The Problem of a Person Placed between Higher and Lower Feelings (on the example of the Georgian Literature)

Nowadays, the research of intertextual problems is very relevant. The object of our interest is one of the aspects of intertextuality - a character of I. Chavchavadze's "Glakhis Naambobi" ("The Story of the Poor") Datiko and the issue of his literary migration. The given paper discusses, how interesting and viable was Datiko's image for the literature of the 19th -20th centuries.

Ilia Chavchavadze's characters often attracted researchers' attention. However, in all epochs and periods of time, literary classics enabled every new generation to read in it a different or even a new content in accordance with an accumulated literary experience and an outlook of the era.

Some literary critics treated ,,Glakhis Naambobi" coldly, but everyone admitted, that Datiko's character was an absolutely original phenomenon. K. Abashidze wrote: "Even now our literature owes this type of charm" [Abashidze, 1914: 138].

This kind of a character had been unknown to the Georgian literature beforehand. Datiko is far from being a pattern. The secret of his charm lies in his contradictory character. Its  demonstration helps the author to protect the hero of his story from monotony. In the letter ,,Akaki and "The Knight in the Panther's Skin", Ilia wrote: ,,The world's genius writers are the world's, because in their paintings you recognize a nation's man. They create a common type of a human being. First of all, a human being is a human being and nothing humane is unfamiliar to him/her" [Chavchavadze, 1953:168]. From Ilia's characters, Datiko is the very person for whom "nothing humane is unfamiliar".

Datiko is the son of a wrong society, which surrounds him. When the society is unjustly organized, it cannot demand a harmoniously developed human being. N. Andronikashvili exemplifies M. Kagan's consideration about sources of unequal formation of the person's structure: 1.,,Hypertrophic development of one of the components of this structure, which leads to the suppression of others; 2. The atrophy of one of its components, which also causes dramatic outcomes to the person's structure" [Andronikashvili, 1984: 89].

It's evident, that a person's unequal formation may lead to the tragic or tragicomic consequences. Nevertheless, the existence of such person, character or type was found particularly interesting for the literature and art. It enabled the creator to present a focused object from several perspectives. It facilitated the creation of realistic types and characters, which are characterized with an amazing viability. The literature of the following period returns to their images and repeats them in various modifications.

For Datiko a hypertrophic development of one of the components becomes a person's characteristic feature. It also implies the existence of something fatal. Certainly, Datiko is a product of a serfdom-based society, but this fact must not be treated as a priority during the discussion of his personality. Moreover, Ilia published this story in 1873, after the abolition of serfdom. Datiko is a significantly difficult character. He is not a wicked and a brutal landlord. It is noteworthy, that in the first version of the story Datiko was presented in this manner. A characteristic feature of his prototype was brutality (in his relationship with serfs). Hence, while working on "Glakhis Naambobi", Ilia changed the viewpoint in regard to this character and the problems of the story. By means of this metamorphosis, the story gained from the artistic and ideological points of view. ,,Glakhis Naambobi" did not lose anything in regard to the social severity: on the contrary, Gabriel's landlords are more merciful and benignant, though the condition of  their serfs is not better in comparison with the serfs of ,,fool, callous, gawk" landlords.

There is an interesting stylistic device - Datiko is characterized by his victim Gabriel. This method enabled Ilia to exclude the possibility of partiality towards the character. The intonation of admiration is evidently felt in the characterization made by Gabriel. Hence, there is also an indication about the hypertrophy of Datiko's character: "But he had a malicious disease - and that disease harmed me more than him - he was a philanderer and unconscionable in such things" [Chavchavadze, 1950:81].

A good physical appearance and a social condition should be a stimulus for Datiko's impertinence. The society created an advantageous background for his transformation into an immoral person. Monotonous and aimless life propels people to change this monotony and find the ways for self-realization. The most accessible way for Datiko was plunging into the swirl of passion.

