TSU, 107 | Moderation: Prof. T. Tschumburidse - 16.50-17.15

Some aspects for comparing Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov and Ilia Ch’avch’avadze’s Is He a Human?!

Hayate Sotome (Tokyo University)

A Russian writer Ivan Goncharov (1812–1892) published his one of the most famous realistic novel Oblomov in 1859, and later Russian revolutionary democrat Nikolay Dobrolyubov wrote his famous essay What is Oblomovism? (1859), where he analyzed that Goncharov had depicted certain problems on selfdom associated with Russian nobles like Oblomov.

On the other hand, Georgian writer and activist I. Ch’avch’avadze published a novel Is He a Human?! in 1861, where its protagonist Luarsab Tatqaridze is depicted as a lazy nobleman as Oblomov.

When we take the fact into consideration that Ch’avch’avadze studied at St. Petersburg in 1857–61 and was close to Russian revolutionally democrats Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov, it will be possible to regard that, when writing the work, he recreated Tatqaridze’s character, or “Tatqaridzeoba” (in a famous Georgian literary critic Ak’ak’i Bakradze’s word), as a Georgian version of “Oblomovism,” by referring to Oblomov and What is Oblomovism? From this assumption, some aspect and focuses will be provided in the paper in order to compare these two works and acquire some new perspectives for critique of Is He a Human?!

Our attention will be paid to, on one side, a common point that both writers criticises Russian and Georgian selfdom, on which Oblomov and Tatqaridze depend. On the other hand, there is certain difference that Tatqaridze is not educated and thinks only of eating, while Oblomov is depicted as being educated and actually shaped as a typical Russian intelligentsia. From observation about common points and differences like this, what Ch’avch’avadze wanted to write in order to show readers (social) problems in his contemporary Georgia will be demonstrated.