Set in Tigerland, its university campus and The Great Library, Attempted Poeticide is the fifth in a multi-volume series of autobiographical novels. It is the autobiographical narrative of Nachiketas, “Ketas” for short, the name adopted from anMoreSet in Tigerland, its university campus and The Great Library, Attempted Poeticide is the fifth in a multi-volume series of autobiographical novels. It is the autobiographical narrative of Nachiketas, “Ketas” for short, the name adopted from an Upanishad because of the poet Ketas’ reincarnation, according to his astrological chart, pointing to his encounter with Death more than two thousand years ago and now at the dawn of THE Millennium, a neologism for the replay of an ancient myth set in the present.
After more than fifteen years of exiled absence Ketas returns to his Writing Workshop to claim his citizenship in the Republic of Letters. Because of his portrayal of the Bigoted Rider, a metaphor for those who are intolerant of others because of their race or religion or ethnic or national origin, or their system of beliefs, he becomes their target for intimidation, harassment, and other acts of terrorism.
When all this fails to deter Ketas from his literary pursuits, the enemies of his poetry target him for assassination, hence the nonce word and neologism, “poeticide.” The “horoscoped” Ketas transforms this looming tragedy for him, of poeticide, into a Dialogue with Death, which was supposedly his preordained karma written in the stars according to his astrological chart.
Ketas survives a three-pronged assassination attempts by dint of good fortune. Ketas’ allegations against the crime-inclined Bigoted Rider are corroborated: in the first place, by Satya who takes it as her mission to discover the identity of two rapists who violated two young girls during the girls’ college years. During Satya’s long search Alef Laila Chaim, a Jewish woman of Afghan family background, appears who knows the academic gangsters well enough to unmask them: she reveals the academic gangsters’ criminal acts in her “confessions” revealed in her autobiography.
In their desperation the Bigoted Rider attempts to kill the poet by shooting him during the April Rhapsody celebration. But Alef Laila Chaim, a symbol of Life, shields the poet, saves his life while risking her own. Yet she survives her wound.
Broadly known episodes of poeticide have taken place in the Soviet Union. The reader will find it hard to believe that such a crime as poeticide could take place in this most civilized country. They will need a glass of wine or a tranquilizer to calm their nerves and soothe their emotions.
The narrative is distinguished by a boldness and sharpness of wit displayed by the three above-mentioned principle characters.