Titles by Georgian authors

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The City of Man /by Guram Megrelishvili/

Size: 205x135 mm
Number of pages: 268
Man's city is Guram Megrelishvili's new book published in 2010. It is a short story collection. The book is named after the one of the short stories in the book. The themes of the collection are different - from science fiction about the secret experiment on apes to a classic story which takes place in the train and is full of short dialogs in Chekhov's style. Man's city includes seven stories. Almost all of them show the variety of literary ways of expression. The mix of different writing styles is masterly made. The characters of the book: criminals, peasants, politicians, and others are shown vividly and described with a refined sense of humor. 




     Doris had not been feeling well since morning and the servants were told to keep silence. They were not only prohibited to say a word but they would get twenty strokes of a whip as a punishment even for coughing. An intolerable silence woke Herod up. He had a headache after a nightmarish dream. His nose moistened and feeling it with his fingers, he realized that it was bleeding. Herod picked up a cigarette from the cabinet and just as he was going to light it, he remembered he hadn't said his prayers yet. Heavily raising his body Herod washed his feet, put on his talleth and read eighteen Canticles.
     He led the life of a Jew, wore a beard and tallit katan underneath, but it was impossible to get away from the eyes of this breed of people. They looked at him with resentment and contempt for having intruded from Hayastan. Everyone was nice and smiling to his face, but behind his back... Sure he knew what they said about him behind his back!
     "Modeh Ani... Modeh Ani..." he whispered for himself and had an unpleasant presentiment that something dire was awaiting him.
     After finishing his prayer he went out onto the balcony. All Jerusalem and its outskirts opened before his eyes as if on the palm of one's hand. He loved standing on this balcony, especially at night when the city was illuminated. Did the city used to look like this before or were the streets littered all over with rubbish, was it as clean and bright as it was now? These people are blind and ungrateful, he said to himself offended. They cannot see anything you do for them, they are blind. He had adopted all their customs and ways of life and they would not excuse him his illegal connection with Doris. What was illegal for them was legal for Herod. He called Doris the wife and the hairy and bow-legged Mariamne – the lover.
He looked down and spat over his freshly washed Bentley. Later he will go down and get one of his Jewish servants whipped for it – so much for his revenge!
     There was silence in the corridor. The dark and long allures were dreadfully silent.
     – Heeey! – roared Herod and the walls echoed in response: "Yeeeh..." – Shamai!
     The servant sprang up just at his right hand.
     He stood with his head stooped watching the Client State King's Regi shoes. Herod hated the squint-eyed Shamai. He tasted every other dish with a fear of being poisoned, but he knew that it was impossible to get a more reliable servant in
     – How are you, Shamai?
     – Thank Herod and God! – touching the marble floor with his head said the man and gave the Regi shoes a gentle kiss.
     - Why is it so silent?
     – The Mistress is not feeling well, and...
     Herod's heart sank. He remembered his nightmare and went to Doris' bedroom.
     - Three Magi have visited you, they want to see you! – he heard Shamai say and disappear just as instantly as he appeared a few minutes ago.
     Doris was lying with her eyes half-open. From time to time she burped and let out the smell of a stale egg. The servant waved it away with a fan so that the unpleasant smell would not bother his mistress. Herod caught a glimpse of the woman's half naked breast and looked at the servant with suspicion. Blood rushed into his cheeks, though remembering that the latter was a eunuch he calmed down.
     – What's the matter with you, my queen? – he asked caressingly.
     – I had too much! – said the woman grinning at the thought of food and burped once again.
     Herod got angry. The doctor had assigned her a strict diet and she could not give up belly-worshipping. She had unhatched chicken boiled before they broke the eggshell and ate them up together with their embryonic plumage. Moreover, she ate not just one or two chickens at a sit, but ten of them at a meal! Not saying anything more he sent the servant for the mineral water and went towards the sittingroom.


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