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Friday, 31 October 2014

Modern Greek Literature in Translation; Richard Pine; Greek Novels and Stories; Myrivilis; Theotokis

Richard Pine in the Irish Times

"It’s the power of Greek writing that makes it so rewarding. It’s emotional, it’s visceral, it’s passionate. Of course the perennial themes of love, jealousy and ambition are present, but Greek novelists seem to be preoccupied, very instructively, with the events of history in the past century, and the emotions they evoke....What these stories have in common is an earthiness, a deep sense of history and tradition, a seemingly infinite capacity to engage with social issues, and a sensitivity to what it means to be Greek, how to celebrate life in all its horrors and joys".

I will add some more titles to Richard's list. For starters, I highly recommend Konstantinos Theotokis, Slaves in their Chains. Excellent translation by J.M.Q. Davies. Angel Classics information

More books by a contemporary Greek author (

Birmingham Modern Greek Translations

Modern Greek Writing: An Anthology in English Translation, ed. David Ricks

also, try Kalamos Books in Canada and Greece In Print

Archive listing of Greek novels in English (232 entries)

Elpenor Census of Modern Greek Literature in English translation

We should be grateful to AbeBooks (, a great way to find some of the older, out-of-print translations. Today I received a copy, in its original dustjacket, of Stratis Myrivilis' "The Mermaid Madonna". I had a paperback reprint of this outstanding novel, but I'm delighted to have the original 1959 hardback translation. I am eager to re-read it. It's one of my favourite Greek novels.

AbeBooks has a number of used copies of the Efstathiadis Group paperback 1992 reprint.

These were the 1981 paperback covers of two Myrivilis novels:

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