are made of cement, without which a human being may easily bend to the dictates of the time and succumb to the duress of the regime. The strong personalities of other novels like ‘The Year of Active Sun’ and ‘The Seventh Heaven’ are just as attractive, whose stamina is working like a panacea against personal, social and political weaknesses.
The grateful nation is not forgetting its beloved son and keeps him and his works on the active go. Jubilees, dedicated to Guram are celebrated; films are made based on his scripts; books by him are republished and articles about him continue being written. His most precious legacy – his wonderful family – wife Dali Panjikidze, the renowned Georgian writer and translator herself, daughters Maia and Natia , both married with kids and working to the benefit of their beloved Georgia, are all living in the wake of his candid eye, his honesty, his love for them and for his motherland, his talent and his dignified public image.
Last week, the grand hall of events of National Library of Georgia hosted the celebrations of his 80th anniversary. Guram Panjikidze and his creative heritage were given a distinguished evaluation with love and enthusiasm, which was as sincere and genuine as he himself as a boy and a man. It is absolutely undoubted that Guram Panjikidze will remain in the historical memory of this nation forever.
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