The Medusa Glance is a present-day triptych, a rich and profoundly nuanced contemporary narrative, sensitive to all the immanent and minute shades of reality, aspiring to embrace and incorporate the whole spectrum of lived experience. As a key motive, the author invokes Medusa, the female monster with venomous snakes on hear head. Stricken with fear, we are nonetheless tempted to be immersed in the poetic universe of Manolis. The epigraph characterizes the bold enterprise of the author aimed at the explicitation of the inner architecture and dynamics of experience, at the renewal of narrative practices and at the constant (re)negotiation of identity. The reader is swept away by a polychromatic tempest of verbs and embarks on a journey guiding him to the dimension of the minute and infinitely multifarious undulations of sublunary consciousness. Continue reading “The Medusa Glance”
This volume, which is based on original research and consists of 775 pages, is not intended only for linguists and historians of the Greek language but, in general, for all those who are interested in the Greek language and its global presence, as well as to all those educators who teach second and foreign languages.
Η λήθη σκέπασε το παρελθόν, το άγνωστο πολιορκεί το σπίτι
φαντάσματα πραγμάτων που αγαπήσαμε και χάθηκαν
και τώρα μόνον οι αράχμες γνωρίζουν τη συνέχεια — αλλά η
νοσταλγία για το άγνωστο μας είχε κερδίσει από παιδιά κι η
μας είχε υποσχεθεί τις μακρινές αποστάσεις. Ώ το παιδί που υπήρ-
ξαμε μ’ εκείνο τον τεράστιο λαιμοδέτη Continue reading “Το Πουλί με τις Αλήθειες/The Bird that spoke the Truth”
Ubermensch, by Manolis Aligizakis is the most difficult and most philosophical poetry book I have come across. And rightfully so since it is identified with Nietzsche’s “Ubermensch” so much in the plot as much in the concepts. The poet “toys” with the various conventions as he firstly relates Ubermensch to true dimension given to him by the German philosopher and secondly to the misinterpretation given to the concept by the German ‘national-socialists’ with the horrible results that followed and affected the whole world.
«Ένας άνθρωπος θα πάλευε όλη του τη ζωή για να μη συρθεί μες στις φλόγες. Αυτό δεν είναι επαγωγή. Είναι τρόμος. Δηλαδή, με άλλα λόγια, μέρος της ουσίας της πίστης». Λούντβιχ Βιττγκενστάιν*
Παραθέτω το χαρακτηριστικότερο ίσως ποίημα από το τελευταίο βιβλίο της Δήμητρας Χ. Χριστοδούλου με τίτλο «Η απλότητα του τρόμου»:
«Είναι απλό: Δεν σε πεθαίνει ο τρόμος. / Ο τρόμος μόνο σε ξεγεννάει. / Βγάζει το φίδι απ’ την κοιλιά σου. / Ο μαιευτήρας σού χαμογελά, / Που ζεις μια τέτοια αιθέρια νύχτα / Είναι απλό: Ο τρόμος δεν σε ταπεινώνει. / Σε αίρει στο ύψος των περιστάσεων. / Απλώς πατάς πάνω στον εαυτό σου. / Ο τρόμος δεν επείγεται. Σε περιμένει. /Μπορείς, σκεπτόμενος, να διαφύγεις./ Απλώς δεν μπορείς να σκεφτείς./ Στον τρόμο ένα κι ένα κάνουν δύο./ Απλώς δεν βρίσκεις το πρώτο και το δεύτερο: / Τη στιγμή αυτή ο ένας σε ψάχνει / Κι ο δεύτερος του φανερώνει τη θέση σου. / Ο τρόμος προνοεί. Είναι ψύχραιμος. / Εξάλλου ξέρετε κι οι δυο τι θα αξιώσει. / Πίνει ακόμη μια γουλιά απ’ τον καφέ του / Κι απλώς σηκώνει τα μάτια του πάνω σου. / Είναι απλό: Η φωνή του αέρα, / Οι ψίθυροι οι σοφοί των ερειπίων, / Το κουρέλι από την υγρασία που απομένει / Σε κάποια σκιερή γωνιά του πυρετού, / Όλα γλιστράνε μέσα στο φρεάτιο. /Ο ήλιος βάζει το δάχτυλό του στο τζάμι / Και κάνεις τη βουτιά. Αυτό ήταν. Θα δεις τώρα / Σε όλη την απλότητά του τον τρόμο».