Gabriel says about Datiko: "He, unlucky, would not even mercy his own relatives in those things" and "he threw mud at the representatives of the noble families" [Chavchavadze, 1950: 81]. It seems, that these citations indicate not only to a glutton landlord or a man obsessed with an impunity syndrome, but about the person, who is obsessed with an unrestrained passion, regardless of the object of his whim.

N. Andronikashvili expressed an interesting opinion about a probable kinship of Datiko's and Don Juan's artistic images: "Datiko's image represents the variation of Don Juan's model... He is obsessed with "Don Juan's thirst" of a corporal delight... Here is presented a passion (similar to Don Juan's passion) of a person, whose great energy and a joy of life have only the given direction, because other "outbursts" cannot be found. Other values are unavailable for him"[Andronikashvili, 1980: 90]. In order to avoid the unexpectedness of the parallel, let us recall what is considered in the content of this artistic image. Don Juan belongs to those  characters, who reflect different aspects and aspirations of the human life. According to some interpretations, a philosophical depth of Don Juan's image is presented in the following: he ,,is not an indifferent philanderer or a prudent ,,sweet friend". He is a person obsessed with a relentless passion of relationship revealed in an erotic aspiration'' [Andronikashvili, 1980: 90]. Don Juan is the product of the thirst for cognition and the exposition of a person's inner world. "This is a person placed between beauty and evil, higher and lower feelings" [Goguadze, 1980: 112]. Certainly, Don Juan's artistic image encompasses many aspects, but we think, that it also consists of the content which interests us and connects him with the character of ,,Glakhis Nambobi": ,,He has a natural nobleness, but activated  Don Juan is socially dishonest. In many cases, he is a kind-hearted man of no scruples, because he does not obey the moral rules and the inner voice of conscience. Generally, he is unable to obey. He is the freedom of one's own will and for this reason he is far from the true freedom. He is completely chained to his ego..." [Goguadze, 1980: 127].

The following surprisingly natural and impressive scene reflects the fact that Datiko is unable to obey "the moral rules, inner voice of conscience" and that he is in the captivity of his own passions: Gabriel unintentionally witnesses the dialogue between the landlord and Gito. This scene gives an interesting material about the characters, therefore, it would be better to listen to the narrator: "I was listening. I said, that now or after a while, Datiko would say, that he had given up, Gito would not "work" any longer. But I was mistaken. Datiko's ,,good manhood" was not able to be so kind. He turned to Gito and calmly - as if doing a good job - said:

-You offended me by telling that, but it does not matter. Do, what I have told you, Gabro and I will get along" [Chavchavadze, 1950: 89].

Even in this critical moment Gabriel emphasizes Datiko's "good manhood". Generally, he often characterizes him with praising epithets. The scene of Datiko's death is interesting from this point of view. The author and the reader look at it with Gabriel's eyes. It's obvious, that a revenger is charmed with a victim's personality, with his brave self-restraint. Gabriel is sincere, when he talks about this scene with admiration. He is sincerely charmed by the landlord's "good manhood", which implies his positive qualities in all spheres, except passion. It's logically concluded, that Datiko "becomes a beast only during his sexual passion. At that time he is insane, berserk, a pathological creature and he has a nervous breakdown. He is a slave, an obedient serf of one feeling, one instinct. He is not a man. He is a blind tool of the destiny and a piece of an oak fired from the everlasting fatalism" [Abashidze, 1914: 147-148]. Neither Tamro, nor any of the objects of his passion are sensed by Datiko as a victim. He sees a woman in her, a thing, which "is good for killing the passion and not for being carried on the back". This is a regularity of nature and the constituent part of the existence for Datiko. Its refusal would be equal to the deviation from the usual course.

It seems, that the sense of supremacy of desires is Datiko's innate quality: Gabriel came across the severity of this whimsicality in his early childhood. If at that period of time it pleased him, afterwards it becomes the reason of characters' tragedy. The  childish stubbornness and capriciousness took the form of Don Juan's erotic whimsicality, which periodically obsesses Datiko to that extent, that it suppresses all his qualities, governs him and dictates the style of life.

