Vol. 43 (2023)

Irodion Evdoshvili –150

Zoia Tskhadaia
Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature

Published 2023-12-14


  • Irodion Evdoshvili,
  • tribune of the revolution,
  • Ilia Chavchavadze’s murder,
  • social democrats,
  • reevaluation of ideology

How to Cite

Tskhadaia, Z. (2023). Irodion Evdoshvili –150. Literary Researches, 43, 280–297. https://doi.org/10.62119/lr.43.2023.7768


Irodion Evdoshvili’s life and literary works were complex, fascinating and contradictory. His first poem appeared in the newspaper “Kvali” in 1893 and since 1895 he was regularly published in literary magazine “Iberia” edited by Ilia Chavchavadze. The poet was acknowledged as a brave freedom-loving singer, who felt deeply for the suffering of the oppressed and tried to make his poetic word to be a beacon for men, a guide for liberation. Evdoshvili thereby not only echoed Ilia’s concept, but also expanded and strengthened it. This was also dictated by the voice of the time, the epoch.

Irodion Evdoshvili began his literary activity in the early years of the twenties century, at a time when class tensions were at their peak, and the Social Democratic Party, a generation known as Mesame Dasi (third group) entered the arena of political struggle. His poems full of passionate pathos were sung and recited everywhere during the fiery days of the 1905 revolution: on the tribunes, on the barricades... Evdoshvili’s poem “To the Friends” (1895) especially stood out for its appeal to self-sacrifice in the name of freedom. It seemed well suited for the 1990s, capturing the revolutionary spirit of the time. This pathos distinguishes his poems “Song”, “To My Friends”, “Amirani”, “Fight Song” and others.

Irodion Evdoshvili was arrested in 1909 and exiled to Vologda prison for three years, where he fell ill with tuberculosis. The poet expresses the sadness of separation from his homeland in the poem “Farewell to the Exile”, which is classified as a piece of poetry
belonging to the “Valletta” genre in Europe.

Poems written on a marine theme are fascinating in Irodion Evdoshvili’s poetry. Georgian poetry of the early years of the twentieth century was not as rich in this sense. Evdoshvili’s poem “Georgian Mother” which addresses the theme of the First World War is also noteworthy. It is hard to find thematically similar poems in Georgian poetry.

Many were frustrated by the 1905 revolution’s failure, the carnage, the tactics of battle, and the questionable direction of the revolutionary doctrine, particularly Irodion Evdoshvili.Things got worse with IIia Chavchavadze’s assassination, which was clearly inspired by the Social Democrats. For Evdoshvili, the murder of Ilia became a source of sadness and disappointment. This is the beginning of the most challenging creative period for Evdoshvili – awareness and revaluation of reality, which is vividly expressed in his poem “Diary” (1909). However, in this regard, especially important is the postcard secretly sent to Sandro Shanshiashvili from exile, in which he expresses the bitter mental pain of about the murder of Ilia and blames the Social Democrats for this. “This bullet hit me like a mournful sadness,” he wrote to his friend.

Evdoshvili did not swing off the road which he had chosen, but in relation to the Social-Democrats, he clearly revised his ideology, and the “enthusiastic tribune” toward the end of his life suffered “mourning sadness.”