THE PORTRAIT OF THE GEORGIAN JEWISH WRITER, GERTZEL BAAZOV, IN AN INTERCULTURAL CONTEXT

Abstract

In the presented article, the portrait of the public figure of the 20s-30s of the 20th century, of the first Georgian Jewish writer, Gertsel Baazov, is presented in an intercommunicative, intercultural context, against the background of the centuries-old, exemplary relationship between two nations, Georgians and Jewish. The circumstances and factors that, to a large extent, determined and conditioned the intercultural thinking of the “eternal traveler”, as the writer calls himself in one of the poems, as well as his ethnic-relational intercultural sensitivity, readiness, openness, and positive attitude towards different cultures, in this case, regarding the coexistence of Georgian and Jewish cultures, are highlighted and emphasized.


Georgian Jews never needed to realize what they did not have to do to get rid of racism, and anti-Semitism in Georgia because there was no need to prove ethnocentrism or the superiority of their own ethnic group. An exemplary model of a peaceful, conflict-free, perfectly balanced relationship between the Georgian and Jewish nations can be considered an almost unique fact in world history. The Jewish diaspora only needed to realize what they had to do in order to create a productive intercultural environment where they could realize their abilities, talents, and potential. But the historical reality, about which Gerzel Baazov's sister, Fani Baazov, speaks with great pain, was completely different. Centuries of peaceful coexistence, safe sleep, and the feeling of constant protection somehow softened the national potential of the Jews, the lack of an opposing force in the Jewish diaspora silenced the instincts of defense and set the main goal not to survive, but to feed itself, preserving all national and cultural values. In the conditions of this absolute stagnation, it was necessary to wake up the “dumb” and “blind-eyed” Jews, to engage them in a common bond, and turn to an active, purposeful life. It was not such an easy task when the majority of Georgian Jews did not even know how to read and write. To begin with, it was necessary to create centres of primary education and culture, where they would at least learn reading and writing, and elementary habits. The initiators and inspirers of these noble deeds in the Jewish Diaspora of Georgia were the father and son, Davit and Gertsel Baazovs, whose merits, against the background of the above-mentioned national-cultural crisis and complete vacuum, seem really priceless. That is why the appearance of Gertsel Baazov, a famous Georgian Jewish writer of the first half of the 20th century, in the literary arena is considered to be the first lucky exception in the history of Georgian literature.


A new world, a new environment, new faces and characters, new problematics,-  this is the main thing that the first worthy Georgian Jewish writer really managed to establish in the diverse Georgian literature and, most importantly, created a productive intercultural environment at that time, the main condition for effective intercultural communication against the backdrop of a complete cultural-intellectual vacuum in the Georgian-Jewish diaspora. All the skills and qualities that interculturally competent people should have for effective interaction with other cultures and peoples were complied in his personality: appropriate education, psychological balance, cognitive skills, new and necessary interpersonal communication skills. As an interculturally sensitive person, he was always active and constantly looking for ways or different perspectives when making decisions and acting. He was well aware that ethnocentrism, which, to some extent, may be considered an important and positive phenomenon, as an alternative to preserving ethnic identity, in the Georgian reality, on the contrary, would be an obstacle to maintaining healthy relations between two nations, two peoples. This was the brief but diverse and deep life paradigm of the creative and public activity of the Georgian Jewish writer Gertsel Baazov.


 


Keywords: Georgian-Jewish diaspora, intercultural competencies, ethno-relational sensitivity, effective intercultural communication.

Published
2023-12-18
How to Cite
GOBIANI, Guranda. THE PORTRAIT OF THE GEORGIAN JEWISH WRITER, GERTZEL BAAZOV, IN AN INTERCULTURAL CONTEXT. PHILOLOGICAL RESEARCHES, [S.l.], n. VII, p. 48-57, dec. 2023. ISSN 2667-9612. Available at: <http://www.sciencejournals.ge/index.php/NJ/article/view/387>. Date accessed: 14 apr. 2024.
Section
SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES - LITERATURE SECTION