Datiko is one of the accomplished types in Ilia's work. The author synthesized in him not only individual characteristics, but also the features of a rank and a social layer (or social environment), which enabled him to treat his character freely and to make him more plastic. If  we consider, that Datiko's image symbolizes the interpretation of some aspects of Don Juan's model, then we will undoubtedly admit, that Datiko is so organically combined with the Georgian character, that only the distant similarity connects him with his European predecessor. When talking about the influence, we should take into consideration that: "Подлинное назначение влияний - быть стимулом творчества" [Дима, 1977: 142]. Probably, we will not be mistaken if we say, that Datiko's character is the Georgian character and his type is the Georgian type. It seems logical, that Datiko was created in his epoch - the epoch, which is characterized with the disturbance of a person's (a landlord's) social, moral and national functions. It's noteworthy, that in "Glakhis Naambobi" Ilia discusses social and national problems. It's impossible, that Ilia needed the transformation of a person with the great energy and a lot of positive qualities for the expression of social or moral problems. For the author of "The traveller's letters" and "Otaraant widow", it can be equalized with the national tragedy.

The discovery of Datiko's type was considered by the Georgian literature as the most important segment of the plot of "Glakhis Naambobi". The writing of the following period returned to this character several times and created some modifications of his image. Ilia's Datiko continued his life in other circumstances, with a changed name. Hence, the type, the character and the obedience to his desires remained the same. This fact indicates, that Datiko's character is not unknown to any society. K. Abashidze noticed this even in 1914.

From the point of view of transformation of Datiko's image, an interesting material is given in G. Tsereteli's "The first step" and E. Ninoshvili's "The knight of our country". "The first step" was printed in 1890-1891, while "The knight of our country" was published in 1893. G. Tsereteli and E. Ninoshvili were writers with extremely realistic vision. By creating the images of Ieremia Tsarba in ,,The first step" and Tariel Mklavadze in ,,The knight of our country", they build up the dialogue with Ilia Chavchavadze's  Datiko and highlight the problem indicating, that the model of people's relationship remains almost invariable against the background of the formation of new social relationships. These characters of G. Tsereteli and E. Ninoshvili look so similar that it is expedient to discuss them in one context.

The authors emphasize the characters' perfect appearance.  The writers intend to highlight the contrast between their physical appearance and spiritual "belongings". They draw a parallel between their characters and the heroes and knights of the "old times", which reveals the writers' ironical attitude towards the characters. In addition to the ideal appearance, the institution of knighthood considered the self-sacrifice for ideals, nobility, truthfulness, a respectful attitude towards a woman and a devotion to the motherland. Do new "knights'' possess such characteristic features? Which values do they adore? The answers to these questions are easily found in the stories.

Like Datiko, Ieremia Tsarba and Tariel Mklavadze deserve the sympathy of their circle. Undoubtedly, the society has a positive attitude towards them: "The name of Ieremia Tsarba was heard everywhere. His bravery, promptness and comradeship were praised by everyone. He was god of his friends" [Tsereteli, 1991: 28]. Tariel Mklavadze is also in the centre of general attention, but E. Ninoshvili's emphasized irony should also be taken into consideration. Moreover, this sentiment of the author is felt with every appearance of our "knight".

The impressive physical appearance, courageous characteristics, the respect and love of the society - these components create perfect conditions for transforming these characters into the dignified members of the society. Hence, the hypertrophy of one of the components becomes prominent here. It's obvious, that putting emphasis on the physical appearances of characters signifies the violation of harmony between the spirit and the flesh. It's evident, that a person's energy and mind are directed at soothing flesh to that extent, that it leaves no space for the spirit. Even here turns out that sign of the character which was fatal to the characters of "Glakhis Naambobi".

