Georgii Tsereteli

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tsereteli, Georgii Efimovich


Born May 14 (26), 1842, in the village of Goris, in what is now Sachkhere Raion, Georgian SSR; died Jan. 12 (24), 1900, in Tbilisi. Georgian writer, publicist, literary critic, and public figure.

Tsereteli, a nobleman by birth, enrolled at the faculty of physics and mathematics of the University of St. Petersburg in 1860. For participating in the student riots of 1861 he was imprisoned for several months in the Kronstadt Fortress.

In 1863, Tsereteli returned to Georgia. From 1866 to 1869 he edited the newspaper Droeba. He was one of the leaders of the Tergdaleulebi movement. In 1868 he began to publish the newspaper Sasoplo gazeti (Village Newspaper) and in 1871, the journal Krebuli (Anthology). In 1877, along with N. Ia. Nikoladze, he founded Meore-dasi (Second Group), which professed the country’s need for capitalist development as a condition of its national revival. From 1893 to 1897 he edited the progressive weekly newspaper Kvali (Furrow), which in 1897 became the official publication of Mesame-dasi (Third Group).

Subsequently an advocate of critical realism, Tsereteli in his novels and novellas depicted all strata of Georgian society and the struggle between various social forces; he expressed deep compassion for the toiling peasantry. Tsereteli’s most important work, the novel The First Step (parts 1–2, 1890–91; Russian translation, 1936), paints a panorama of Georgian society, depicting the impoverishment of the gentry, the disintegration of the aristocracy, and the intrusion and consolidation of capitalism.

During the 1880’s, Tsereteli provided aid to the Georgian theater, which was being revived.


In Russian translation:
Sochineneniia, vols. 1–2. [Introductory article by G. Natroshvili.] Tbilisi, 1950–51.
Pervyi shag. [Novels and novellas. Afterword by G. Natroshvili.] Tbilisi. 1965.


Gamezardashvili, D. M. Stanovlenie kritich. realizma v gruz. lit-re. Tbilisi, 1959.
Ratiani. P. K. Gruz. shestidesiatniki v rus. osvobodit. dvizhenii. Tbilisi, 1968.
Chilaia, A. Giorgi Ceret’eli, me-2 shevs. gamoe’. Tbilisi, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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