ON IMPORTANCE OF SCHOLARLY EDITION OF THE WRITERS AND PUBLIC FIGURES’ EPISTOLARY LEGACY
Sources, editing the private letters promotes establishing a strong basis for scientific The article highlights the importance of the scholarly edition of the famous persons’ epistolary legacy: writers, historians or public figures, emphasizes that together with the historical documents, epigraphic monuments and editions of the corpus of different other writing research: gathering-systematizing them in one edition and deeper examining is the best source for familiarizing with the private life and public work of prominent people. The personal letters are of great importance to study the socio-political, economic, or cultural situation of the epoch in which these persons lived. Through them we introduce to the tastes, lifestyle, dress style, spoken language or writing culture of our ancestors; The whole epoch perceived by them and their real psychological portraits are seen there. Epistle writings, as well as works of psychological documents, attract a great attention by sociologists, psychoanalysts, historians, and representatives of other scientific fields. Epistolary legacy has particular importance from the viewpoint of source studies, providing that complex approach towards problem makes it possible to comprehend the development process of historian thinking. Following the development of epistolary tradition, we are given the possibility to keep eye on personal relations existed in the society and evaluate their role in the development of the culture of the country. The personal letters are important linguistic monuments as well. This is one of their main values. They give us evidence, how the people of previous centuries spoke in different situations: with family members, relatives, friends, officials, how they expressed joy, admiration, anger, truculence, love, hate, what main features language contact was characterized by, when one of these languages belonged to the conqueror and the second one – to the conquered people, and so on. The article discusses the concrete examples referring the above-mentioned postulates based on the epistolary legacy of the 19th century Georgian writers and public figures, such as Aleksander Cahvchavadze, Grigol Orbeliani, John Bagrationi, Platon Ioseliani, Dimitri Bakradze, Zakaria Chichinadze, whose epistolary legacy has been already issued or is being issued in the format of a scholarly edition of a multi-volume set. These persons lived and worked in a qualitatively quite different time of Georgian history – in the 19th century, at the dawn of which, by the manifest of Russian emperor, the Georgian statehood was abolished, the country lost national independence, Tsarist Russia subverted the Royal family’s supremacy, changed the social structure and system of the country, the behavior of people and interpersonal relations, replaced the national values by the imperial ones, and so on. This work was supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (SRNSF) [Grant #217906, ‘Scholarly Edition of 19th-20th cc. Georgian Writers’ Epistolary Legacy’].
Keywords: Scholarly edition, Epistolary legacy, Personal letter, Aleksander Chavchavadze, John Bagrationi, Grigol Orbeliani.
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