Vol. 42 (2022)
XX Century Literature

Towards the Question of the Genesis of Artistic Images of Characters of „Jako’s Dispossessed“ by Mikheil Javakhishvili

Maia Tsertsvadze
Georgian Technical University

Published 2022-04-30


  • Mikheil Javakhishvili,
  • Novel „Jako’s Dispossessed“,
  • characters of „Jako’s Dispossessed“,
  • prototypes of „Jako’s Dispossessed“,
  • genesis of artistic images

How to Cite

Tsertsvadze, M. (2022). Towards the Question of the Genesis of Artistic Images of Characters of „Jako’s Dispossessed“ by Mikheil Javakhishvili. Literary Researches, 42, 125–143. Retrieved from https://literaryresearches.litinstituti.ge/index.php/literaryresearches/article/view/6484


“Jako’s Dispossessed” by Mikheil Javakhishvili, to which the author
attached special importance amongst his creations, is an outstanding example of Georgian writing of the 20th century. It was written in the wake of one of the most tragic periods in Georgia’s recent history – the uprising against Bolshevik Russia in 1924. Soon after, the novel was first published in the magazine „Mnatobi“ and as a separate book the following year.

The novel’s revealing pathos, themes, and issues were equally
unacceptable to the government of the period, as well as to the part of the Georgian cultural society – the intelligentsia. Its publication was immediately followed by a lot of responses both in Georgia and abroad from Georgian emigrants who had escaped the Russian occupation regime.

Since then, the novel has not lost the attention of literary critics. Its various aspects have been thoroughly discussed and analyzed by scholars and critics.

One of the important issues regarding the study of Mikheil Javakhishvili’s novel “Jako’s Dispossessed” is the issue of the genesis of the artistic images of its main characters, which implies the identification of their prototypes. Our previous research, the continuation of which the presented paper is devoted to, described the issue of identifying the two trios of prototypes of the main characters of the novel – Jako Jivashvili, Teimuraz Khevistavi and Margo Kaflanishvili – and gathering information about them introduced in memoirs and other genres of literature, as well as in science in the early and later periods, and based on the exploration of the writer’s records.

Currently, we are expanding the gallery of prototypes, and paying attention to other prototypes of these characters in the novel, suggested and established by literary experts and researchers of Mikheil Javakhishvili’s life and works at different times. Based on the latest studies in this direction and their critical analysis, we will try to show the diversity and “synthetic” nature of the prototypes of the characters.

In the essay “How I Work” published in 1933, Mikhail Javakhishvili shared his opinion about the prototypes of characters in literary texts: “The prototype helps the writer a lot. If a living acquaintance stands in front of him, his character will also come out alive. However, drawing a portrait is not enough. The writer transforms it in his way, adds some things, leaves out others, and makes up someone who resembles the prototype and is different from him at the same time.”

In this paper, we discuss the writer’s creative laboratory. Specifically, the transformation of the prototypes and the episodes from their biography; of the events, facts and realia related to the prototypes through the author’s literary fantasy, imagination and artistic determination, which led to the final genesis of the artistic images of “Jako’s Dispossessed”. As these aspects of the novel carry a significant symbolic load, we will also discuss their symbolic and paradigm aspects.