The Absurd Dance of Life and Choices: A Dive into "Marta and the Blue Tiger" by Alla Kudziieva

Marta and the Blue Tiger

Ilustrations by Luba Stegnienko & Alla Kudziieva

Alla Kudziieva’s short story, "Marta and the Blue Tiger", is nothing short of a kaleidoscope, bursting with colors of emotions, human psyche, and societal dynamics. Kudziieva, who was once enraptured by the ethereal world of circus flying acrobatics, pours this airborne aesthetic into her literary works, making them take flight with sheer power and vulnerability.

Layers of Symbolism and Realism

At its core, "Marta and the Blue Tiger" explores the depth of human emotions and choices. With the powerful portrayal of Marta - a woman running from commitment and societal expectations, juxtaposed with the enigmatic Blue Tiger who serves as both a friend and an interrogator - Kudziieva weaves a complex tapestry of internal conflict and external perceptions.

The Blue Tiger’s quiet observations mirror the collective societal gaze. His seemingly indifferent questions prod at the root of Marta's predicament: should one conform to societal expectations, or be true to oneself, even if it means being out of step with the world? And what does it truly mean to be human? Kudziieva's emphasis on the "humanity virus" and Marta’s unique wing in place of an arm, throws light on the constant tug of war between conforming to societal norms and embracing one’s true self.

As the narrative progresses to the honeymoon in the City of Dust, Kudziieva beautifully illustrates the ebbs and flows of life, the unseen weight we carry, and the emotional baggage that often clouds our judgment. The invisibility cloak, a gift from the Blue Tiger, isn’t just a piece of fabric but symbolizes the masks we wear, hiding our true selves from the world.

The fact that some people can see through Marta’s cloak suggests that genuine connections can pierce through the facades we build. These connections are few, rare, and precious. The oxycodone berries represent fleeting moments of happiness and escapism, offering temporary relief from the crushing weight of existence.

The Blue Tiger’s Monocle: A Lens into Authors Journey

Marta and the Blue Tiger

Considering Kudziieva's own journey, one can't help but see parallels between her life and Marta's escapades. Just as Kudziieva had to pivot from her dream of being an acrobat to embracing writing, Marta too faces crossroads, decisions, and the daunting task of understanding oneself in the grand play of life. From the backdrop of war and displacement, Kudziieva’s symbolic stories become even more profound. The emphasis on choices, personal journeys, and seeking meaning in a world of chaos echoes the sentiments of millions who have been uprooted and find themselves on paths they never envisioned.

Within the elegantly unraveled narrative of "Marta and the Blue Tiger," the naïve-style illustrations inject a mesmerizing layer of visual storytelling, harmonizing quaint charm with emotional depth. The Blue Tiger, adorned with a suave monocle, encapsulates a peculiar blend of wisdom and regality, representing both a classic and subverted vision of societal scrutiny and self-assuredness. Meanwhile, Marta, with her chic bob and delicate angel wing, emanates an aura of rebellious innocence and untamed spirit. These images, reminiscent of newspaper clippings, possess an inherent rawness and simplicity, yet they intriguingly delve into complexities of the narrative’s thematic undercurrents. The Blue Tiger scrutinizes and contemplates, while also providing a steady perch for Marta, who exudes a blend of vulnerability and fearlessness. Together, they are not just characters in a tale, but symbolic entities navigating through the chaotic tapestry of life’s absurdities, societal expectations, and internal conflicts.

The choice of the naïve art style, with its deceptively simple visual elements, serves as a gentle yet poignant medium, encapsulating whimsical aesthetics while subtly unveiling the multi-dimensional emotional and philosophical explorations within the story. Thus, Alla Kudziieva and Luba Stegnienko create a visually and thematically rich tableau, where narrative and imagery waltz in an enchanting dance of poignant tales and emotional vulnerability.

"Marta and the Blue Tiger" isn’t just a story; it's a mirror reflecting our internal conflicts, societal expectations, and the search for meaning. In a world that often feels like a dizzying circus act, Kudziieva reminds us of the beauty of flight, the pain of fall, and the strength in rising once again.

You can download a few chapters of on ArtCabbage.