Ieremia and Tariel look at the weaker sex like Datiko and do not try to hide this. To the contrary, they "hunt" for a new victim with a certain degree of excitement. The society has an attitude of tolerant indifference for their immorality and regards it as a "harmless playfulness"  and a natural naughtiness of a spoilt landlord. The syndrome of impunity acts here - an inseparable privilege of the ruling class. However, it should be noted, that Tariel Mklavadze's immorality is deeper than Ieremia's. He loves Esma with a brutal and a wild passion. His driving force is love. Esma's death turned into the tragedy for him. Her image did not give him up even during the trial where decision about his death or life had to be made. This immoral man lacked impudence to face the truth and look into Bakhva's eyes.

The pangs of conscience are absolutely unknown for Tariel. He identifies his own truth with the absolute truth and does not even doubt - is it always so or not? He is rather primitive to cast doubt on something and far more primitive than Datiko or even Ieremia Tsarba. However, all of them have similar psychics. Their lifestyle, desires, demands and the incompatibility of their physical perfection with inner imperfection is so typical to hollowness, that it is not difficult to find the characters' kinship.

Their "avengers" are the persons, who were unjustly oppressed by them. In the literary criticism the episode from "Glakhis Naambobi" was characterized in the following way: it "plays one of the central, key, prominent and crucial roles in the formation of the ideological-aesthetical model" [Ratiani, 2006: 64]. This way was artistically so convincing, that G. Tsereteli and E. Ninoshvili totally repeated the essence of this model: as far as the justice is weak (or biased), the only way left to the insulted characters is to administer it individually. Hence, for them and for Gabriel this death "becomes the reason of deep tragic cataclysms" [Ratiani, 2006:64].

Titiko Droidze - a character of E. Ninoshvili's story "Simona" - can be regarded as a new type of Datiko. He "had the praporshchik's epaulettes on his shoulders", rode a golden horse in the evenings and was proud of "the rank of an officer". For his egocentric nature everything rotates around his own "ego". The typical immorality of the privileged social position is accompanied by the unruly immorality of the Russian officer and this synthesis takes the form of the following "credo": "The positive side of the wealth and power is that everyone fulfills your desires. If my desires are not fulfilled, if people, an old woman, a boy and everyone frightens me, then for what I will need the wealth?!... Нет, брат, our law, the officers' law is not written in this way: if we like a woman, кончено дело, she is ours!"[Ninoshvili, 1947: 232-233].

E. Ninoshvili clearly indicates, that Titiko is not an exception. He is the son of his family and  circle. He is guided by the criteria of his organic social stratum. If David tries to conceal the external side of crime and assures Ketevan that he is not guilty in Simona's case and if Levan does not dare to use force on the woman after her refusal, an "officer" Titiko does not accept such withdrawal. "It is not written" in the officers' law. The traditions are not envisaged by this law!

Ieremia Tsarba, Tariel Mklavadze and Titiko Droidze "are made on the gauge" of Ilia's Datiko [Abashidze, 1914: 138]. Nevertheless, it should be noted, that Datiko's artistic image was far more impressive and interesting than the images of his literary descendants. It seems, that Ilia masterfully embodied the inner tragedy connected with the problem of the sin and repentance and made his character more interesting. This is one more aspect, that connects the character of ,,Glakhis Naambobi" with the characters of the works created on Don Juan's theme. From the heroes of the following period Sapar-Beg (a character of A. Tsereteli's ,,Gamzrdeli" (tutor)) and Gaioz Gadalendia (a character of L. Kiacheli's ,,Tariel Golua") are related to the character of ,,Glakhis Naambobi" with their inner tragedy.

The appearance of Sapar-Beg in Akaki's poem implies a fatal indication: the invasion of a guest into an idyllic family in a nightmarish night awakens various feelings. Generally, the compositional structure of the poem implies the manipulation with feelings: one unexpected picture is changed by another and the narrative expression achieves increasingly high degree at the end of the poem. Akaki emphatically points out that Sapar is an impeccable character: intrepid, steadfast, proud and devoted. In other words, he is a true knight, but a passion awakes    in him like in Ilia's character and Sapar is unable to resist it.

