78-Year-Old Classic Writer Calls on Us to Love the Earth & Mankind

On March 29, the Information Center on NATO and European Union hosted the lecture of Guram Dochanashvili, famous Georgian classic writer. The meeting was dedicated to his 78th birthday.

Guram Dochanashvili is the greatest Georgian writer alive today. His books count The First Garment – the most popular one, which is also included in the national school curriculum and was staged at the State Opera House of Georgia last year; The Man Who Loved Literature Very Much; Youth from Tavparavani; About Former Blind, a series of short stories, and more.

This was a meeting with a young audience, saturated with the same healthy humor present in his books. The author remembered one story from an earlier period. Reportedly, in those days, the books were very cheap. Writers had quite a few copies that they could distribute among their relatives and friends for free. Among them was Aunt Katusha who was once left without a book. The young author got scolded by his grandmother and went to the suburb of the city in hopes of finding a copy for her. On entering the bookshop, the attendant told him that the book had sold out. “She was polite and encouraged me, but there are different kinds of encouragement,” Dochanashvili remembered with a laugh. And what do you think she said? “Don’t worry, I read the book! It was total stupidity!”

The lecture was interactive. To the question which is the most precious to the experienced author from his own literary creatures, he named ‘A Youth from Tavparavani’, based on Georgian folk poetry. The writer underscored the uniqueness of this genre, saying that it comprises the best ode to mother. To the question which book he would recommend to readers, he named the book of Catholicos Patriarch Ilia the Second.

Dochanashvili voiced that everything – music, literature and art – should serve to make a human being better – a phrase that he thought he had invented, but that had existed before him. Again his calm and kind sense of humor, full of modesty.

Dochanashvili did not preach, however, he sadly noted that bad language has been spread around far too much. He also underlined that real creative talent is always accompanied with assiduity, and “one cannot live without another”. “However, we should not boast about our talent, nor about our beauty. It has nothing to do with us, as we have been granted it,” he noted.

To the question whether titles come first or texts, he said: “Very often, titles come to my mind first. I think it is very difficult to find a title after the book is over.”

The main virtue of the writer is the honesty. He notes with sorrow that animated films are very sadistic nowadays, which poisons children. “As if wolves are the positive heroes, not the rabbits,” he says with a bitter laugh, noting that the aggression in films reflects on children and youngsters which he thinks is not their fault at all.

“I am very happy. The questions were very interesting, that fills me both with joy and a grown sense of responsibility to the youth,” Dochanashvili said after the meeting.

“This meeting took place within the framework of the cycle ‘I, European’, to talk about the literature and culture and mark his birthday. Such meetings will be held weekly,” Giorgi Pareshishvili, Deputy Director of the Information Center on NATO and European Union, told us.

Following the meeting, the public, which mainly consisted of students who were so abundant that they could not be roomed and whose long line wove out into the street, got the chance to get Guram Dochanashvili’s books with his autograph.

Maka Lomadze

30 March 2017 21:40