Konstantin Simonovich Gamsakhurdia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gamsakhurdia, Konstantin Simonovich


Born May 3 (15), 1891, in the village of Abasha. Soviet Georgian writer, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (1944).

Gamsakhurdia was born into a noble family. His first works were published in 1914. He graduated from the University of Berlin in 1919, traveled in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and lived in Paris. In 1924 he became the head of the conservative literary Academic Group in Tbilisi. Gamsakhurdia’s novel The Smile of Dionysus (1925) is marked by decadent influences. The novel The Theft of the Moon (vols. 1-3, 1935-36; Russian translation, 1936) shows with great artistic force the clash between the old and new worlds during collectivization. In 1939 he published the historical novel The Right Hand of the Great Master (Russian translation, 1943), which depicts the struggle of King George against the feudal lords, as well as the culture, mores, and customs of medieval Georgia. The tetralogy David the Builder (vols. 1^1, 1946-58; Sh. Rustaveli Republic Prize, 1965) is devoted to the heroic struggle of the Georgian people for national independence in the 11th century. In the novel The Bloom of the Vine (1956), Gamsakhurdia portrays the kolkhoz peasantry of the 1930’s and 1940’s, who transformed the barren lands of Gveletia into vineyards.

Gamsakhurdia is a great master of depicting social relations, rituals, and details of everyday life. He made a great contribution to the development of Georgian prose, writing many novellas and tales, articles of literary criticism, and monographs. Among the works that he has translated into Georgian are Dante’s Divine Comedy and Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Gamsakhurdia’s novels have been translated into many languages. He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Rch’euli t’xzulebani, vols. 1-8. Tbilisi, 1958-67.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1-6. [Introductory article by B. Zhgenti.] Tbilisi, 1962-68.


Radiani, Sh. D. Konstantine Gamsakhurdiia. Tbilisi, 1968.
Zhgenti, B. Konstantin Gamsakhurdiia: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva. Tbilisi, 1968.
Zhgenti, B. Konstantine Gamsaxurdia. Tbilisi, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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