The crime was committed. In contrast to Ilia's and E. Ninoshvili's characters, this episode did not entertain Sapar. Hence, his spiritual world was not touched enough to lose the sleep. Moreover, he calmed himself that if the woman did not reveal the truth, he would remain unpunished. Sapar-Beg's foster-brother had the higher moral. Akaki does not follow the model created by Ilia. According to his own philosophical-artistic concept, Akaki suggests completely different solution of the problem. He moves Batu's punishment into the moral sphere and the result of the decision springs up: Sapar was more painfully touched by Batu's high morality than it would be achieved in the case of a physical revenge. It has already been mentioned in the literary criticism [Bakradze, 2004; Asatiani, 1980]. It must be noted, that the movement of  punishment into the moral aspect was highly effective. Firstly, Batu's and afterwards, Haji-Usup's moral perfection raised the desire of repentance in sinful Sapar-Beg. It was the beginning of his spiritual catharsis. Therefore, despite having a victim, Akaki's pathos is completely optimistic, whereas the true repentance means a spiritual renascence and restoration.

The pathos of Akaki's poem is partly revealed in L. Kiacheli's story "Tariel Golua". Its  acting character Gaioz Gadalendia is a contradictory person like Ilia's Datiko. This mysterious person has bright and dark sides and a struggle between them leads to inherent contradiction. If Datiko's interest towards Tamro is a passion, in case of Gaioz, it is love that captures him with an amazing force. "God is love"- this wisdom has a pathological character in Gaioz's case: the desire of Tina's capturing penetrates into his soul with a demonic power and directs his actions to the evil. On his way, Gaioz does not disdain anything - a humiliating lie, meanness, cheat, bloodshed. He aspires to his goal with Don Juan's fatal passion. Nevertheless, like Datiko, Gaioz Gadalendia is not devoid of attractiveness.

While reading ,,Glakhis Naambobi" the following logical question arises: Why did Datiko release Gabro and Pepia? It's impossible, that he did not realize that they were dangerous for him. Ilia emphasizes, that Datiko behaved anonymously. Therefore, Gabriel and Pepia were obliged to him. Datiko said to released Gabriel: "The candle and the incense will never lose their ways". This phrase enables as to perceive this picture from different aspect. Ilia contemplates the death as a divine regularity and this is acknowledged by all his characters regardless their lifestyles. What should this phrase mean in this case? Does Gabriel's (enemy's) liberation by Datiko mean the challenge, shooting of a glove, playing with the fate or death?

Galandia, who is obediently standing in front of armed Bezhan is also playing with the fate. The calmness of the former robber, who stands in front of the barrel seems quite unusual. Hence,  Gaioz, like Datiko, knows that "The candle and the incense will never lose their way". In last minutes of life no willingness of fight or self-defense is seen. However, after Bezhan's delay in firing, the robber's blood awakens and with the words: "Look out! I can outstrip you" he puts his hand on the weapon. We think, that it was a trick for helping Bezhan to fulfill his hard duty. Gaioz's behavior shows obedience, but it is not an obedience provoked by the cowardice. This is a disgusted obedience. Gaioz feels hatred towards everything - towards himself and the surrounding world, which had not prevented him from being impudent, from betraying his own principles or becoming a murderer. His obedience is a disgusted indifference and realization of the fact, that everything had been finished for him long ago. He even feels relief that fate approached him.

Let's recall Datiko's level-headed and peaceful meeting with the death in ,,Glakhis Naambobi". Dying from Gabriel's hand seems natural to him. Hence, Datiko regrets his unnamed death: "Let my blood be honest for you, you are a courageous man... Oh, mummy!... How badly I met you!. . . I died by your hands!... Farewell and be victorious, triumphant Gabriel!... [Chavchavadze, 1950: 118].

The  sentiment -,,Farewell and be victorious" -  is felt in the last minutes of  L. Kiacheli's character, when he picks up the last strength and cocks the pistol at Bezhan: ,,You see, I can shoot, but. . .  enough. . .  I don't want!  - he said deafly - God will judge us!" [Kiacheli, 1974: 174].

