Project Description

TAVERN ENCOUNTERS: Levity and the Limits of Satire in the New Georgia: Beka Adamashvili and Lasha Bugadze in conversation with Claire Armitstead

Friday 26 February – 18.30 – 19.30

Is anything sacred, how far can you go with humour, and what happens when you cross the line?

In his most recent novel A Small Country, cartoonist, novelist and playwright Lasha Bugadze recreates the real-life scandal over his novella The First Russian. Written in 2001, this satire imagined the wedding night of Georgia’s revered 12th-century Queen Tamar, whose first husband was a Russian prince. The author found himself censured in parliament and threatened with excommunication. His earlier novel Literature Express cast a playful eye over Georgia’s yearnings to join the EU, and the predicament of writers from little countries with esoteric languages. Lasha is joined by novelist and former blogger Beka Adamashvili, whose second book, Everybody Dies in this Novel, won the 2019 EU Prize for Literature. His parodic debut Bestseller – now out in English translation –  is fed by the classics of world literature he ingested prematurely as a child in the 1990s, amid power cuts and bread queues, while sending up literary pretensions and the naked desire for fame.

The two satirists are hosted in the fantastic tavern by Claire Armitstead, Associate Editor of the Guardian.

You can read an extract from Lasha Bugadze’s novel A Small Country, translated by Maya Kiasashvili, on Words Without Borders.

FREE online event.

Please note: all timings are GMT

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