Prof. George Hewitt

Translations from Vazha Pshavela

Vazha Pshavela

Between the late 1970s and the mid-to-late 1980s I was commissioned to perform several tasks for the Georgian publishing-house Nak’aduli by its then-director, the writer Archil Sulak’auri. Amongst these was a request to translate 15 stories by one of Georgia’s greatest writers, Vazha Pshavela (aka ‘Lad of Pshav’), the pseudonym of Luk’a Razik’ashvili (1861-1915), a master wordsmith whose works are infused with affection for nature and love for his motherland, especially his native region of Pshav in Georgia’s mountainous north. The plan had been for these translations to be published in Georgia, but that plan was never realised, although one of my translations, namely ‘The Wedding of the Jays’ (čxik’vta korts’ili), did appear in an illustrated bilingual (GeorgianEnglish) brochure for children in 1987 (published in Tbilisi not by Nak’aduli but by another house, Khelovneba). A further three of the translations were included in my A Georgian Reader (with Texts, Translation and Vocabulary) (1996, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University), namely: ‘The Mousetrap’ (sataguri), ‘Nature’s Songsters’ (bunebis mgosnebi), ‘The Roe-Deer Fawn’s Tale’ (švlis nuk’ris naambobi).

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