Reviews

Prince Grigol Orbeliani’s (1804-83) travel diary My Travel from Tbilisi to St. Petersburg (written from June 1831 to August 1832) is analysed as a document of intercultural perception.  Evoking the sentiments oscillating between ambivalence and discontent among the Georgian nobility in the two decades following the Russian conquest, the author stresses Orbeliani’s ambivalent position as a Georgian prince serving as an officer of the Tsarist army.  He then shows how his pioneering travelogue, under the influence of Russian Decembrists, developed new standards for the documentary prosaic genre of Georgian travel writing after a long period marked by pilgrimage and diplomatic accounts (tab. pp. 54-6).  The chapter on the history of the text points out Orbeliani’s discussion reflecting the main pros and contras of the Tsarist annexation of Georgia, and his attempts at convincing his prospective readers of the necessity and feasibility of gaining independence for Georgia.  The author notices the interspersing of the travelogue with Russianisms, hinting at an existing bilingualism among the educated elite.

The Redaction
CER: I-3.3.C-240