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Georgian Folk Tales
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message 1: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Oct 15, 2017 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane  | 12968 comments Start discussion for Georgian Folk Tales, translated by Marjory Wardrop, here.

**This book is public domain and can be read for free on archive.org**


message 2: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Oct 15, 2017 07:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane  | 12968 comments About the Book (from Abela Publishing and from the book's preface)

It is not widely known that the Caucasus corridor, the geographic home to the nation of Georgia, was a well traveled arm of the famous Silk Route that linked Asia and Europe. Silk, merchandise, and stories were traded through this region for countless generations.

On one hand, Georgia shared a religious and political connection with Byzantium (Christendom), and on the other a constant cultural discourse with Persia and Turkey (Islam). In later years, links to Russia further enriched the cultural traditions of this crossroad of civilizations. It is therefore not surprising that the nation of Georgia overflows with folklore.

Georgian Folktales is a short collection of thirty-eight traditional stories from Georgia, Mingrelia and Guria translated by Marjorie Wardrop in 1894. Princes, kings, viziers, wicked stepmothers, princesses, fools, speaking serpents, and simple folk who make good abound in the pages of this book. The twenty-eight Mingrelian proverbs provide additional insight into the culture of the region. Many of the themes in these stories are also reflected in European folklore, giving credence to the claim that folklore originated in Asia eons ago and was transported to Europe by the Gypsy and Roma folk.

Part I of the book is a collection edited by Lado Aghniashvili, published in Tbilisi in 1891 by the Georgian Folklore society under the title, Khalkhuri Zghaprebi.

Part II of the book comprises the Mingrelian stories in A.A. Tsagareli's Mingrelskie Etyudy, S. Pbg. published in 1880.

Part III is an anonymous collection, entitled Gruzinskiya Narodnyya Skazki. Sobr. Bebur B., published in 1884.


About the Translator (from Goodreads)

Marjory Scott Wardrop was an English scholar and translator of Georgian literature. She was a sister of the British diplomat and scholar of Georgia, Oliver Wardrop.

Fluent in seven foreign languages, she also learned Georgian and traveled to Georgia (then part of Imperial Russia) in 1894-5 and 1896. She translated and published Georgian Folk Tales (London, 1894), The Hermit by Ilia Chavchavadze (London, 1895), The Life of St. Nino (Oxford, 1900), etc. She also made the first English prosaic translation of The Knight in the Panther's Skin, a medieval Georgian epic poem by Shota Rustaveli (published by Oliver Wardrop in London, 1912). After her death at the age of 40, Sir Oliver created the Marjory Wardrop Fund at Oxford University "for the encouragement of the study of the language, literature, and history of Georgia, in Transcaucasia.


message 3: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane  | 12968 comments Discussion Questions (adapted from BookRiot)

1. What did you like best about this book?

2. What did you like least about this book?

3. What other books did this remind you of? Did any of the stories remind you of other stories you have heard? Explain.

4. Which story did you like best? Why?

5. Which story did you like least? Why?

6. What similarities do these stories share? Do they tie together?

7. Do you think any of the stories could be expanded into a full-length book? If so, which ones?


Silver A part of me has to wonder if there is something lost in translation in some of these stories. While I understsnd they are folk tales full of myth, magic, and whimsy there are some aspects of the stories that I found mind boggoling illogical. It felt to me as if there where certian things missing.

The nature of some these stories really make me wonder about Georgian culture.

One of the other things that bothers about many of these stories is the fact that thus far in nearly all of them the hero or heroine of the stories are rewarded for committing heinous or at least morally questionable acts primarily murder and or theft.

I do find many of the stories to be intersting and entertaining to read but they also leave me with questions and frustrations.


Silver One of my favorite stories so far is the Frog-Skin. It reminds me of one of my favorite fairy tales The Frog Prince. I have to say I like the Georgian version of the story better.

In the Frog Prince, the princess is rewarded with the handsome prince in spite of the fact that she continually treats the frog cruelly.

In the Frog-Skin the prince is rewarded for his loyalty to the frog.n


Calzean | 749 comments While there are similarities with some European folklore, the Georgian ones seem to be far more violent and have many more threads, twists and turns. I could see the crossing of East and West in some of the stories but I struggled in most cases to see the message the story was trying to tell (except all Princesses are beautiful, handsome Princes are licensed to hunt and kill and devilish imps should be avoided).


Silver Calzean wrote: "While there are similarities with some European folklore, the Georgian ones seem to be far more violent and have many more threads, twists and turns. I could see the crossing of East and West in so..."

That is one of the difficuties I had with stories. Unlike many of the fairy tales I am familiar with I fail to see a true moral or message in these stories.

As I continued reading I also found a lot of redundancy emerging between many of the tales. Many of the stories seem to be slightly different variations of the same story.


message 8: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1061 comments Calzean wrote: "While there are similarities with some European folklore, the Georgian ones seem to be far more violent and have many more threads, twists and turns. I could see the crossing of East and West in so..."

Truths of which we all need reminding from time to time... :)


Silver I found the section with the proverbs interesting. While many of them were baffling they did shed some light on the nature of some of the stories.

And one of the proverbs I really liked:

A heart-kiss is better than a lip-kiss


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Georgian Folk Tales (other topics)

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