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Book reviews

The Big She-Bear
The story of mountains with a prologue and an epilogue
By Mikho Mosulishvili

The Big She-Bear is a professional playwright’s version of a film novel (consisting of 61 episodes, based on visual material, as well as film scenes) is an original story, derived from Biblical and Georgian highland mythology, about a twelve-year-old boy and his family, about revenge and its consequences.


In the Caucasus mountains, the bear had got used to visiting this village in the Aragvi gorge, destroying the maize crops, smashing the bee-hives, snatching sheep and cows, killing hunters and their dogs, avoiding traps, keeping away from bullets. The village chief, with the support of the locals, tries to kill this elusive bear, but is opposed by a twelve-year-old boy, the boy’s grandparents and other villagers, because the latter believe that this bear is a visitor from the past, the sin committed by the chief and the whole village.

Synopsis of ‘A Big She-Bear’ By Mikho Mosulishvili
Genre: Magic Realism - Action
Word count: 20 160
Translated from Georgian into English by Manana Rusieshvili-Cartledge

The inhabitants of a village located in the mountains of South Caucasus struggle with a big She-Bear. The bear has caused damage to the villagers' corn fields, beehives and cattle, killed hunters and their dogs and avoided all kinds of traps. The village governor (administrative head), called a Biblical name Ahab, tries to kill the big she-bear with the help of the villagers. All the inhabitants of the village realize that this bear is a ghost from Ahab's past life.
A little boy - Vache, 12, lives in a Caucasian village. He witnesses the death of Gocha, 22, the son of the village governor Ahab. Gocha is killed by a bear, and Ahab, infuriated, starts a struggle against the beast.
The superstitious villagers are unwilling to kill the bear. In order to persuade them, Ahab, assisted by a teacher of physics, Baido, tries to cut down a sacred oak-tree (people believe that an angel ‘Monk Giorgi’ lives in the oak-tree and is a patron of the bear). However, Ahab fails to persuade the villagers.
Ahab has to hunt the bear alone. However, the bear defeats him and beats him severely. Ahab has a narrow escape from death. Vache and his grandfather Elia are happy about Ahab’s failure, as they are against the murder of the bear.
As Ahab, disabled, returns from hospital, Baido, who is now a manager of the village club, offers him a new plan of hunting: ‘Jelgaoba’ (collective bear-hunting with a previously dug hole in which the bear has to fall). They manage to trap the bear and give it a drug. Then they tie it with a chain to a bulldozer and take it to the village. Later they tie the bear on the stage of a village club which used to be a church.
A shooting crew invited by Ahab arrives from Tbilisi. The village is going to hold a trial of the bear, but at that moment Elia climbs a mountain and shoots his gun to cause an avalanche.
The avalanche starts, and half of the club is buried in the snow. The bear frees itself from the chain and hits Ahab to death. People flee from the club in panic.
Vache notices Baido who is pointing his gun at the bear. Vache covers his ears and shuts his eyes. Yet, he hears a gunshot and the sound of the bear falling to the ground. He also hears the joyous yelling of excited Baido...
In his dream Vache sees a big hand stretching down from the sky and raising the female bear by its tail. The bear turns into seven stars – the constellation of The Big Dipper*.
In 2015 the author as a screenwriter is winner for project ‘A Big She-Bear’ in the competition ‘Adaptation of the 21st Century Georgian Literary Work’ organized of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, Georgian National Film Center and Georgian National Book Center.
* The Big Dipper, also known as the Plough, is an asterism of seven stars recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures. These stars are the brightest of the formal constellation Ursa Major. The constellation of Ursa Major has been seen as a bear by many distinct civilizations.

Film Adaptation
June 26, 2015 Miho Mosulishvili as a screenwriter is winner with CPU Lira Production (Producer and Film-director Lali Kiknavelidze) for project ‘A Big She-Bear’ in the competition "Adaptation of the 21st Century Georgian Literary Work" organized of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, Georgian National Film Center and Georgian National Book Center, The Jury Members: Nana Jorjadze, Levan Berdzenishvili, Levan Tutberidze, Davit Chubinishvili, Vazha Gigashvili, Manana Anasashvili, Lela Ochiauri, Davit Gabunia.


