The history of spiritual culture, art and the patronage
of art, literature, etc. have been interconnected since the ancient times.
As far back as in the antique age, the greatest sculptors used to cut the monuments to the merited and honorable citizens of Greece and Rome so as the centuries would preserve their names and the generations would know about their contribution to a common cause. And the Latin word for “a common cause” is Respublica…
Later, in the XIV century, in the age of Italian “Renaissance”, Congrande Della Scala, a hospitable nobleman from Verona used to host and patronize poor and gifted people. Dante Allighieri, the author of the “Divine Comedy” happened to be among his persecuted guests… After having wandered and begged for a long time, here, at the Veronese grandee's house, the poet managed to complete his work, which immortalized both Dante and his selfless patron…
During 7 years of its existence, MagtiCom granted
2 867 026 Lari for the development of Georgian literature, art, sport, healthcare and education of its countrymen and contributed around 82 535 340 million Lari to the economy of Georgia.
Last year a wonderful gift financed by MagtiCom was presented to the Georgian reader: after the publication of the seven-volume collection of Chabua Amirejibi's works, a full collection of Guram Asatiani's four-volumes was printed as well as the I and II volumes of Tao-Klarjeti Architecture, Nazi Targamadze's Collection of poems for children, A. Tsintsadze and G. Baghaturia's “Choice. Building Democracy in the Age of Totalitarizm - Eduard Shevardnadze's Experience” and a book “David Kipiani” were published.
The newspapers “Ganakhlebuli Iveria”, “Literaturuli Sakartvelo” and the “Samshoblo” Printing House have been provided assistance.
The Georgian Telefilm Company has published the catalogue of annotations of 1,500 Georgian films and awards won at various movie festivals. This is the first work of its kind in our country sponsored by MagtiCom, which has covered all the publication expenses. The company also supported and funded a documentary “A voyage into the history.”
MagtiCom has financed the performances at the Sokhumi State Academic Theatre, the Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre and the Tumanishvili Tbilisi Actors' Theatre.
In 2002 Magti GSM funded the guest performance of a famous Brazilian performer Tania Maria at the Tbilisi Jazz Festival organized by the Eastern Promotion Company. The Tenth International Festival - “Autumn Tbilisi” and the festival of the Georgian folk art organized by the Jansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Center for Music and Culture were also sponsored by MagtiCom.
The editorial staff of the “World of Constant Connection” magazine got in touch with the famous workers of Georgian culture and literature requesting them to comment and express their opinion on the patronage of art and literature, the importance of charity as well as on the publication of the full collection of Guram Asatiani's works financed personally by Mr. Gia Jokhtaberidze.
When I was holding Guram Asatiani's four-volume collection
in my hands, the first feeling that seized me was one of happiness and
gratitude and such was my first thought:
Neither our literary-cultural society, nor Guram Asatiani's family, his friends and relatives the carriers of these traditions or the literary youth appreciating Guram's tremendous talent, the youth that is to continue Guram Asatiani's tradition-based creative endeavor and hold Guram's unsheathed sword in their hands no one in today's Georgia could have published such a perfect four-volume collection.
And at what a time!
At just the right time, because time and oblivion stand very close to each other and the publication of Guram's writings turned out to be very timely because time and oblivion have failed to work together: the literary and cultural chain of our Georgian history was not interrupted, the hero's sword was not left hanging in the air.
I am confident that the literary youth of the XXI century: the poets, writers, critics and the new explorers of Georgian culture, Georgian literature and the Georgian soul will be guided by Guram Asatiani's creative work. And I do believe that just like Guram, they will carry on and renovate national Georgian thought and will be as refined, artistic and vivid as him and will personify their own time as he did.
Every time you read a good book, you discover something new in it.
I do not intend to speak about these writings; I have been familiar with their merits and charm for a long time. I want to dedicate these few paragraphs to those who have undertaken the publication of Guram's four-volume collection, those who appreciate the value of principles, those who have realized our dream to view Guram Asatiani's works, which have disappeared from the shelves and could only have been found among the writer's friends and acquaintances.
A big “Thank You” to them!
I shall spare no effort in praising such a deed.
The businessmen have turned their faces towards Georgian
literature and this is the point that indeed needs to be stressed. At first
Chabua Amirejibi's seven-volume collection of works was published at the
highest polygraphic level followed by Guram Asatiani's four-volume collection.
