Reading 19 October 2018


19:30 Location: Reutlingen Stadtbibliothek Reutlingen, Spendhausstraße 2, 72764 Reutlingen, Germany Organizer: Stadtbibliothek Reutlingen, Georgian National Book Center Author: Aka Morchiladze
Moderator: Zaal Andronikashvili
Reading by Thomas B. Hoffmann

Obole - Publisher: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2018
Irakli, a playwright, is living an ordinary urban life in Tbilisi when one day he receives a phone call from his small home town near the wild Swanetian mountains: his old house there is in danger of collapsing and the roof must be repaired as a matter of urgency. It is a long time since he has visited the region where as a child he spent the summers with his grandfather, the pharmacist, and read the dense handwriting in the notebooks of his great-grandfather, Timote. Timote was the self-appointed chronicler of the town and in particular of the towering Muri fortress opposite Irakli’s house whose lords had been his ancestors.
During the few days that Irakli, the city-dweller, spends in his grandfather’s house he is overwhelmed by memories, by the chequered history and the stories of the place. Those who have remained there do their best to draw him into the magic of the past. During his inspection of the damaged roof he discovers in the attic the long-forgotten Obolé – an old, beautifully worked flintlock gun that had been a gift from the king of Imereti to the then lord of Muri. No one knows when the gun was last fired. Irakli’s uncle had christened it Obolé (orphan); he treasured it and looked after it. In peacetime and when there were no children in the house it hung on the carpet-covered wall of the parlour; once, without firing a shot, it had even saved the life of its earlier owner. Although firearms are more usually associated with masculinity, to Irakli Obolé is like a beautiful woman. Obolé comes from a time when weapons were like women, when dignity and honour and stories of such things still mattered. These stories soon have such a hold over Irakli that the picturesque past merges imperceptibly with the present. But when the leading part is played by a gun, one cannot but wonder when the shot will be fired.