Helessa, Or The Azalea Azaled, the Fox Foxed, the Sea Rocked...
A Laz maritime movie-novel, performed as a chronicle of the last journey of the feluka Kirbish, or, if you like, as an animated picture of the Laz artist, Hasan Helimishi
By Mikho Mosulishvili

Taking advantage of May Kirbishi’s love, Yashar Badishi tries to uncover the set of directions of making the Kirbishi clan mysterious drug with the aim of selling the recipe to wealthy foreigners, Helen Meyers and Alfred Antopoulos.

Synopsis of “Helessa”
Genre: Movie-novel, Sea fiction, Romance novel, Mythpunk
Word count: 66 800
Taking advantage of May Kirbishi’s love, Yashar Badishi tries to uncover the set of directions of making the Kirbishi clan mysterious drug with the aim of selling the recipe to wealthy foreigners, Helen Meyers and Alfred Antopoulos.
The oldest family of the Laz people from Sarpi, the Kirbishi family, possesses the recipe of making indispensable medicine curing people. The Red Flower of Medea is the herb used by the Kirbishi family for making indespansable ointment, as follows: For several centuries they have gone to sea on their felucca sailing boat and grown this herb in the earth ware pot on the deck to prevent disclosure of the mystery of their drug.
Besides, medicine is made with the arrangement of mysterious rituals, and to that end, it is necessary to visit of Constanta, the hamlet of Makriali in the Laz district of Turkey, and Gonio Fortress, the venues where the King of Colchis, Aeetes, laid to rest the parts of the remains of Absyrtus killed and fractured by Medea and Jason.
Yashar Badishi tries to uncover the mystery of this drug aiming at selling this recipe to the wealthy foreigners, Helen Mayers and Alfred Antopoulos, and to that end he goes to any lengths using close relationship with the Kirbishi family and even love of May Kirbishi. This is the reason of the rage from our Lord expressed through storms and gales.
Next year May Kirbishi having lost her relatives again goes to the sea on Kirbishi sail felucca and continues time-honored business of the family – and as a backdrop one can hear a song of their ancestors Helessa.
This movie novel was conceived as animated drawings of the gifted Laz artist, Hasan Helimishi.
Helessa tells us on the mystery that is part of your soul to be saved even at the expense of your life.

* Phoka Kirbishi, Papu (grandpa in the Laz language), 60, with one leg.
* May, Phoka’s daughter from his first deceased wife Nadie, 20.
* Ucha, nicknamed Mshiridon (in Laz, a swallow), Phoka’s son, 10.
* Meriem-Havana, wife of Phoka Kirbishi, mother of Ucha, step-mother to May, 55, Jinji (fortune-teller in Laz).
* Alfred Antopoulos, businessman from Vancouver, 60.
* Helen Meyer, wife of Alfred Antopoulos, 65, loves a doll Klabautermann.
* Yashar Badishi, nicknamed Swimming Island, has his own pontoon boat, 25.
* Sebastian Radu (Maparvelishi), a fisherman from the Laz hamlet of Lazu which is located to the south of the seaport Constanta.
* Ilfan Shishmanishi, captain of the Turkish coastguard patrol boat.
* Khatije Shishmanishi, mother of Ilfan, 70.
Also Turkish and Georgian Laz people, and others.

