Who’s Gina? (Part 2): My Own Shocking Revelation
By: Anat Lotan
It was one of those typically hot Israeli end-of-August days; a scorching summer morning, where you have to convince yourself that the cool breezes of autumn are just around the corner.
To escape the unbearable humidity of the coastal area, I decided to treat myself to a visit to Jerusalem. My cause for excitement was twofold: not only would I enjoy the sites and atmosphere of this beautiful city, but this impromptu visit would also be the perfect opportunity to meet with dear Prof. Gil Kalai, the mastermind behind these very pages, a man who boldly followed Gina’s adventures through cyberspace, and who cleverly pieced them together into a highly entertaining book.
Little did I know, however, that this would not be just another visit to Jerusalem, or that this seemingly typical summer day would turn out to be anything but typical. Indeed, it was to be a memorable day of SHOCKING REVELATIONS!
Shortly after arriving at the Hebrew University’s scenic Givat Ram campus, I made my way to Prof. Kalai’s office. After we exchanged pleasantries and discussed our respective summers, our conversation naturally turned to Gina’s Adventures. Gil had recently added the book to his blog, and he shared with me some of the most notable and amusing comments that had been posted in reaction to the book.
Laughing, Gil told me that one of the bloggers had even “accused” him of being Gina. This comment prompted me to ask if the “real” Gina had, in fact, attempted to contact Gil – it only seemed natural that she would have something to say to the man who had so blatantly “outed” her.
I’m not sure I recall Gil’s precise response to my question. Whatever it was, it faded into his next – almost nonchalant – comment:
“Well, the blogger was right. I am Gina”.
I felt I was in a classic “who dunnit” Agatha Christie-like moment, when Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple have just exposed the identity of the ingenious culprit, whom no-one had even suspected.
Truth be told, apparently some bloggers had correctly interpreted the clues; but as for me – well, this confession could have absolutely knocked me over with a feather!
Gil is Gina, Gina is Gil!
A million thoughts and emotions ran through me: It wasn’t just the idea that Gil had created Gina, that he was, in a sense, her Pygmalion – it was also the growing realization that Gina did not really exist. She was a figment of Gil’s imagination!
It was a truly sad moment for me; I had grown attached to Gina, she had made me laugh; most of the time she infuriated me; she even managed to move me once or twice. There’s no denying it – for better or worse, Gina had become a friend.
There was never a doubt in my mind that she was a real, flesh and blood woman.
Well, dear Prof. Kalai, this leads me to but one inevitable conclusion: if you are Gina’s Pygmalion, then she is undoubtedly your Galatea – a virtual being come to life, a phantasm turned human.
I, for one, can’t wait for the movie!
Pygmalion and Galatea
Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1890.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York