Follow by Email

Monday, 23 November 2009

Demetrius Toteras, Corfiot Californian Writer

Demetrius Toteras, the Greek-American playwright and philosopher, died in California on Thursday 12 November, 2009.

I first got to know him in Corfu in 1967-1968. He came to live in Wallingford, near Oxford, at the time that I was studying film direction as a postgraduate at the University of Bristol Drama Department, and he helped to produce a film based on his life and excerpts from his play "Sunday They'll Make Me a Saint".

Apart from being an extraordinarily original writer and challenging thinker, he was an outstanding flamenco guitarist and guitar teacher.

I managed to visit him twice in the USA, once in San Francisco, the other time at his home in Sebastopol.

Toteras was his nom-de-plume. His real name was a well-known Corfiot surname. His family had emigrated to the States from Mandouki.

In the late sixties people in Corfu knew him simply as "Jimmy Christ". Everyone who met him was impressed by his intelligence and the "life-force" he seemed to embody.

He was my "koumbaros". I hope his partner, Bronwen. will be able to bring out more of his works over the next few years. Here's a short excerpt from a scene from "Sunday They'll Make Me A Saint" (New Directions in Prose and Poetry 22, New York,1970). It's a dialogue between Mama Spider and Picalo's shoes.