* August 27, 2012 - Win Level: Silver Award publishing house Ustari for movie-novel Helessa+synopsis on The Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award (Summit MEA) in Category: Lower Budget

Release details
* 2012 — Ustari Publishing, Tbilisi, Georgia


Biographical novel
By Mikho Mosulishvili

'I wanted to be a grass for mowing,
I didn't want being a scythe...'
- From poem 'My Entreaty' by Vazha-Pshavela, 1893

Synopsis of ‘Vazha-Pshavela’ By Mikho Mosulishvili
Genre: Biography, Mosaic novel
Word count: 66 800

Vazha-Pshavela is the pen name of the Georgian poet and writer Luka Razikashvili  (1862 -1915), noted Natural philosopher, Georgian patriot and author of the highest calibre in the field of world literature.
Professor of London University, translator of Vazha’s works in English - Donald Rayfield notes:
'As the Georgian futurists admitted, when repudiating all the past, ‘Vazha stands outside time and space’. He is qualitatively of a greater magnitude that any other Georgian writer.'*
This biographical and mosaic novel** will we know what to look like Vazha-Pshavela: from ancient Greek mythology characters Laocoön, three ancient Greek tragedians (Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles), the divine poet Homer and the genius Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi...
We see that it easily can be compared to the same level in creativity: Ovid, Goethe, Shakespeare, Ilia Chavchavadze, Robert Burns, Ernest Hemingway, Anandavardhana and others; but we see also how the original is Vazha-Pshavela and how many greatest are its meaning in today's world, whether is involved in the confrontation of East-West...
This book show new version of life Vazha-Pshavela and unique style of his thinking.
The discovery may be regarded as the author's observation that the five epic poems of Vazha-Pshavela ('Aluda Ketelauri' (1888), 'Bakhtrioni' (1892), 'Host and Guest' (1893), 'The avenger of the blood' (1897), 'Snake eater' (1901)) is based on the principle Golden ratio, thus this poems resembles the works of Ancient and Renaissance authors.
Mikho Mosulishvili asserts, that Vazha-Pshavela rising from the depth of creativity of Georgian mythology, which makes it original event on background of the world's literature and will significantly increase the magnitude of Georgian literature.
October 8, 2011 Mikho Mosulishvili was awarded of the literary competition of Tbilisi City Assembly Gala (literary prize) in the following nomination: 'The best reference book of year' (The best handbook) for biographical and mosaic novel Vazha-Pshavela.
* Rayfield, D. (2013). The Literature of Georgia. New York: Routledge, p. 187.
** A mosaic novel is a novel in which individual chapters or short stories share a common setting or set of characters with the aim of telling a linear story from beginning to end, with the individual chapters, however, refracting a plurality of viewpoints and styles.
* Georgia, Tbilisi: Pegasi Publishing, 2011


* October 8, 2011 - Gala (literary prize) in nomination: The best handbook

Release details
* Pegasi publishing, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2011



    Flight without a Cask
    The Picaresque nivel
    By Mikho Mosulishvili

    Synopsis of ‘Flight without a Cask’ By Mikho Mosulishvili
    Genre: Picaresque novel, Action fiction, Adventure fiction
    Word count: 48 093

    Bakur Sulakauri Publishing, 2001 and Gumbati, 2011

    Action of this picaresque novel ‘Flight without a Cask’ occurs four countries: Germany, Switzerland, Nigeria and Georgia. Difficult on a genre and, at the same time the readable and fascinating story about adventures of three protagonists, three Georgian emigrants who are on semi-legal position in German camps for refugees and, as a whole Germany. Author has called his novel wittily a "textbook". A textbook for those who may act in her poor countries law-contrary and not renounce such way of life also in Germany.
    Refugee camps are places where people of different denominations and nationality form criminal groupings and, e.g., mediator's groups which connect drug mafia with drug dependent. The behaviors of the heroes is very easy and primitive, her life is a fight for drugs. Author describes the existence of his heroes ironically. Style of the story is epic sometimes and resembles him, Odyssey of Homer; and in places the author as if has a good time Rabelais's imitation and transfers the reader the hypertrophied worlds of poetic satire and humor...
    The title of the novel is an allusion to Goethe's Faust. To fly away Mephistopheles and doctor Faust use a barrel from Auerbach's Cellar, but for our heroes is for such a flight also enough Joint (cannabis) filled by marihuana. During the trip they meet the souls of her forefathers who worked in Germany in the same area (Grigol Robakidze, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, David Guramishvili). In Weimar monuments Goethe and Schiller revive and argue with heroes of the novel, the Georgian and Nigerian drug dealers. The Nigerian deity of Olokun (Yoruba god) takes part in all these disputes! With the rise in the hierarchy of the drug mafia seem chums of the Georgian emigrants extremely winning, comical and at the same time dangerous Nigerian crooks.
    In the end the activity of the international crook's group ends with a failure. The German law has opposed the romantic swindling and the asylum-seekers were pushed away in her native country.
    Thus becomes clear that Germany is no ideal country because crook can have her chums and, moreover, the western civilization not be shaken. On the border of tragedy and satire balancing story of the novel exists of different and clear streams of consciousness which mark in each case the single heroes.
    And what is for the author especially importantly in this postmodern story in which all problems are treated – like, e.g., the antagonism between developed and non-developed countries, Globalism and Anti-globalism, feminism and anti-feminism, harmonious existence of the sexual minorities and the majorities – in witty aspects: The person as an individual and the person as a peculiar world with all his defects and his dignity is a space of the love which reconciles the author in the novel again with the world. In spite of the satire the author lets the readers fall in love in his heroes. And thus the heroes of the novel continue her life in the consciousness of the readers.


