Monday, November 29, 2004

New dictionary of philosophy in Greek

Professor Theodosios Pelegrinis has written a new dictionary of philosophy in Greek (Λεξικό της Φιλοσοφίας, Εκδόσεις Ελληνικά Γράμματα, 2004). The last dictionary of its kind was published around 80 years ago.

Pelegrinis began work on his dictionary in 1999. The finished book is 1512 pages long. It spans 25 centuries of philosophical thought, via 15,000 entries. It is organised in two parts. The first part covers basic ideas, theories, schools and thought trends. The second part focuses on the philosophers themselves.

In an interview with Dimitris Houliarakis of To Vima, Professor Pelegrinis says that he's not satisfied with the way Greeks philosophise. "I don't think Greeks philosophise much about their lives."

He says, "When you philosophise you feel free, and you are truly free."

Homosexuality and literature

While certain Greek lawyers are getting all silly over Oliver Stone's gay Alexander, Greek daily newspaper Eleftherotypia dedicated its weekly book review supplement Vivliothiki to homosexuality in literature. Of course, the motivation for this issue comes from the ManBooker winner this year, Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty.

The issue lists a bibliography on Greek books with homosexual themes. The poet Dinos Christianopoulos stands out. He has written some amazing poems on homosexual desire. "I lick your hands, I lick your feet--/Love is won by submission." That line is from "Eros". I should try translating some of his stuff to post here. So passionate. Ah! Anyway, also listed is Menis Koumandareas's Noah.

The Greeks love Dan Brown, too.

According to Greek daily Kathimerini* Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has been on the Top 10 bestseller list for 30 weeks. Yowza! And this week it's at Numero 2. His Angels and Demons (title translated as Illuminati in the Greek) is at the Numero 3 spot this week and has been on the list for 15 weeks.

* This bestseller list is based on stats offered by various Athens-based bookstores, such as Eleftheroudakis, Estia, Ianos and Patakis.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

From book to screen

The National Book Centre (EKEBI) and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), present this From Book to Screen thing at the old warehouses of the port of Thessaloniki through to November 28. Films based on books, books about film.

Presentation of theatre books at the Book Gallery of Athens

The Culture Guide notes the presentation of three theatre books, written by Iosif Vivilakis, at the Book Gallery of Athens...

Iosif Vivilakis is assistant professor at the Theatre Studies Department of the University of Athens. The first two books, "Theatre representation in Byzantium and West" (Publication House of Goulandris-Horn Foundation) and "For the sanctuary and drama. Theatrologist approaches" examine the relation of Byzantine and Western Theatre and the relation between theatre and religion. The third one is a play written by Moliere "Les Fourberies de Scapin," known in English as "Scapin", translated into Greek by Fotis Kontoglou. Vivilakis is the editor of the book.

The Book Gallery of Athens

"The Book Gallery was founded in June 1996 by the Society of Education. Its founding was an effort to create a new type cultural centre in Athens, focused on books that would inspire people and bring them closer to literature and poetry."

Greek Book Centre to award films based on books

As of next year the Greek Book Centre will award cash prizes to the best film based on a literary work, report Ta Nea. A first timer in Greece.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Homer a bestseller everywhere but Greece

Greek daily Ta Nea notes that has declared the Homeric epics as this year's bestsellers, thanks to the film Troy. But Greek publishers haven't noted any significant rise in demand for the Odyssey and Iliad, though the Kazantzakis-Kakrides translation is doubling its print run this year resulting in 3000 copies from the usual 1500 publishing house ESTIA normally prints.

The paper also notes that in Denmark, a new translation of the work sold 150,000 copies.

Manuscripts return "home"

Kathimerini English Edition reports that "relics looted by Bulgaria are on their way home to Greece". Manuscripts and other relics taken from monasteries in Macedonia and Thrace during WWI are being 'repatriated'.

A few days ago when Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov expressed his government's intention of returning the relics to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. "The development came as a surprise both to Greek officials and to academics who had documented the relics and repeatedly requested their return."

"The relics include manuscripts, crosses, icons and vestments taken or stolen from the monasteries of Eikosifinissis and Timiou Stavrou in Drama, Dadias in Soufli, Panaghia Archangeliotissa and Panaghia Kalamous in Xanthi, and the cathedrals of Serres and Drama.

At least 406 manuscripts have been scientifically identified and dated from the 11th to the 19th century — most are from the 13th and 14th centuries. They were known in Bulgaria as the “closed collection” because, as honorary Professor Vassilis Atsalos told Kathimerini, the collection remained closed from 1917, when they came into the possession of Bulgaria, until 1990.

Of the total, 350 manuscripts come from the monasteries of Timiou Prodromou in Serres and Eikosifinissis in Pangaio, said Atsalos. “The question of their return had been raised both by the late Constantine Karamanlis before the collapse of the former regime in Bulgaria and by later governments.”

At first, the Bulgarian authorities denied that the relics were in their possession, but the scientific identification and documentation that came after the efforts of many years caused them to change their tune.

“The conspiracy of silence which surrounds the fate of the allegedly lost documents does not allow much room for research,” Atsalos commented in his first publication about the relics in 1990. He is a member of the committee set up to document and study the manuscripts.

The relics, which are documents of great religious and archaeological significance, are being stored in the Central Ecclesiastical Historical Archaeological Museum of Sofia, where they have been on public display since 1990."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Sofka Zinovieff's Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens

Sofka Zinovieff's Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens Posted by Hello

Mark Dragoumis over at the Athens News has written an article about this memoir/travel book.