Certain Aspects of Social Literature Studies Discourse Cover Image

სოციო-ლიტერატურათმცოდნე-ობითი დისკურსის ზოგიერთი ასპექტი
Certain Aspects of Social Literature Studies Discourse

Author(s): Shorena Shamanadze, Natela Chitauri
Subject(s): Studies of Literature, Sociology of Culture, Migration Studies
Published by: ლიტერატურის ინსტიტუტის გამომცემლობა
Keywords: literary studies; social studies; migration;

Summary/Abstract: Intercultural communications, cultural globalization and especially migration processes have reasoned wide scale to literary space both in geographic and qualitative means. Following aspects characterizing modernity have been outlined in the literary and society relations: society reacts to literature and decides what is valuable and actual in it.Literature also reacts to modernity and evaluates its own capabilities and viability. Those paradigms of identity, which are being modeled in literature today, change the literature thematic. Social dramas have multiplied in modern literature; and such painful topics as war, ethnic conflicts and etc. It can be said that art has become more social than it was before. Furthermore, literature has seen that there is the necessary to reflect the existing reality with even more drama and truth.Interpretation of modern literary texts is impossible without interdisciplinary format of research, which provides for actualization of social experiences (sociology, social psychology, social geography) along with others.In general, connection between sociology and literature studies started in the 19th century and went through several stages of development. Although, we believe that the given communication, considering the aforementioned, is characterized by completely qualities and dimensions and is being formed as separate discourse. Due to that, we believe it advisable to introduce the working term – social literature studies – for defining it.Following research spheres have been outlined in the today’s discourse of social literature studies: 1. Studying social literature indicators (author-reader-environment); 2.Research of social poetics, as of social structure and social phenomenon; 3. Research of text by social concepts. At that time, special importance is given to the theories of social relations, which allows us to reveal in texts the psycho-social and national identification models of intercultural communications, human relations (individual and social behavior). Analysis and comprehension of literary representations of aforementioned models is very important.All the works in all epochs gives material for research by means of social models and theories. It is impossible to define any literary direction, even symbolism just by aesthetics. Currently, every important is the theory of American sociologist Ronald Inglhart about the op positional social behavior model of self-preservation and self-expression values, which means that the self-savior function activates in the society in which the fight for material well being is most important and there is no more space for other values; the self-expression function activates in the society in which is for long time preserved high quality of life/well being and human rights are the most important value. The given model comprehensively reflects the individual’s position towards the reality, especially in the context of certain regime or ideological pressure. It is interesting how these functions have been reflected at some stage of history development in the works of Georgian writers and by what means it has been expressed.For the moment we will attempt to represent the literary representation of the given model in the text by modern Georgian author Nana Ekvtimishvili – Peer Field, which was written in 2015. Nana Ekvtimishvili’s identity as of an author is defined by three marks: first of all she is Georgian-German author; second – she is movie director and screenplay writer and third – she is woman author.The plot of the novel develops in the 1990’s. The feeling of moving from the old to the new has never been so tense as in the 1990’s. It was the end of not only the century,but also of the millennium, which was naturally accompanied by anxiety and expectation. In Georgia, just in all the other countries of the Soviet Union, the world-scale political change – collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – turned transition into the main feature of life. The road leading from the closed historic space towards the completely strange new became the narrow bridge for some and the gap for others.It is interesting how the self-savior function empowers to the background of social political situation and what methods are used for its literary representation.Right from the 1990’s in general and especially in post-soviet countries, following the democratization, multi culture, humane ideas the so called “side effects” have appeared; such as: territorial and religious conflicts, aggression and violence: not only physical, but also cultural. The facts of aggression, physical, psychological and sexual abuse attract attention in different directions: it is the sexual abuse of students by a teacher,bullying by strong children of weak ones and etc. In certain cases, aggression for abusers is the mechanism of self-preservation. Such facts of self-preservation accompanied the 1990’s; self-expression function is also less expected in such specif space as described in the novel. The novel exactly reflects the soul of the epoch: obscure, poor life does not allow the society for self-expression. Comprehension of the result of the trauma, as self-identification in the space, which means getting used or not getting used by an individual to the space model, which they have to live in. In the given novel, psychological identification of an individual is tightly connected with space identification (according to the novel, it is the “boarding school of disabled juveniles” or “the school of imbeciles” in the 1990’s). Estrangement with the space or the unachieved identification of space results in the crisis of individual’s psycho-social identification or self-identification. This finally forms the traumatic mentality. The given factor leaves an individual without the possibility of self-expression. Opening of the closed space reevaluated certain social models of behavior and activity characterizing Georgian mentality. The novel focuses on the full dependence of a child on the family: mother decides upon the marriage of an already adult son. She also decides whether or not this wife would be good for him or not. Goderdzi divorces the wife unacceptable to his family and married another woman. The given episode also reflects the interest of woman author in the gender situation characterizing the given epoch. The given factors are also barriers for self-expression.The novel describes many markers of the identity of the Georgian life of 1990’s and the behavior and activity model of that time. This is expressed in the popular cloths: “pyramid jeans and shirts with palms”, design of wedding hall: “carpet handing on the wall and flowers pinned to it”; the character of the boarding school director: “athletic woman with narrow black skirt, wearing black, high-heel shoes and greenish shirt. She wears large black bead, which moves from side to side with her breasts, when she runs around.”In conclusion we can say that certain aspects of social literature studies discourse,namely the op positional model of self-preservation and self-expression in Nana Ekvtimishvili’s novel the Peer Field is reflected as follows: in the space described in the novel,which represents the identity crisis of the 1990’s, we do not see facts of art and creativity,which are the ones that cover the mechanisms of fighting violence, such as the process of the modeling of “I”, self-identification and identification with others, imagination (fantasy). The creator of the new trans-disciplinary field – “peace science” Johan Galtung believes that conflicts, violence, aggression can only be opposed by non-violence (empathy and solidarity), which by all means includes empowerment of the role of education, culture, arts and which is based on values of creativity and self-expression.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 17
  • Page Range: 257-269
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Georgian