I’ve picked up again The Club (Η Λέσχη), the first book of Stratis Tsirkas’ Drifting Cities trilogy (Ακυβέρνητες Πολιτείες, Στρατή Τσίρκα). I started it years ago but never finished it. Couldn’t appreciate it at the time and found it confusing. But after my last trip to Jerusalem, the book practically begged to be read.
Not only is the writing beautiful but I now have such a better sense of the place and even the time in which it is set: Jerusalem during World War II. And as one reviewer of the book has said, Jerusalem is the main character in the book.
When I became involved in the Katamon Project, I made available to them a series of short video clips I had extracted from a film that was part of great-uncle Nando’s (Ferdinand Schtakleff’s) extensive library. “Nando” and “films” are synonymous in our family’s parlance. (Rarely was he to be found without a camera in hand. In his Jerusalem days, he even ran the Regent Cinema in the German Colony for a spell. )
A copy of this particular film, labelled Jerusalem 1946-47, had been given to us in VHS which I then had transferred to DVD from which I extracted the individual short clips. The quality, as a result of all these transformations, is poor but the content depicting as it does various aspects of our family’s life in Jerusalem is simply precious.
In August 2012, my aunt Cynthia from New York forwarded me an email from a lady called Mona who in her turn was forwarding an email from a Dr Dana Olwan, at the time Assistant Professor in a British Columbia university (and currently at Syracuse Uni). Dana wrote: