Archive for the ‘Eka Kevanishvili’ Category

There are two things that scare me: wind and the airport. I mean, being alone, lost in a huge airport and not getting somewhere at the right time, to be exact.

The first day in Prague convinced me that the second fear is stronger in me. It reminds itself to me whenever I visit foreign countries and unknown places.

I live in Prague, in a tiny house, near the river Vltava. I have five keys which are needful for opening the three doors my house has. I walk around alone, in my large, light room (which has no curtains by the way), getting ready to write.

One month – completely alone.

Sometimes I hear strange noises and instantly think that I’ll write horror, but at the same time, I’m trying to get in a role of a real writer and use this loneliness in the right way.  However, creepy hallucinations disappear quickly.

Today, one of my unfamiliar neighbors greeted me. I hear the noises of a piano from upstairs. It’s a repertoire of the third grade class,-from a musical academy… I think.

So I have these five keys and a map. I live in Masarykovo nabrezi, in house no 16. There’s a small sign that says that the house is protected by UNESCO.

To put down my fears I’m starting my first “alone” journey from getting to know one of Prague’s supermarkets, “Albert”. “Albert” is near my house, so if I need anything, I definitely know where to go. At the end of the first day, I, in a completely non-poetic mood, truly scared of the isolation and knowing that I would be stuck like this for a whole month, cried. At night, looking out of my window I saw the light streets of Prague. It almost looked like the view in Tbilisi. You could see it if you looked from the Avlabari to the old Tbilisi.

And then I said, damn it. I’m in Prague.

You could fall in love with this city.

Everything started from Heinrich Boll’s fund leader, Nino Lejava’s Facebook text. She’s been my friend for a while. Nino asked me about my poetry and translated verses, offered me to go somewhere for awhile, to write. I agreed and said that I liked the idea. My answer didn’t include any illusions, because after oral examinations and allowances, I still heard from a few Georgian writers. I just didn’t take the interest in what ways they’re managing to visit some places. Nobody has ever offered me something like that before. But there’s the one thing I know for sure, – you can’t sell poetry, nobody is interested in it. However for me, as a reporter, being a writer is just a hobby. An extra job, maybe. And it isn’t possible to be perfect in things which are appertained to those ranks, which are additional. You should dedicate yourself to the main job. Just like I’m dedicated to being a journalist. Instantly writing the first thing that comes in your mind,-that’s only lyric poetry. I heard Nino’s answer after about a month. The literature house of Prague liked my candidature and invited me from the prosper of my creation, which means the ability to write what you like, to be yourself. Just for this month. A lot of writers would definitely love to go to the beautiful Prague and let our charges and feeling.

Today and here, – I’m that writer.

The one thing I’m already interested in is the peculiar signs of the old houses. My colleague Okropir Rukhadze from the radio Liberty’s Prague bureau advised me to pay attention to this just before leaving Tbilisi. Turned out, that before people started giving houses numbers and names, each and every one of them had a special sign.  The signs which helped all of them not to get lost. For example the house near the black eagle, or the pharmacy built close to the three cats… or even the machine shop nearby the golden tiger. The decorations of these buildings had a completely different practical prescription in the mid-centuries. Behind some of them, there’s hidden a whole story. A few houses were given the signs according to the profession of the owner or the guild. A good example of that is a house near the golden ring, or the one with the golden ram, or the house which had three violins painted on its walls. That hints us that the house was owned by the three generations of violin artisans. There are also houses that have a white peafowl, a musk-melon, or even a knot drawn on them. The knot is one of the newest signs, which represents friendship, and the power of human relationships. Okropir Rukhadze even gifted me a book, from which I could find out anything I wanted about these signs. He told me that Prague was a town of architecture. Prague lives and breathes with it. And with the help of this book, I need to find my own, completely different, fantastic Prague.

I’m going away to live in this book.