These books are not available to a large circle of readers. This is conditioned
by the fact that today, due to various circumstances, the number of the
readers is not that large but the fact itself is extremely significant:
the entire creative work of the writer has been presented in full representing
a single cultural phenomenon. There is no doubt that the time will come
when these books will become a public domain and will acquire a whole mass
By the dawn of their creative activity, the large-scale literary figures (poets, essay and prose-writers, literary critics and translators) have always been confronted with difficulties in publishing their own works in full, which was in many cases determined by the existing ideology. Moreover, the fact that the publication of the collection of works of this kind is almost unachievable renders particular significance to this selfless act of charity. The Georgian society shall, undoubtedly, appreciate this cultural-carrier effort with much gratitude. And therefore, myself, I would be happy to echo the words addressed by the family of my friend, a brilliant man of letters - Guram Asatiani to Mr. Gia Jokhtaberidze, a philanthropist and a person of charity: “Many thanks to Mr. Gia Jokhtaberidze who, by publishing Guram Asatiani's four-volume collection of works has made a significant contribution to the Georgian literature.”
From the 1950s, the problem of overcoming and overthrowing the outdated stereotypes and dogmas, the renovation of both poetic and critical thought, became very acute in Georgian literary life. A whole generation dedicated to accomplishing this cause and leaving an ineffaceable trace in Georgian culture of the coming age, appeared in the arena.
One distinguished representative of this generation and an outstanding leader was Guram Asatiani an immensely gifted man of letters with a broad vision of the world, a critic and a refined intellectual.
It is, therefore, very welcoming that Guram Asatiani's large literary heritage was collected and published. This task has been recently accomplished and the four-volume collection of his works has just been printed.
In these volumes the reader will find Guram Asatiani's articles pertaining to the issues of classical Georgian literature and the creative works of a great many poets and prose writers who were contemporary to the critic, his famous “critical dialogues”, “Poetry and to poets”, “To the accompanying souls”, “Great expectations”, his vast work “At the Sources” and a lot of other materials.
The four-volume collection has been published to the highest standards and richly produced; the clear print, printing quality and color photographs please the eye and heart.
Each volume acquaints us with the identities of the producers of this wonderful edition. They are: Neostudio the publisher, Magti GSM the sponsor of the publication, Manana Kikodze and Manana Amirejibi - the compilers, Levan Choghoshvili cover design, Vazha Gigashvili the editor, Dimitri Shalutashvili and Khatuna Samkharadze - computer support.
At the same time, each volume bears an inscription on it: “Many thanks to Mr. Gia Jokhtaberidze who has made a great contribution to Georgian literature by publishing Guram Asatiani's four-volume collection of works and to Guram Asatiani's family and the editorial staff of “Ganakhebuli Iveria” newspaper.” We, the readers, must also convey our cordial appreciation to Mr. Jokhtaberidze. Moreover, if we recall that, thanks to his effort, Chabua Amirejibi's seven-volume collection of works was published last year, representing an unparalleled edition in Georgian that has been printed to date.
One might think: Is it the right time for charity? People
are starving and how can successful businessmen spend money on printing
books? At a glance, such a thought might appear right. There seems nothing
to argue about. But it is really dangerous if you start forgetting the
spiritual values that your nation has been creating throughout many centuries
and take care only of material matters. Material strength or economic upswing
cannot be an end in itself. Spiritual crisis, which Georgia experiences
today, is indeed most dangerous. First and foremost it is a spiritual deficit
and not a political or economic one that our society faces today. This
very deficiency gives rise to our difficult way of life and not vice versa.
Therefore, it is time to recall that “not only by one's daily bread but…”
Where do we originate from? Who are we and where is our place in the contemporary world? What do we Georgians represent and what is “the Georgian character” like? Where does the source of our misfortunes originate from is it outside or in ourselves, in our mentality? These questions neither get old nor lose their relevance. Almost a century has elapsed since Nikolo Mitsishvili's nihilistic article fuelled a very strained and interesting discussion about the Georgian character and Georgia's function, although these ideas had been expressed earlier in the works of Vakhushti, Guramishvili and Ilia … In the XX century Grigol Robakidze, Geronti Kikodze, Mikheil Javakhishvili, Simon Chikovani and other writers also wrote about it.
Things will go bad if today we lose all that, bury it all in oblivion and take care only of our material well-being, without recalling what our writers and public figures were thinking and arguing about. And, therefore, I feel without any exaggeration that publishing the four-volume collection of Guram Asatiani's works, revisiting his book “At the Sources” that never becomes outdated and nowadays reads so very differently than in the 80s of the past century, was extremely relevant and important. What love and warmth flow from the pages of this book! What a strong literary generation it was! What friendship they had enjoyed, how they loved one another and how proud they were of one another! And how well they wrote…
What else can we say other than a big “thank you” to Mr. Gia Jokhtaberidze for making a gift to his people by printing Chabua Amirejibi's works first and then Guram Asatiani's brilliant publications. One cannot hold back from wishing for every Georgian family to have these books on their shelves, for future generations to read them and think about the things that have always been thought of, discussed and argued about in Georgia. And if this happens, then…
Perhaps then we will realize that we have more in common, more things to share than quarrel about and that the only way out is in unity and not in enmity. Turning to our eternal spiritual values, to our culture, is the only thing that can save us. And Guram Asatiani's four-volume collection of works is one of the paths to salvation…