The Biography of Marinella by Yiannis Xanthoulis - Wishevoke

The Biography of Marinella by Yiannis Xanthoulis

His new book Giannis Xanthoulis It is the story of a life full of earth, voice, love, effort and lots of love.

A great artist who rightly claims the title of “legend” becomes the subject of a book that chronicles her entire life over many months of lunchtime conversations and presents the essence of a career of almost seventy years of constant presence. The difference to a consistent biography is that the Marinella in this case, Yannis Xanthoulis stood opposite her as a counterpoint to the narrative of her life.


So here she talks about her entire journey, from her childhood in Thessaloniki in the 40s to her various phases of nightlife and her acquaintance with men like Maximus Kazantzidis, who defined her as a singer, whom she later met with triumph as the ultimate soloist .

THE Marinella, who traverses the history of Greece, speaks candidly about all the challenges he faced on the all-too-illuminated path to success. A woman who today, in the ninth decade of her life (born 1938), unfolds time with its advantages and contradictions, with a writer as her interlocutor who consciously plays the “devil’s advocate” but at the same time treats her as a woman Personality far exceeds its singing status, which in the history of Greek song with its social parameters does not remain repressed.


THE Yannis XanthoulisAlthough he was a close friend of the performer, he plunged into the adventure of writing this book as coolly as possible, precisely because from the beginning he saw Marinella as the heroine of a novel that will be written, rewritten and continues to do the same according to the temporal expectations of the common sense. The symbolism of the title is obvious. A woman who has spent endless nights in the background of an ocean of applause can now converse humanely and without disgust in the midday light. The conversations and meals took place at lunchtime, followed by the tender coffee hours and the excitement of the evening hours, often with laughter and all the sentimental forays into the landscapes of nostalgia when necessary.


The heroine and the author found common occasions in their memories, discovered coincidences and emotions in unexpected things, and finally created an original style that reached a golden ratio in the equality of their feelings.

On the back of the book we read:

“You should write a book about mom.” Lecture by Tjortina on Marinella’s birthday years ago.

I heard it and forgot it. I didn’t really understand it, but I knew that the way I wrote didn’t make me suitable to be a biographer. Good or bad. Wherever I start and where I find myself, my temper intervenes, I get angry at my heroes, I do what I do to avoid being one of the current giants of literature. I do not rave about accepted “politically correct” and de facto invulnerable major issues.

With such a figure, how can I compete with a Marinella, with whom we have some interesting decades in common, but I couldn’t think of halos and wonderful crowns for the melodic world of the night.

“You know, I…” I objected, knowing my character. The other side insisted: “You’re wrong…”. “But I’m a complete locomotor,” I replied. Finally the biographer “arrives”…

“You know me” – Marinella.

“I love you, but I’m afraid you don’t know me,” I replied.

He babbled on for a while, “I know you,” “You don’t know me,” until we made a decision and the lunch banquets began in memory of Plato and other relatives of similar banquet experiences.

So we went forward, illuminating with midday light nights and even days of a life full of earth, voice, love, effort and lots of love. And it became a book that, without being an a priori biography, looked like a novel of mine.

Excerpt from the book:

SUMMER EVENING 1980 in the “Neraida” center in Kalamaki. I’m there to interview her for Freelance. Address command. Lured by the song of the species – which apparently frightened me due to its worldwide popularity – but ready to face the beast. In fact, I’m taking a friend walking around Athens at night. I had a track like I was auditioning for the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Should I say I was a fan of their songs? I will lie. I almost didn’t notice her – and all I knew were fragments of taxi radios, although her name could be heard on many different dashboards. For example, Minos Volanakis, a leading director, wanted to direct Bizet’s “Carmen” with her, Karolos Kuhn was interested in giving her a leading role in a tragedy, I heard. After all, her last name was somehow linked to Euripides. In other words, Marinella is synonymous with “Ekavi of song.”

It was important that I was uneasy in the seaside “Neraida” with a well-dressed audience, as it was a reference point for the entertainment of Athenians and not only. Whispers, laughter, pleasant waiting, the musicians had taken their place while a salty sea breeze relieved me.

We sat discreetly somewhere and then… but there is no after, because time stood still. The lights flashed to prepare us for an attack – it felt like it – the orchestra came dangerously to life, played a disco beat intro to Vembo’s “Turn Out the Light”… and then stormed onto the stage and caused one absolutely electric atmosphere. : “Turn off the lights and come closer to me…”

I dare say I took it personally. I knew that her album of songs by the legendary Sophia had just been released at this point, but other things were happening here. The shock she suffered was much more than an electrical discharge. I couldn’t count the minutes he sang a little song that had been heard a thousand times. I remember when I realized I should clap, I looked for my palms…

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