Giorgi Lobzhanidze: Mystique

Born in 1974, Giorgi Lobzhanidze is a Georgian poet, translator and Orientalist. In 1997, he went to Iran to work on his PhD research project in religion and mysticism at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Tehran. After returning to Georgia in 1999, he resumed his previous position at Tbilisi State University. At present, he is head of the Oriental Department at the Centre of Cultural Relations of the Caucasian House of Georgia and head of the Centre of Islamic Culture. In 2005, he defended his dissertation on the topic of Jesus and Virgin Mary in the Quran and became Doctor of Philology. Today, George Lobzhanidze is regarded as one of the most distinguished translators of a new generation, who has not betrayed the established traditions of translating Oriental literature into Georgian. He has brilliantly translated such influential works of the Oriental world as the Quran, Persian Fairy Tales, Gulistan by Sa’adi Shirazi, and Ghazals by Jalal ad-Din Rumi; at the same time, he also introduced Georgian readers to the work of the most eminent poets of the second half of the 20th century (including The Water’s Footsteps by Sohrab Sepehri and Another Birth by Forough Farokhzad’s). Lobzhanidze himself has authored five poetry collections, which gained much attention in Georgia and received critical acclaim. His poetry has also appeared in the German anthology of Georgian poetry, Ich aber will dem Kaukasos zu... (Pop Verlag 2015, Germany). In his poetry, the author shows ‘his attitude towards life, its cruelty and ruthlessness, and, at the same time, its beauty and kindness, expressed in its sad or, in some cases, ironic-parodic character…’; he also creates ‘simple but rich poetry with many different layers, modern and free from pathos…’