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The New Book /by David Kartvelishvili/

Size: 130x200 mm
Number of pages: 208
Copyright holder: "Bakur Sulakauri Publishing"
Contact: Elene Pasuri, elene@sulakauri.ge
A young Georgian writer Irakli is commissioned by a successful businessman to write his memories. In order to make a better acquaintance with the businessman the writer moves to his house, where a somewhat unusual relationship develops between him and the businessman's teenage daughter.
However, instead of writing the memories, Irakli continues to work on his own novel entitled "A New Book". The main character of "A New Book" is himself – a young Georgian writer Irakli, who is commissioned by a successful businessman to write his memories. Who is an author and who is a character of a novel? Which novel describes reality and which is fiction? And is a reality better than fiction?


Translated by Ekaterine Machitidze


     It sure is silly to feel jealousy for a character in fiction. However, Eliso knows what the quill means to me and what my head is at when I am writing. I always try not to talk about it openly. I don't like pompousness, but it's impossible to speak about important things without excessive emotionality. Think of Christians and Moslemn... Even Buddhists are that overly dramatic when they are explaining the essence of Nirvana to anyone and regardless that this absolute blessedness has nothing in common with histrionics.
     It is true that literature is not a religions In all cases, I do not consider it to be a religion. It cannot save a human soul. The maximum that can be reached by literature in the field of salvation is saving from the tedious ennui experienced by men. Literature is one of the worldly enjoyments. People say that we enjoy eating and sleeping, but they are quite wrong because eating and sleeping make necessity and human pleasure starts where the need ends.
     Literature (to be more precise, writing and pencraft) is the greatest worldly enjoyment for me. When I cannot write, it tortures me and when I write I always feel good. The whole pompousness is going to start now: When I write, I'm deeply absorbed in what I have already written. If anyone dies in a book, I always die with him. If anyone comes, I come, too... They are happy and I am happy. Eliso knows about it and is especially jealous as I act under my own name (Irakli Andghuladz), in the "new book". (There are really fewer things that I can do now for I have been walking up and down in the room of Alexander Japaridze, checking some books and waiting for the appearance of Mr. Japaridze).

* * *
     We got married a month later. Now we were married, we were a family and we were husband and wife. All three expressions express the true sense of a married couple.
     My father took a vacation and arrived in Tbilisi by airplane. My mother was there, too. She always used to be by his side and they are side by side now, too.
My father looked at her closely and winked at me. He liked Eliso. The thing is that the man liked Eliso's father even more than his daughter-in-law. It was at our wedding party: My father was somewhat drunk and started to talk about physics or more exactly, about the physical origin of the Universe:
     "Everything began with an outburst", my father said. He started to prove the theory. It is a good job that there was no blackboard or chalk there. He would start to derive formulas right at the wedding party.
     Eliso's father, Mr. Zurab (I addressed him this way until he died) was the most attentive listener and my father paid heed to it.
     The party was almost over when the guests started to leave and moved from one table ton the other. My father and Mr. Zurab found a cosy nook and had a nice conversation there. I heard only a fragment of the talk when I came to them for the sake of propriety. I sat there only for a few minutes.
     "Irakli does not believe in the theory of explosion", my father said, giving me a pat on the back. "He believes in God".

* * *
     I read some episodes and realised that Eliso's character was a very passive one. In fact, I wanted her to be one of the central characters of the "new book". In the "new book" I act under my own name (and besides, readers mostly identify the principle character with the author if it's a first-person narrative. It's natural, but it's erroneous. So naturalness is not a synonym for the truth). I want to appear before my readers as a macho (from the patriarchal point of view). I do not want to let her talk too much, but I cannot do it without prejudice towards the text. I have to choose between the image of a macho and a really highly artistic literary text. I straighten the papers, tie them up into a pile and take them to my nose for some reason. I take a sniff and feel the smell of paper. I like the smell. No, no... I have to make out whether I am a stud or an absolutely great writer. I have to understand who is the one who prevails in me, or who is the one who I want to be myself. I take a deep breath smelling the papers once again. Of course, I want to be a cool writer and that is why I have to be as much emancipated as possible.
     I put the papers into a bag, close the bag, stand up, turn off the light and go to bed. In a few minutes, I can hear the clink of the key that turns in the keyhole.
     The clink is not a real one. I can hear it mentally and it means that I know what will happen next in the "new book".

* * *
     Marie stops her motorbike at the front door of my house. I get off the motorbike and remember that I have not told her my address. It is obvious that Japaridze knows every single detail about me.
     "Won't you go up with me?" It's a suggestion in an interrogative form.
     "No", Marie answers.
     "See ya tomorrow", I say to her.
     "I'll be here by nine o'clock. See you", Marie said, turning her motorcycle and taking off.
     I step into the front entrance and ring for the elevator. I can hear the sounds produced by the moving elevator car and the squeaking of the ropes. Then I hear how the elevator car stops. The door opens and I enter the cabie. I press the button and the ascent starts.

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