4+1 Greek novels for the holidays - Wishevoke

4+1 Greek novels for the holidays

Special moments of the Greek novel in 2023 are remembered by APE-MPE, proposing a tour of the book market for the holidays.

Start with a Spartan parody. “The Suarev trial(Pataki Publications) by HA Chomenidis has the atmosphere of a detective story, draws its factual data from the world of modern, struggling lawyers and is a parody of a courtroom novel with many sharp edges for the Greek environment of today. Edmonds Suareff, a former pianist and now a musical instrument wholesaler, asks lawyers at a famous law firm to try him for a mock trial for a spousal jealousy murder he committed in 1983. The crime has been committed for many years, and even if it happened, it cannot be brought to court due to the statute of limitations. And this is not where the comedy of Greek society begins, but rather a process that immobilizes its protagonists. With several smaller, overlapping stories of clients and lawyers and with careful projections of the main characters, the Suarev trial develops into a parodic orgy worthy of Khomenides’ best related performances: trampling and circumventing legal rules, not a real event, Shoppers on Halloween costumes and unlikely but inspired stories, an accused demon tearing families apart, office pool parties where imagination fights with swords against the destruction of abandoned mountaineers, faces between devastating caricature and quiet drama. With the open ending of the book, the author allows the subjects to be taken into a more adult, human perspective, which demonstrates his writing sensitivity and maturity.

Love is the dominant element in Vangelis Raptopoulos’ short story collection.Loves, loves, loves(Kedros), which highlights the right to passion, remorse, disgust, fixation, cannibalism, unyielding assertion, physical stimulation and even artistic intoxication for both genders and all ages. But what connects Raptopoulos’ short stories to each other, apart from the previous general associations? The final text of the collection, which also gives the book its title, is a novella (and no longer a short story) in which, unlike the previous short film, the fictional autobiography of a comic artist (who adores Milo Manara) unfolds in stories that turn into a trick end with reflected mirrors: on one side are the short stories and on the other the novella that contains them as comics, translated into erotic prose by the same author. The short stories are thus reflected in the novella, and the novella is based on the short stories but otherwise retains its thematic autonomy. An inspired find that functions as either a novel with a spine or a fragmented and eccentric whole. Added to this is the mix of humor and drama in tones that never lose their sharpness. With his multi-page short story collection “A Tsafou marina(Pataki Publications) Sotiris Dimitriou sketches protagonists who radiate danger or suspicion and reservations, but also evoke approval or compassion. As a short story writer, Dimitriou knows how to isolate moments and hours from the past and present. With extremely short texts, with language that plays between popular (or even vernacular) expression and a somewhat inappropriate logic, with frequent explanations of the authorial presence and the construction process of literature in his short stories, with pieces that contrast with the With allusions on native folk tales that predominated in his novel “Heaven from Other Places” (2021), with third and first person narration, Dimitriou demonstrates his ability to dig beyond the unnecessary style in which they speak and his own heroes are presented , stoking desperation or essentially hoarding their innocence.

THE “Volatile» (Kastaniotis Editions) by Marilis Margomenou is a novel about terrorism that confirms her well-known literary qualities: she uses enchanting cinematic shots in their intensity, invents side stories that are not necessarily critical to the central plot, and expresses herself with an extremely precise language. The book also moves on two initially different narrative levels – one takes place in 1999, the other in 2018. The members are Leonidas Dracomallos, a young editor of the newspaper “Ephimeros”, Alcibiades Britas, its director, and Thomas Nearchos, the Publishers the City Rebels organization with an ingenious disguise. Their fortress is the newspaper itself, whose pyramid hierarchy (the line runs from top to bottom but never reverses) has been completely transferred to the City Rebels. The whole atmosphere certainly refers to November 17th, with the difference that Marhomenou is not based on actual events and journalistic records. What interests them primarily is not terrorism itself, but the angry spirit of its time and how such a spirit sets the heroes on the path to their existential decline and ultimately self-destruction.

And the cycle ends with the graphic novel by Soloup (born Antonis Nikolopoulos) “Zorba. Beautiful green stone» (Dioptra). The aim of the comic is to free Zorbas from the model of a local and supposedly naive and simplistic reveler that dominated internationally through the film by Michalis Kakogiannis, and to return to the spirit of Kazantzakis and the main motifs – questions that were written into the identity of : What is the relationship between love and death, what does God demand from people and from himself, where does the flesh meet the spirit, how men treat women, what is male boldness and ruthlessness, how is it possible to have a… How can how to respond to the fear of death without losing sight of the irresistible urge for freedom when what is needed is a community life capable of satisfying the most authentic needs of existence?

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