The word "enough" reveals Gaioz's spiritual condition. The pangs of conscience captured him and he is looking for the way to repentance. L. Kiacheli indicates, that despite Gaioz's reputation of a brigand and a ruthless robber, he has difficulties in making decision about Levan's killing. The author describes this inner struggle with the great expression: "Why is it difficult for you to kill the enemy now? Doing such thing should be easy for you!" [Kiacheli, 1947: 143].

"Why is it difficult now"- the spiritual condition of a man standing at he beginning of the already traced road is very important. The same condition was read in Datiko's silence, when he was informed about Tamro's and Gabriel's love affair. Gabriel was the closest (brotherly) person for an orphan and a lonely landlord. It was not easy for him to make decision about blocking his way for a minute's pleasure, but in this hesitation Datiko and Gaioz were overpowered by devil. Ilia wrote: "A wise scientist said, that thousand roads go to the wrongness and the only road goes to the righteousness. This only way is the contradiction between ,,yes" and ,,no" [Chavchavadze, 1955: 76]. While struggling between ,,yes" and ,,no", the characters had difficulties in choosing or finding the only road leading to the righteousness.

The artistic image of Gaioz Gadalendia is based on the scheme of an adventurer. He is a difficult and a deep character. The author treats Gaioz with an emphasized caution and pays special attention to his personal feelings and an internal struggle. Amazingly truthful is the scene revealing the fulfillment of Gaioz's mysterious intention. His heart has already been conquered by Levan's internal purity and killing him seems difficult. Gaioz's and Levan's dialogue shows the trace of Gaioz's inner struggle. Gadalendia suffers from his own decision, which will not be changed. He is "shamelessly drunk" with love and begins talking about the most intimate and secret feeling. By touching a painful wound, Gaioz provokes an insulting feeling for breaking a binding atmosphere and a border of morality "in which he lived with restraint" [Kiacheli, 1947: 145]

But this murder and treachery forced Gaioz to hate himself.  An angry robber stands in front of the avenger as a regretful criminal, who reconciles to his severe, but just verdict: "Enough...I do not want!... God will judge us!" - this is the cry of the bright wraith of his spirit, the cry of that wraith, which always existed in this contradictory man and was suppressed by the turmoil of a strong passion.

Datiko confesses: "I have also done a lot of bad, but it does not matter, - it spoilt me" [Chavchavadze, 1950:118]. Gaioz Gadalendia realizes, that his crimes are unforgivable. The desire of the redemption of sins makes Gaioz and Datiko related (subconsciously). The authors' attitude is an attempt of saving dignities of downfall persons.

Datiko, Sapar-Beg, Gaioz Gadalendia, Ieremia Tsarba, Tariel Mklavadze and Titiko Droidze represent several interpretations of one artistic image. They take after one another and at the same time, significantly differ. The similarities have already been discussed, while the main difference lies in the fact, that Datiko, Sapar-Beg and Gaioz Gadalendia apparently deserve the authors' secret sympathy. In other cases, the writers do not reveal such tendency.

First of all, Ilia's story presents an ethical problem. "This work is still interesting with its spiritual and moral collisions, the moral conception, the author's stressed moral outlook and the sensitivity revealed in it"[Vasadze, 2010: 59]. These collisions are directly connected with Datiko's image. For its determination the following evaluation can be treated as the most appropriate: a truthfully painted person. There is nothing artificial and exaggerated in this character. The secret of his viability is in his naturalness and in the truthfully created artistic image.

The tendency of cognizance of things and events and the evaluation of their significance is characteristic for Ilia. The artistic image painted by him is almost always concrete from the social-historical point of view. The creation of Datiko's artistic image was determined by the requirement of the time. By means of the virtue of the author's creative skill, Datiko crossed the borders of contemporaneity and appeared with different interesting interpretations.


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