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

Fatal Translation: Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra in Georgian

Manana Gelashvili
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Published 2023-12-11


  • Nietzsche,
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra,
  • Erekle Tatishvili


The paper examines the Georgian translations of Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche created in the 30-40ies of the 20th century by Erekle Tatishvili (1884-1946) whose interest in Nietzsche started in his student years at Leipzig University. His translation, which is characterized by fidelity to the original and formal beauty, cost him an arrest under Stalin’s purge.

The analysis clearly reveals that the book was unacceptable for the Soviet regime not only because of its ideas, which Soviet ideology associated with fascism, but also because of its poetics which did not fit in with the aesthetics of socialist realism.