July 2019 Updates


Welcome to Beyond Caricature! We hope you like the site and find it useful. Keep in mind, however, that this is a work in progress, and we’re just getting started. We have a very large collection of Schmerling’s work which we’ll be uploading bit by bit, along with contextual information and translations in several languages (eventually). Below are a list of the updates we made in July this year. If you have any comments, questions, advice, etc., please email us at oskar@schmerling.org.

  • The primary goal of this project is to highlight the unique multinational, multiethnic nature of Schmerling’s career.  We launched the site with a small selection of his Georgian (e.g. Devil's Whip) and Azeri (Molla Nasreddin) caricatures, but in July we finally uploaded a few of his early pieces from the Armenian journal Khatabala. In the future, we will be uploading Schmerling’s work from Russian-language journals as well, and we are hoping to find some of his work in German from his time as a student in St. Petersburg and Munich.
  • Although state control of the press slackened after the 1905 revolution, there were still many bureaucratic hoops to jump through in order to publish a periodical legally. In Tbilisi, publishers had to petition the governor to begin publishing a new periodical, to switch to a new printer, or to replace an editor (even temporarily), all of which were processed for a fee, and often with a delay. To give an idea of this process, and to make available the valuable historical information provided in these documents, we published petitions from Teofil Bolkvadze (Devil’s Whip), Jalil Mammadguluzadeh (Molla Nasreddin), and Bagrat Yeritsian (Khatabala, Zhgut, Svistok).
  • We know very little about Schmerling’s life so every bit of information is valuable. In July we published a few primary sources for his biography, including a résumé form Schmerling filled out in 1914, a letter he wrote in 1928 requesting an increased pension, and a couple of obituaries from the Georgian press, published after Schmerling’s death on January 2, 1938.