The fact that I know nothing about Czech language is not that important. The main thing is that I must read the names and surnames of the authors correctly, and to just observe the book covers. The book covers are another thing, another sight. There’s nothing better than a book shop for me! Especially the low-rise ones! It’s my dream to have a book shop like that. A bookshop with a countless amount of books.

The first painting by the legendary John Lennon doesn’t exist anymore, obviously. Now this wall is full of thousands of sketches, drawings, sentences or quotes, you can also see a few portraits of Lennon. It’s possible to see the picture of this wall in the internet. When Lennon was killed, people drew a portrait of John on the wall, in the socialist Prague. Back then, it really was a big deal.  The government was erasing the picture from the wall, but the next day, the portrait was still there. That’s how portraits should be drawn! Today though, this wall is only a history. Czech Republic is a part of the European Union – part of a democratic west.

To be honest, people from this country sell the Kafka quite swiftly and capitally. From shirts to the coffee mugs. Kafka is on notebooks, magnets, everywhere. It’s being sold.

If you get to know Kafka well before getting to Prague for some reason, you won’t be a tourist going to its museum anymore. You will be going as an acquaintance and this meeting can’t even be calm. I myself, was really nervous when I was looking at the hand-written diaries and letters,

…then I suddenly remembered famous Georgian writer Inanishvili’s destroyed museum. Not only his, I remembered lots of other ones too. The museums of our writers. All of them, abandoned, left, neglected. It’s nothing. I just remembered.

I get it that thinking about bikes in Europe is lame and definitely not original, but today in Prague was definitely the day of bikes. A part of the shore was closed and everyone was having fun like you can see on the photos. The reason why I remembered a bike with so much sadness is because it was my wish to have one when I was a child. I never got one though. Either we didn’t have enough money for it, or my parents didn’t think that a bike would suit me, just because I was a girl. My classmate had a bike though, so me and my friends used to ask her to bring her “desna dva” bike with her. I don’t remember the exact firm. I remember the feeling of whirling the pedals with my feet and spreading my hand in the air. After all these years I tried to repeat that, but I couldn’t balance myself on the bike, I fell and plunged somewhere, not thinking about my childhood dream. I’ve wanted to buy Nitsa a bike, but she doesn’t want to, at all. Our childhood dreams are different… but if I ever have a son, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself from buying him a real, two wheeled, polished bike.

Petra Hulova is a contemporary writer from Czech Republic. She wrote eight books. She’s exactly my age. Petra is somehow really free. She’s not cheesy. I think we’d be great friends. Besides the literature, we have the same interest, culinary. She’s attending this culinary courses, because she wanted to do something else for a change. She didn’t want to have literature as the most important thing in her life. So she’s opening a small café with her son. She reads in Korea, sometimes in Mongolia. Here, in Prague, she teaches creative writing. In her opinion, you can’t make a lot of money from selling books, but if it sells quickly and profitably, then its okay. I asked her what was a profitably sold book to her, she told me it was when more than 10000 books were being sold. 25000 copies of her first book were sold. The worst amount was about 5000. So I remembered how exciting it was to sell even sixty books during our presentations. And if we sold 500 in a year, that’d be a huge achievement.

In the 24th of March, in the literature house of Prague, my evening event was arranged. I read a few of my verses, we talked for a bit… it’s hard to read your poetry in a different language, but that also depends on your auditory. I thought that those people were visiting, who were honestly interested in my poetry, truly curious to know what a girl from Georgia would say. And to be honest, I think I said what should’ve been said.

And writing,- I’d been writing for a whole month. At home, in the street, in gardens and even in the shops. During this month, I’d been writing almost every day. I think I’ve written 20 verses so far, but in the collection, I’ve only included a few. The most important thing I’d been working on, was my first prose text,-the first novel that I wrote in Prague and the one which soon got published in the journal called “Saundje”.  I started working on a bigger prose text, which is still in the process of writing; I haven’t finished it yet, because I haven’t had another free month just for writing. However though, I have a feeling that the book I’m writing, will end eventually and it’ll be something new in my creations.


Read Full Post »