Nicosia, Cyprus

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Helen of Troy, 1863

FROM ‘MARA, MARIETTA’
Intermezzo 13: Tasha

Marietta, I’m sitting in a café in Laiki Geitonia, a stone’s throw from the Venetian wall. The morning is sleepy but I’m wide-awake. Spent the night with Tasha. Russian, she teaches contemporary dance at the University of Nicosia. Gram wrote the music for a fifteen-minute piece she choreographed last year (A Passion Stronger than Truth). It was he who put us in touch.

Natasha had been a dancer with the Ballet Frankfurt and ‘went round the bend’ after the collapse of a love affair. Came here to get herself together. Liked the island so much she decided to stay. From the day of her arrival she began writing, a flood of logorrhea that evacuated her hate. Empty of anger, she burned what she’d written and began writing anew. Soon she discovered she had a fiction on her hands. In the silence of the night she shaped it into a novel that a passing Russian publisher would read. And thus she found her new vocation.