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Nicolas Vérin

The Knight in the Panther's skin

16 Février 2016 , Rédigé par Nicolas Vérin Publié dans #Géorgie, #Ushba et Tetnuld, #Littérature

The Knight in the Panther's skin

It would have been impossible for me not to include in Ushba et Tetnuld an excerpt from Shota Rustaveli 's work, The Knight in the Panther's Skin.

This epic poem of six thousand verses, chivalrous epic, to the glory of courtly love and friendship, was written in the late twelfth century.

I first read it in an edition bought in 2001 in Tbilisi, with beautiful illustrations (well, not too much to my taste) but virtually unreadable translation. The reading was so difficult that it was impossible for me to read more than a few pages at a time, and I lost the thread.

Later, I found the translation (in French) by Serge Touladzé. It was a revelation! Finally, I could read this work and appreciate both the poetry and meaning.

The excerpt I chose is taken shortly after the beginning ... It integrates in Ushba & Tetnuld as another image of the traveler, a traveler who is not quite ourselves, which takes us back in time, like a flashback, and in the history of Georgia.

« All at once they saw by the stream a stranger sitting and weeping.

He held a black horse by the bridle and looked like a lion and a hero.

Over his rich apparel was flung the skin of a panther

And the cap on his head was made from the selfsame panther's skin. »

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