Nino Haratischwili’s book The Cat and the General is a difficult book. It talks about guilt, and the unhealthy death wish that can come with it. It’s also a long book, and might not satisfy the reader expecting satisfying exterior context. This books is about minds.
The novel often appears to be talkative, giving too many irrelevant details, but these are just part of an undercurrent of themes that connect victims with perpetrators. One such pattern is that of Darkness and Light.
After Sonja’s Death, Ada had begun to be afraid of the dark. She only wanted to sleep in bright light, holding a pillow in front of her eyes.
“Why is there Darkness and Light”, he heard his daughter ask, then just five years old.
— Because we couldn’t see the light without darkness, and the darkness not without light, he answered, and felt doubtful.
— But why do I have to see darkness at all?
Darkness is nothing but a disguise for the light!
This dialogue between the general and his young daughter replicates a dialogue between Nura and her father, and is one of many parallels that live in the subtext of the book.
The pictures here were taken during a recent visit to Turkey Run State Park.
Besides Light and Darkness, there is also the theme of wood and rock in these images, of growth and strength.