“FROM DUSK TO DAWN” Poetry and essay collection by N.N. Trakakis, 2012 edition
At Diasporic Literature Spot, being a literary website, from time to time we receive books from established as well as aspiring writers. I would say that in most cases these books can be a hassle to read and an even bigger problem to write about. However there are those certain books, by certain emerging or inspiring and aspiring writers that we feel privileged to receive, to hold in our hand and to read deepest thoughts in creamy or white colour pages. These specific books are the reason why Diasporic Literature is in existence. Continue reading “From Dusk to Dawn”
Book review: Lucy Sussex, Saltwater in the Ink:
Voices from the Australian Seas (Australian
Scholarly Publishing, 2010)
Lucy Sussex gives public voice to the private thoughts, experiences and observations of selected nineteenth-century seafarers to the Australian colony. These seafarers kept a record of their voyage either as letters to loved ones left behind in England or in journal entries. The white glossy cover of Saltwater in the Ink, composed of a chair covered in red patterned fabric, a red quill, a laced decorated fan, pewter cup and barrel, is aesthetically appealing and invites exploration. Each selection is uniquely titled to suggest a link with such artefacts, with an introduction and afterword that provide a context to the seafarer’s account. For example the Ritchie sisters are presented under the title ‘A Battered Pewter Cup’ and Mary Isabella Cameron under the title of ‘A Girl’s Golden Bracelet’.
A careful hand is needed to translate the poems of Yannis Ritsos, and Manolis is the ideal poet to undertake such an enormous task. Born in Crete, Manolis’s youth was intermingled with the poetry of Ritsos. Once a young man moved by the Theodorakis version of Epitaphios, he’s now a successful poet in his own right who is still moved to tears hearing the refrains of those notes from half a century ago. His Greek heritage, with its knowledge of the terrain, people, history and cultural themes, makes his translation all the more true to what Ritsos intended. Having visited the very places of which Ritsos wrote, he knows how the light and sea shift, and how Ritsos imagined those changes as being a temperament and personality of the Greece itself. Continue reading “Yannis Ritsos Poems”
The Ptolemies, like philosopher kings, endowed Alexandria, with the Royal Library and the Mouseion. They also supported gifted men and women bursting with curiosity and ambition to conduct research in the fields assigned to the nine Muses over three hundred years.
Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821–91) the renowned historian of that era documented the importance of the pioneering work undertaken in Alexandria.
“The Royal Library and Mouseion of Alexandria,” he wrote, “diffused a splendor over the civilized world which lasted longer than any other university, whetherParis, Bologna, or Padua. Long after the creative power of Greek genius was exhausted, encyclopedic knowledge and Greek sophistry were to be found in the Mouseion of Alexandria.”
The late Professor Carl Sagan (1943–96), was more specific.
“From Australia, the land down under, comes a fresh breeze of creativity and culture.” These are the words of an Athenian culture critic, Gerasimos Kazanas, President of the International Committee for Freedom. Mr. Kazanas, whose resume embraces a notable knowledge of the Cyprus problem, studied the book “74 ypo skian” (trans. 74 in the shade) and decided to expand on what it is that it represents.
Further into his review calling on the Muse of the “rebellious Cyprian soul” the writer uses for inspiration the visible and invisible side of the theatrical invasion (of Cyprus) by Attila. The “rebellious soul” being that of the nameless volunteers for the “desperate defense of the immaculate Cypriot soil.”
“An anonymous simple man from mainland Greece, married to a Cypriot girl, who lives in Cyprus, is the central character. Upon his face concentrates the national upheaval and unity of Greeks when it comes to Cyprus… ‘74 ypo skian’ reminds us of Aristotle Valaoritis’ (1824-1879) epic lyric poetry but it is something completely different…”
“The Mountains Couldn’t Walk Away” by Andrea Demetriou was recently launched at fortyfivedownstairs by Tim Colebatch (Economics Editor, The Age), Christos Tsiolkas (Author, The Slap) Arnold Zable (Author, Jewels and Ashes)and Bill Papastergiadis president of the Greek community of Melbourne, as part of the Antipodes Festival 2010. The poetry collection reflects nostalgia and its consequences for a world which was eclipsed by the Turkish invasion in Cyprus. It is illustrated by colour photographs taken by the author and has been published by La Trobe University. Over 170 people from diverse cultural backgrounds attended the launch and warmly applauded the speakers and the musical performance of the poet. Continue reading ““The Mountains Couldn’t Walk Away””