- Modern Georgian Prose
Dato Kardava has a unique method of painting his own characters. They, as a rule, constantly carry some comic features, being caricatures. It is almost as if the author is merciless towards them, but the mocking tone sounding out during their characterization can disappear at a whim, with the intonation of the narrative and the relationship towards the characters changing diametrically. This ambivalent quality, a change of the angles is not a superficial game thought up by the author. This is his position, vision, and aesthetic going out on an ethical tight-rope.
Biblical and religious themes and a religious motif are prominent in almost all the short stories – NOAH'S DOVES, ESAU'S HANDS and elsewhere. Except it is not possible to perceive this motif completely seriously. A reflection of the pseudo-religiosity of Georgian society has emerged somewhat in these texts. It is as if everyone is a believer wrestling with biblical and Gospel themes. Someone has a genuine hope in God and someone else less so, showing some religiosity, but everything here is frequently fake, insincere as in Georgian society.
Journalism is also a theme that pervades the entire book, possibly transforming into anti-journalism between the eyes and the hands. There’s the journalist’s codex, which is the codex of an anti-journalist. Here is one of his points from ESAU'S HANDS: “A bad journalist is sold once, a good one – every time.”
Dato Kardava’s ESAU'S HANDSs was the winner of the 2016 LITERA Award in the category The Year’s Best Prosaic Collection.