Zurab Rtveliashvili

 

 

(Georgia)

 

 

 

On stage, he reads poems with a demonic intensity that makes me feel transported to an avant-garde scene in the beginning of the century, or even in a novel by Bulgakov. A Dadaist dissident injection may be just what the Swedish poetry scene needs.

J. Engborg, literary critic

 

When poetry itself wants to flare up on stage, Rtveliashvili is an unforgettable performance artist:  watch him on YouTube! Though, if you read him on paper, the very letters in his texts send out sparks and crackle.

A. Lingebrandt, literary critic/

 

 

 

 

 

 

პოეზიის დიქტატურა/The Dictatorship of Poetry

 

 

2012 he became Winner of Voloshin’s International Creative Symposium. 2014-2015 the theatre called “Guillotine” hosted his first play at the experimental stage, which had a positive response from theater critics and he still continue to work on individual performance there. He already published 5 poetry collections.

 

Zurab Rtveliashvili belongs to the generation of post-soviet artists that have radically changed the vector of Georgian literature. He introduced a new vision with both the linguistic and conceptual experiments in his poetry. David Chikhladze, Shota Iatashvili, Irakli Charkviani, Badri Gugushvili and Karlo Kacharava are some of the poets with whom he created the new artistic reality.

 

The Dictatorship of Poetry includes poems both from the times before Rtveliashvili’s emigration and the newer samples that he has written while already being in Sweden. The Dictatorship of Poetry proves that despite the fact that Rtveliashvili’s poetry is packed with avant-gardist aesthetic alongside the linguistic and sound-poetic experiments, he still manages to highlight and reflect on key socio-political problems without disrupting his poetic dynamic. According to Rtveliashvili’s poetic belief, in today’s reality we all live in the world dominated by verbal industry, which labels everything with a special code. With his poetic process the author tries to break free from these shackles and show his reader that the language goes far beyond simple alphabetical notations and grammatical norms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zurab Rtveliashvili’s main feature is that his poetic performances are always energetic, creating a mesmerising atmosphere. Rtveliashvili was the first poet I have come across in Georgia whose poetry has a new vocabulary to offer to people.’ Millions of people watch him on the screen when he reads his poems, they understand, or try to understand, or at least get some impulse from them and when they get the results of that, we can consider that something has been achieved.

 

Davit Chikhladze, writer, literary critic

 

 

 

 

 

Cherub

 

1.

I am forever ready,

Scheherazade,

to measure your body with my adulterous gaze

like a teenager …

Can you see how my muse

is shining even without a helmet?

I’ve turned the poetry mausoleum

into ashes.

 

This month,

 

I want to be more

like honey rather than a gun.

Out of a thousand tales, I remember the tale

of only one night –

I lay like a defenceless infant

in your white lap.

I couldn’t find a way out

from this fairy tale.

 

I am a villain, Scheherazade,

and

I know for sure

that not even Zarathustra could bear

your treacherous gaze

and

there’s no end to the fierce list

of reasons

for me

to try your body on for size

as protection on my hot helmet …(…)

 

 

Translation by Natalie Bukia-Peters and Victoria Field

 

 

Number of pages: 125
Published in 2017/Intelekti Publishers

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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Born 1967 in Karaganda (Kazakhstan) Zurab Rtveliashvili is a Georgian poet, performance artist and human rights activist. He grew up in Tbilisi and took a degree in jurisprudence at Tbilisi State University. In his early youth (1987–1990) he was actively involved in the anti-Soviet dissident movement and participated in the National Liberation movement of Georgia.
His civil disobedience texts acted in 2003 both the starting point and leader of the pacifist “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. In the following years he was continuously arrested for his performances as well as serving a shorter prison sentence as a prisoner of conscience.
 

 

2010 Rtveliashvili was offered a political asylum in Sweden.

 

The European Court in 2012 ruled against the state of Georgia for violating human rights on a number of points against Zurab Rtveliashvili.

 

2012 he became Winner of Voloshin’s International Creative Symposium.

 

2014-2015 the theatre called “Guillotine” hosted his first play at the experimental stage, which had a positive response from theater critics and he still continue to work on individual performance there. He already published 5 poetry collections.

 

 

Zurab Rtveliashvili in Translation

 

Zurab Rtveliashvili’s works have been translated into English, German, Swedish, French, Dutch, Ukrainian, Russian, Iranian, Azerbaijani and Bengali languages. His po­etry collections have been published in UK (Francis Boutles Publishers 2017); Sweden: two poetry collections by Smockadoll Förlag (2015, 2016); His poems have been published in many anthologies among them: Ukraine (Pidruchnyky Posibnyky, 2017); Germany (Pop Verlag, 2015); Russia (OGI, 2014); Netherlands (Poëzie Centrum, 2010).

 

 

Rights, Contact: Zurab Rtveliashvili:

zurabrtveliashvili@yahoo.com

 

 

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