Vol. 16 (2023): XVI International Symposium Contemporary Issues of Literary Criticism Socialist Realism in Literature and Art
Politics and Poetics of Socialist Realism

The Dictates of Vulgar Realism and the Modernist Manifesto of Konstantine Gamsakhurdia

Teimuraz Doiashvili
Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Published 2023-12-11


  • Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani,
  • Konstantine Gamsakhurdia,
  • mimesis,
  • modernism,
  • totalitarianism


As the Soviet system stabilized in the latter half of the 1920s, a stringent mechanism of ideological control took effect. In his 1930 publication, "Left Eye," Konstantine Gamsakhurdia included a short parabolic novel titled "The Wisdom of Lies." Under the guise of establishing a connection with Sulkhan-Saba Orbelian's book of fables (17th century), he crafted a modernist manifesto intricately intertwined with the anti-realist concepts of Friedrich Nietzsche and Oscar Wilde. Konstantine Gamsakhurdia's novella "The Wisdom of Lies" stands as a remarkable testament to the preservation of creative freedom under totalitarian pressure within Georgian literature of the 20th century.