    Carnival of live and dead characters

    Review by Nino Kajaia  of the novel-menippeah ‘The Knight at All Times’ (Tbilisi, Bestseller Publishing, 1999) by Mikho Mosulishvili

    On December 28, 1998 “The Knight at All Times” - action novel-menippeah by Mikho Mosulishvili was awarded with first prize of the literary competition of Tbilisi City Hall, Management of Youth Affairs and the Union of Bookfans “Bestseller”.

    This extensive work (approximately 95 700  words)  reflects spiritual state of Georgia during the last two centuries (1801-1993), and it’s read with inextinguishable  interest. The author together with the protagonist of the novel, Vache Andronikashvili is looking for The Knight at All Times, and the  reader also is looking for him.

    The genre of the novel as identified by the author as menippeah. Menippeah is a variant spelling of Menippea, referencing the Menippean satire in classical literature and in the literary theories of scholars including Mikhail Bakhtin and Northrop Frye. These scholars mentioned it as the generalization of the Antic genre Menippean satire.

    Menippean satire or Varon’s satire is the genre of Antic Literature and is characterized by the confluence of philosophical discussions and parody satire, and regard to the form, it is characterized by free fusion of prose and poetry. The nomination is associated with the famous philosopher and satirist of the III century BC Menippus of the Gadara.

    According to literary critics, the difference between menippeah and  menippean satire is that menippeah covers the literary events of different ages – short stories of the Renaissance, satire and philosophical stories of the Middle Ages. The satire of Antic novels is expanded in the novels of Francois Rablais and Jonathan Swift, and menipean elements are found in the literature of  the XX century (Thomas Mann, James Joyce, Mikhail Bulgakov, Thomas Pynchon and others).

    The novel ‘The Knight at All times’ is a mixture of eccentric and scandalous events that ends with  Carnival - one of the main character of menippeah - which brought together the living and the dead. 

    Novel time - background covers Georgia's spiritual adventure in XIX-XX centuries. This a small country aspiration for independence from the Russian Empire; or this is the adventure of  a family, the story of Andronikashvili’s seven generations from Russian Empire's annexation (1801)  until Abkhaziane war (1993).

    The author's narrative is based on approved historical references and sources, and it follows the testimony of  chronicles. So the reader has a convincing feeling of real events. Not only the historical and fictional characters, but the gravestones have spoken and we see the scenes of the heroic past lively.

    The novel is built on cinematographic principle of  the parallel narrative: it describes the persecution and destruction of members of the secret organization “Giorgi” in 1983 by State Security Committee (KGB) officers; on the other hand, there are tragicomic or dramatic episodes of seven ancestors of Papua Andronikashvili, and we see what happened to this noble Georgian family after Russian Empire invasion (1801) in Georgia. 

