Giwi Margwelaschwili Award Ceremony of the German-Georgian Cultural Award 2017

For the fifth time, Goethe Institute and DVV International present the award for special contributions to the cultural relationship between Germany and Georgia, named after the German-Georgian writer Giwi Margwelaschwili – in 2017, the laureate will be the poet and translator David Tserediani.

The ceremony will take place in the framework of the Tbilisi Literature Festival on 30th May 2017 at 5 pm in the Writers’ House.

The laudatory speeches will be held by the critic, linguist and Germanist Dr. Levan Beridze and by the Orientalist, poet and translator Giorgi Lobshanidze.

David Tserediani has been working at the Shota Rustaveli Literature Institute since 1963 and as a translator since 1981. He is known to the Georgian readers because of his congenial translations from German and French. Two of the most important German oeuvres – Goethe’s “Faust“ and “The Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm” – were translated into Georgian so perfectly by Tserediani that they enrich the literature in this country.

The translation of Goethe’s life’s work, which attempts to create an equivalent in the target language, requires mastery of both languages and their nuances. The first part of “Faust” is well known in Georgia. “Faust II” will soon be published by Bakur-Sulakauri, Georgia’s most important publishing house. The honoring of David Tserediani in the context of the German-Georgian Year 2017 is a symbolic act of appreciation of his work, which will strengthen the cultural ties between the both countries.


David Tserediani’s creative life story

David Tserediani was born in Georgia in 1937. After graduating from 60th Secondary School, he studied philology at Ilia State University. Since 1963, he has been working at the Shota Rustaveli Literature Institute. Already since his childhood he has been writing poems and translating poetry from European languages. Especially well known is his translation of the “Big and Small Testament” by the French poet François Villon, which is often called congenial. This translation was honored with the award of the great Georgian translator Ivane Machabeli. His translations also comprise several masterpieces of French poetry, for example “The Drunken Boat” and “Ophelia” by Arthur Rimbaud, “The Ocean Cemetery” by Paul Valéry and the best poems of Baudelaires and Verlaines. Those translations were well noticed by the population. D. Tserediani won the first prize in the competition of the French-Georgian Institute. Furthermore, he was honored with the Ilia Chavchavadze Award, with the Gerogian National Award and twice with the Literary Award “Saba” for extraordinary achievements in Georgian literature. Last but not least, David Tserediani is winner of the Shota Rustaveli Award.

Regarding German poetry, he translated the works of J.W. Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that two of the main German oeuvres, “The tales of the Brothers Grimm” (in three volumes) and Goethe’s world famous “Faust”, have been translated perfectly into Georgian by Tserdiani.  “Faust I” has been published long since, and “Faust II” will soon be published by the Georgian publishing house Bakur-Sulakauri.

David Tserediani also translated Svan Folklore in two volumes into Georgian – “Irinola”  and “On the Trail of Svan Songs”.

Until today, only one anthology of his own poems – “Orioni” – was published and praised by critics. The well-known critic Rostom Chkheidze compared this work to the poems of Nikoloz Baratishvili and says: “In this case, quality is more important than the quantity of the poems.”

David Tserediani continues his creative and translational work.