a fragment of clay pottery (Greek) -
an archeological term;
ostracon was used for writing on.
A couple of millennia ago it used to be
the most common and handy instrument. Thus,
Job was in the habit of scratching his sores
the defenders of Massada, just before
the final attack by the Romans, wrote on it
the schedule of their suicides;
IOUís were written on pieces of pottery...
Our site aspires to become such an OSTRACON
to be used for the abovementioned and any
other purposes, a virtual fragment, both of
modern Russian literature, and of todayís
in that region of the Eastern Mediterranean
by many people is called the Holy Land.
The authors whose names appear in our Collection
belong in most part to a certain literary circle, are of Russian extraction
and write in Russian, they live in Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and are connected
by bonds of professional interests and personal friendship.
The fact of our being around is reflected
"on paper" by the ZERKALO ("Mirror") magazine;
our place for getting together is Ola Medvedevaís
literary salon, and our realization in the domain of virtuality is now
to be accomplished by OSTRACON.
As to the range of problems to be dealt with,
both estethical and personal, a quote from the FAREWELL TO NARCISSUS by
Alexander Goldstein (the winner of the BOOKER and the ANTIBOOKER
literary prizes in Russia, 1997) may serve best to express it:
"The purpose is not to celebrate the severance
of all ties with the metropolitan tradition;
what we are talking about is the creation
of a new geography of cultural perspective...
The KAVAFIS VARIANT (a term minted by Alexander
Barash and myself) announces that the time is approaching when the Russian
literary Jerusalem-Tel Aviv will become a new noble gem in the necklace
of Mediterranean capitals. And someone cultivating Russian word in Israel
will find brethren among those who ply the same trade in Casablanca or
in Tangier, in Istanbul, in Tripoli, in Tunis, in Algeria, in Marseilles.
It will be an amazing multilingual community,
an unheard-of guild of kindred minds...
The name is more essential than the city...
The city of the sad sun, the forever sunset in whose rays the tired desire
resides, and the air trembles with barren stoical philology, and there
are too many non-encounters for anybody to believe in lasting love. And
yet, flashes of passion in the midst of sham and fraud - arenít they, too,
worth something?.. An author who sees himself first and foremost as a writer
of the Mediterranean may be able to preserve that ancient passion..."