    Local or worldwide memorable stories are described by the skilled writer, who feels perfectly nuances and their  capacities. Good example of above is the passage with terrible story of beheading of the priest Zirak, Gija and Datia. Unmerciful attorney of KGB enjoys the spectacle: he forces his subordinates to roll the heads downhill to see which one is faster and to amuse himself. Mihko Mosulishvili acknowledges, that this is the real story – the same terrible fact took place in the village Arashenda, when the Bolsheviks conquered  Georgia for second time in 1921, and it happened to the ancestors of the author...

    The depressed hero of Abhkazian war (1992-1993) Papua Andronikashvili decides to commit suicide and the imaginary, strange guest – archimandrite Iostos Andronikashvili prevents him. Cleric brings his  descendant the book, written by himself  – “The Chest of Mystery” and tells him the ancestors’ order – to postpone the suicide until he finds The Knight at All Times.

    From this moment the novel continues in two dimensions: on the one hand further developments can be considered as an image of objective reality, and on the other as the shifts in Papua Andronikashvili’s soul. He is the only man, who stayed alive in the novel – and the protagonist is visited by already dead ancestors and their contemporaries.

    The Chest of Mystery, created by sinful hand of archimandrite Iostos is binded organically in the plot of the novel. The patrimonial chronicles of Shishioni, or Andronikashvili are told in different languages. According to the book, the eternal existing is ordered by god on the  generation of shishions with green eyes and the book tells that the age of domination of the Scythians is to be ended by seven generations of Shishions (Scythians were called the Russian invaders in Georgia).

    In 1983 the secret organization “Giorgi” and the members of this organization  set a goal of freeing their homeland from the rule of Russia through  the peaceful disobedience. Their conspirative activities – editing of the journal “Amirani”, preparation for spreading  leaflets and the secret meetings did not escape from the watchful eye of KGB, based on distrust and seeking the victims. The loyal officials of expansionist policy of the orthodox Russia value the personal benefit and career more than the independence of the insulted country, so they guard and pursue the young people, who dream of freedom of their homeland, the KGB officers plan their arrest and enjoy the results of their gendarmes activities in advance. Immoral and greedy Russian doesn’t disdain anything, struggling explicitly or implicitly against the people who seek the ways to freedom. 

    In the vision of dying Vache, who climbed on the eaves of the abandoned church and was shoot by KGB snipers seven descendants of great and incomparable warrior Mahkaz Andronikashvili merged into a single entity and fought the biblical dragon...

    Only after viewing the enchanting and fantastic carnival (where the Russian writers Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy demand from Georgia to liberate Russia from colonial oppression (we are dealing with a situation typical of the carnival, when the opposite is true), the reader finds himself the main character of the novel – yes,  in the novel the reader is The Knight at All Times, who has to fight the biblical dragon – or to try to overcome the evil in his own soul and if he can’t win, at least to weaken it. This is the most important idea of the novel.

    Princess Aneta Andronikashvili (?-1916)


    • Papua Andronikashvili
    • Iostos Andronikashvili
    • Malkhaz Andronikashvili — (1773—1822)
    • Ivane Andronikashvili — (1798 - 1868)
    • Archil Andronikashvili — (1833 - 1863)
    • Solomon andronikashvili
    • Suslika Andronikashvili
    • Anneta Andronikashvili — (? - 1916); Anneta Andronikashvili was a trained nurse on the Russian hospital ship Portugal during the First World War. On March 30 [O.S. March 17] 1916 she was sunk by a torpedo from the German U-boat U-33.. Aneta Andronikashvili bowed others their rescue unit, and so died.
    • Paata Andronikashvili
    • Vache Andronikashvili
    • Sulamit Abashidze
    • Dachi Ochiauri
    • Kakha Iamanidze
    • Gela Jorjikia
    • Esiko Isarlishvili
    • Mikheil Shulman
    • Natalia Avalishvili
    And others.


    • December 28, 1998 - The first prize winner in literary award of Tbilisi city administration, Management of youth affairs and the union of book-fans "Bestseller"

    Release details

    • 1999, Georgia, უჟამო ჟამის რაინდი, Pub. date 2 January 1999, paperback (First edition)


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