Tears Mixed With a Smile
A review by Mikho Mosulishvili for the public group 'Autorenkreis Frankfurt'
I would like to tell you about the vice colonel and writer David Kldiashvili (1862-1931) and about his novella ‘Samanishvili's Step-Mother' (1896), which will be published in Switzerland soon by the 'Dörlemann Verlag AG' and with supporting of the Georgian National Book Center. The book was translated into German by Rachel Gratzfeld...
The establishment of capitalism in Georgia at the end of the 19th century completely wrecked the economical foundations that all noblemen's privileges were based on. The idea of 'tearful laughter' by an author and a playwright David Kldiashvili was inspired by these events. He depicted the tragic nature of doomed noblemen quite comically, thus giving his work a unique and incomparable style and tone. They are typically tragicomic impregnated with what the author himself referred to as ‘tears mixed with a smile’.
In the story ‘Samanishvili's Step-Mother' a widower's wish to remarry is frowned upon by his family with the fear of sharing their fortune with someone. This fear causes them to end up in a tragicomic situation.
The novella ‘Samanishvili's Step-Mother' was prediction of further events in Georgia. Today Georgia is faced with the same issue: at the end of the 20th century, when the Soviet Union collapsed, leaving the majority of Georgians who are still failing at coping with the new reality.
'Samanischwili's stepmother' was filmed twice, in 1926 by Kote Marjanishvili and in 1977 by Eldar Shengelaia.
As one of the favorite story of the Georgians 'Samanischwili's stepmother' is performed over and over again as a stage play.
Happy reading to the German readers too!
P.S. From biography:
Born to an impoverished noble family in the province of Imereti, Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire), David Kldiashvili was educated at the military schools of Kiev and Moscow (1880-1882). Returning to Georgia, he joined the Russian army. Deemed to be a non-reliable officer, he was forced to resign as a non-reliable officer during the Russian Revolution of 1905. During World War I, he was remobilized in the army and served on the Ottoman front. Following the 1917 February Revolution, he was demobilized and, sick and tired, returned to his native village as a vice colonel in resignation.
-- Fehlendes Licht (für Dawit Kldiaschwili)