Georgia
Posted: 1 month ago

Lasha Bugadze's The Literature Express Named Among 10 Best Contemporary Fiction of Caucasus by Calvert Journal

Recently, Calvert Journal published an article about Caucasian literature and introduced its best contemporary fiction to its readers.

Among Alisa Ganieva's The Mountain and the Wall (Dagestan), Ella Leya's fiction The Orphan Sky (Azerbaijan), and Hovhannes Tekgyozan's The Fleeting City (Armenia), 3 fictions of Georgian authors were named in the list of the 10 best contemporary fictions.

“Your local readers are fed up with what foreigners find interesting in your Bulgarian stories. And the other way round: what excites your countrymen remains absolutely impenetrable for the foreign readers.” More a comment on the “state of the art” than art itself, The Literature Express takes its audience on a wild ride of black humour and self-deprecating wit. We follow Zaza, whose biggest (and only) hit has been a singular book of short stories, as he takes part in a pan-European train journey with a horde of other B-list writers. His romantic interest in the blandly attractive wife of a Polish translator seems as unlikely to succeed as his career, and while denouncing the brazen opportunism involved in using politics to garner international attention, he too relishes in dropping political breadcrumbs. Much more than satire, this literary locomotive is a droll and withering critique of the stratification of the European culture industry – you’ll be both cleverer and more depressed having read it.", writes Hannah Weber, which is published by the Calvert Journal in the article. 

Along with Lasha Bugadze, Calvert Journal chose A Man Was Going Down the Road by Otar Chiladze:

"One of Georgia’s most important and influential novelists of the 20th century, Otar Chiladze first published A Man Was Going Down the Road in 1973, but it has only been available in English since 2012. Based on the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece, it is a compelling allegory for the Soviet annexation of Georgia and the suffering of those left behind in the wake of heroic crusades. In his reimagining of the occupation of Colchis and the transformation of its benign natives into informants and persecutors, Chiladze tested the limits of Soviet censorship and reinvented Georgian postmodern literature. This dazzling first novel from a prolific national figure challenges the reader with its an abundance of Homeric similes and emulation of classical style, but is equally generous with its rewards – a flawless account of the human condition through pity and terror."

Zurab Karumidze's fiction -Dagny, or A Love Feast which was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award also was chosen by Calvert Journal.

"Longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award, this unconventional literary “feast consists of two parts. The first is a wild gambol through Tbilisi in 1901, documenting the last three weeks of Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska’s life before her murder. A real-life model for such figures as Edvard Munch and August Strindberg, Dagny was shot by a lover at the tiny Grand Hotel just before her 34th birthday. The second part is a phantasmagorical mix of myth and politics, shamanism and the art of the fugue, enchantment and linguistics, all bound up in a “Love Feast” – an event meant to restore the cosmic purpose of human beings as the custodians of peace, and thus prevent the totalitarian disasters of the decades to come. Both deadly serious and seriously funny, you’ll hardly realise you are consuming a work of genius until you are up to your ears in the achievements and horrors of Modernism at the turn of the century."