Gidi Rauber is not a healthy man. He derives consolation from the love of his wife and children. One day he decides, in a move whose motives are not entirely clear, to visit Professor Yochanan Ashman, a well-known poet and popular lecturer who taught Gidi when he was younger. What transpires at this meeting, and what Gidi discovers in its wake, will rock his world and change his whole life.
For some unknown reason, Gidi steals a flash drive attached to his teacher’s computer. When he reads the files it contains, he learns that Prof. Ashman’s well-known poems were not written by him at all. This perturbing discovery sets Gidi off on a hunt for the real Ashman and for Prof. Darom, who is the actual author of the poems. He begins a full-scale, even obsessive, investigation while at the same time battling his sickness. Almost unintentionally, Gidi becomes a poet himself when, in the course of trying to incriminate Ashman, he also begins plagiarizing Darom’s poems and publishing them in his own name.
The book combines personal and family drama with a literary detective story. It is an unsettling novel, offering a deeply penetrating look into the world of literature and poetry and the passions that drive it, and into one man’s struggle for his life and his sanity. Viezel depicts literary types in an amusing light and with a bitter smile, exposing the intricate mechanisms that prevail in the world of the intellect and poetry.
The book is exemplarily written, in rich language, from the point of view of Gidi, a man trapped inside his infirm body and enmeshed in a newfound obsession, one that gives his life renewed meaning but also robs him of his depleted powers. This is the second book by Eran Viezel, an original, confident, young voice in contemporary Israeli literature.