Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Work Round-Up - Winter 2013

Images from Flickr via Melissa Maples
So, one of these days I'll get back into the habit of blogging more regularly, both about Tbilisi and about all those other places that are also sometimes home, but until then, a round-up of where else I've had Kartvelian-(and Turkey)-related work on the web.

(I should note that I write on far more topics than Kartveliana - my latest story sale, about which more presently, is science fiction in futuristically-classical Rome, and my latest journo piece is on immersive theatre and my Sleep No More obsession - but certainly, these seem to sell a bit better...)

  • "I am at a jazz cafe called Near Opera. There is no jazz band. The opera house is shut. The furniture is ill-proportioned, dollhouse pink; there are imitation Beardsley paintings on the walls. It is lunchtime and I am the only one here. This is Tbilisi; this is normal. Georgians dine at vague hours, nowhere is ever open or closed. Business hours, like thresholds, are permeable.Another essay on change and my failed search for a "local" cafe in Tbilisi for EssaySaturday at Litro. 
  • "We had not died. We had made it deep into Khevsureti without tumbling off the pass or being shot by itinerant Chechens; the van had rolled precariously down the mountain until we thought to secure it with a stray log, and Misha, beleaguered but well-paid, had escorted us to the summit of a nearby cliff and pointed out the crypts with one of the three remaining fingers on his right hand." A fantastical take on hexes in the Caucasus in "The Snake Eaters" at Jersey Devil Press.
  • The books are everywhere: cheap paperback copies of Hardy and Durrell, smelling of vanilla; midcentury spy thrillers; Jurgen Moltmann’s three-volume study in systematic theology. Kemal has piled them up in the doorframes. He has scavenged wood from a deconsecrated church and from it made lopsided shelves that line the equally slanted walls. The courtyard overflows with Hellenic detritus: roof shingles, broken shutters, sculpture-heads, sheared Roman stone. Only the sign out front—a dubious-looking owl advertising “Books Old and New”—indicates any sense of order. A look at the marvelous Owl Bookshop in Antalya over at Guernica.
  • It had been raining for three days. The electricity had been out for two. The police had declared a curfew – three soldiers had washed up in pieces on the beach – and so Tatiana took tea at the lobby of the Grand Palais Eristave, where the foreigners huddled over the last of the NescafĂ© and the chandeliers shook with the bombs. A grifter adrift in a wartorn port city in the grandly fictional city-state of Eristavis, in "The Siege of Eristavis" at The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review.
  • At the climax of Robert Sturua's production of Twelfth Night, a mainstay of the repertoire at Tbilisi's Rustaveli Theatre, a curious thing happens. After Viola and Orsino, Sebastian and Olivia, have all fallen into one another's arms, their newfound nuptial bliss is disturbed by the sudden appearance of a twenty-foot-tall crucified Jesus onstage behind them. Overcome by terror, our lovers run offstage, followed by Malvolio, Maria, and Feste – here represented as commedia-style clowns – as farce gives way to the solemn drama of the liturgy. A brief Georgian theatre round-up for The New Statesman.