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

„Little Man“ in the Era of the „Big Man“ (A „Social Realism“ Antithesis to the Humanist Tradition of Georgian Prose)

Zaza Abzianidze
Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Published 2023-12-11


  • Georgian prose,
  • „Little Man”,
  • Demna Shengelaya


One of the prevailing themes of the Georgian prose of the 19th to early 20th century was a “Little Man”, whose “literary birth” is associated with the names of Gogol and Chekhov and who usually represents a poor class of petty city officials/teachers. Dmna Shengelaya's short novel “The Man” is perceived as the antithesis to the humanistic pathos of this "literary gallery", created at the dawn of socialist realism and repeating, in a parody way, both Egnate Ninoshvili’s plot and onomastic symbols. This short novel laid down the basis for the whole series of literary characters. We hope that the reader will learn how the socialist realism, introduced by the "Big Chief” ousted from Georgian literature a centuries-old tradition of humanism.