044- "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" in the Context of World Civilization

 

Organized by: Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature. Prof. Maka Elbakidze

English, Georgian

 

The Knight in the Panther's Skin, written by Shota Rustaveli, is the pinnacle of Georgian literature. It captures the political, economic and cultural development that took place in Georgia at the turn of the 12-13 centuries. The chivalry romance organically unites the cultural traditions of the Christian West and Muslim East. However, “unification” does not imply an artificial reconciliation of these different traditions or their rough imitation. This word implies the unification of all streams and trends in one entity and organic reconciliation of various elements taken from the cultural environment of the Middle Ages. Rustaveli brings oriental themes into the late Medieval European courtly literary stile and imbues it with Christian spirit.  He also enriches it with Classical Greek philosophy and takes the best qualities of the Georgian national phenomenon as a basis and propounds the ideals of Renaissance humanism.

Rustaveli studies, like any other field of science, makes progress and needs new visions, broader horizons, and conceptual and structural innovations. Identifying relations between national literatures to the world literary space is the most important aspect of modern international philological research. This is particularly true of the progressive countries in the post-Soviet camp, as they want to interpret their national literatures in the context of the international literary process and without ideological cliches and frames. This fact necessitated to offer an open group session allowing participants to cover wide range of topics - to analyze Rustaveli's romance not only from the viewpoint of the typological relationship with the authors of late Middle Ages (Chretien de Troyes, Dante, Petrarch, Nizami etc), but also its reflection on the literature of following eras, as well as in contemporary literature and different fields of art (painting, music, theatre, cinema etc).