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The Death of Bagrat Zakharych


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“[Vazha-Pshavela’s] imagery, almost medieval in its epic majesty, has an elemental force.” OSIP MANDELSTAM

Luka Razikashvili, whose pen name was Vazha-Pshavela (“Son of Pshavians” [a region in Georgia]), is considered the wellspring of modern Georgian literature. Three of his stories, as well as one of the epic poems for which he became famous, are translated into English in this volume for the first time.

The Death of Bagrat Zakharych”, a highly sardonic account of the sudden death of a chancellery official in which Vazha-Pshavela’s ironic sense reaches its fullest pitch, invites comparison to classic works such as Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.

Memories: A Christmas Tale” tells of a boy who returns from boarding school to his village for the winter holiday. As he reconnects with his family, an anxiety-filled hunting expedition with his uncle changes his perspective on life.

Batura’s Sword” features a magic sword that haunts the people of Pshavi following the death of its owner. This transfixing story mixes the magic of the Caucasus mountains with a tale of honor on the battlefield.

“Finally, Gogotur and Apshina is one of Vazha-Pshavela’s many legendary epic poems. A moving rumination on the themes of military glory and courage, it was translated into Russian three times by three of Russia’s greatest poets: Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Nikolay Zabolotsky.

VAZHA-PSHAVELA is the pen name of Luka Razikashvili (1861– 1915), and means “Son of Pshavians” (a region of Georgia). Considered the wellspring of modern Georgian literature and famed for his many epic poems, Vazha-Pshavela also wrote short stories and plays.

ISBN 9781911475354 – Paperback – 110 mm x 140 mm – 80 pages
 – £2.99

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