In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 151 to appear but it seems unlikely that they will, at least not in the foreseeable future. So, once again (as with the 'Apanda of Palamás) we are dealing with an initiative that is at once exhaustive and frustrating. A rudimentary index of persons, places, and works— but not of subjects—is some consolation and the chronological and other tables at the end help to provide an overview. There is also an introductory note on the philological methods employed. What remains are the letters themselves. Ranging in length from three words to over three thousand, in tone from vituperative to playful, they bring us into immediate contact with the first and second generations of demoticism's leadership, providing a group portrait of devoted people who come alive on the page precisely because alongside their dedication to the Idea appear moments of irritation, fatigue, and egotism. Although the most domineering personality is clearly Psiháris's, the central figure of this volume is the wealthy businessman Pállis, who for decades aided other demoticists both morally and materially from his base in Liverpool where, after his evening newspaper and his nap from fatigue, he worked each night from nine to twelve (plus all day Sunday) for the Idea. Peter Bien Dartmouth College Alexandros Papadiamantis, Tales from a Greek Island, translated with introduction and notes by Elizabeth Constantinides. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1987. Pp. xxiii + 176. $16.95. Tales from a Greek Island contains twelve short stories in English translation preceded by an informative introduction and followed by brief, helpful notes. These notes are gathered at the end of the book and are not signalled by number in the text so that the reader is not distracted from the text. The selection of stories is judicious, twelve of the approximately 180 the author wrote. Murderess has been translated, and the inclusion of Βαϕδιάνος στα σπόϕκα, though well worth reading, would have unbalanced the volume because of its length. AU the stories are set on an island, Skiáthos, hence the title. For the most part, however, they also concern domestic life, and more often than not depict various aspects of what I view as the unsatisfactory role of women 152 Reviews in family and society. Not all the stories are strong, but several, notably "Civilization in the Village" and "A Dream among the Waters," are fine portrayals of life and character. While a brief inspection of stories other than those included here reveals other criteria which one might have used for selection, (for instance, those involving school teachers), such criteria would not have produced a better collection of stories. Papadiamantis was not one for plot as such, and not all the slices of life he serves prove tasty. Constantinides has done well to concentrate Papadiamantis and our attention. The translation for the most part reads well and will not put off the English-speaking reader. There are points at which I would have chosen a different English locution, but I cannot guarantee that I would have chosen better. Weakest of course are the conversations, for here Constantinides must grapple with the inevitable idioms and conversational short-cuts of ordinary discourse. No one deals adequately with the Greek habit—quite un-Anglo-Saxon—of imploring various divinities more or less pro forma and referring to one's self and others as "unfortunate" or "unhappy." Greeks are different, and the difference, if preserved, can distract. If ironed out, one loses the Greekness. An added difficulty stems from the author himself. Papadiamantis frequently inserts conversations unnecessarily and in part to show off the local idiom (cf. the children's report on p. 35 of "The Homesick Wife"). The translation is accurate. Generally when Constantinides diverges from the literal the result is as good or better than the literal would have been. In "Civilization in the Village", however, I detected errors of a distinctly minor sort, some of which may result from the use of different editions. On p. 72 (bottom) the sentence should read: "the damned woman didn't tell me;" p. 73 (middle) the doctor was nearing forty; in the middle of p. 75 "all of this I had lost earlier on" is...

pdf

Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.