Siesta Publishing 2007
148 pages 
ISBN: 9789941900143
Rights, contact:
David Chikhladze


The novel Feminine/Feminine, is a sort of continuation of the Roman author Apuleius’s Golden Ass. It tells us the story of a man who sets off to find a goddess and spends quite a lot of time in that search. After all, the goddess has been waiting for a long time, and that is why the golden ass goes on living. On the other hand, the novel is, in part, a documentary: the prototype goes looking for his own self and his own real identity. After the kaleidoscopic adventures the search is exhausted and the book ends with a solemn and completely unmelancholic poem dedicated to the goddess. One can clearly see that the author has written it at various periods. Feminine/Feminine has a rather eclectic structure: it is made up of fragments of a novel, of reviews written by Karlo Kacharava about these fragments, of interviews given by the author to the journalist Nana Akobidze, of theoretical discussions about theatre, which remind us strongly of Plato’s dialogues. The characters in Moscow, Berlin, Tbilisi or New York are real ones, but this is not a collection of memoirs or traveller’s impressions. The author manages to cross the boundary between the work of art and the documentary in such a way that he never slips up, he manages to interest us in the character who if David Chikhladze. He manages to create a plot (which any novel requires), to blend it with carefully measured humour and, by stressing the hero’s bewilderment and infantilism, he chooses phrases which leave us astonished. But, naturally, the novel is about the search for the element of the eternal feminine. It should also be notes that this novel has been given graphic illustration by the poet, artist and art critic, David Chikhladze’s very close friend, Karlo Kacharava.

‘Take note of the vocabulary: his texts are crowded with words: life, friendship, love, infatuation, freedom, death, flower, light, fire, etc. Or this is a tight-rope crossing. How many books we know that are full of the word ‘pain’, which, even if we read them from beginning to end, never once make us feel any ‘pain’? I am convinced that there are lots. Because writing with key words is the shortest path to falling into banality. David Chikhladze also falls into banality, but of his own volition, sentimentally, ritually… he falls into a banality which is pure, poetic, eye-opening and vertiginous: and how could he not do so? ‘Banality is, after all, his favourite word.’   

Shota Iatashvili, poet, critic

‘I think that the reason I liked David Chikhladze’s novel Feminine/Feminine is that the stories described are so close to me, so well-known and painful for me ,as a person who has lived through the Soviet Union and its perestroika, who personally knows David Chikhladze and can call myself his friend… and now, when I try to talk about this novel, I would like to have Karlo Kacharava by my side: in 1993 he read fragments of Feminine/Feminine and mentioned Roland Barthes, who wrote about Philippe Sollers’s book H as follows: ‘Why, for what reason, in fear of what should I refuse friendly feelings when reading the book of Philippe Sollers that I feel towards him? H should be read not with your face stuck in the book, as for the contemplation and consumption of a finished product, refusing any personality, but to support him who wrote this book, as if we were writing this book at the same time as the author himself.’   

Bella Chekurishvili, poet, critic


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