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Reviews 121 Romanos sums up: This comparative study of the fiction of Alexandros Kotzias is a result of the dialogic arrangement between the synchronic and the diachronic . It has been a dialectic between the historicity of the authorfunction inherent in the texts and the historicity of the reading experience inherent in this inquiry. The reader has become a writer, (p. 233) I wonder. Roderick Beaton Kings College, London George Kanarakis, H λογοτεχνική παϕουσία των Ελλήνων στην Αυστϕαλία. Athens: 'Idrima Neoellinikón Spudón. 1985. Pp. xvi + 687. The widespread view in both Greece and Australia that Australian Greeks have not produced a distinguished literature is a myth, says George Kanarakis in his prologue. His aim is to show not only the extent of Australian-Greek literature but its quality. "The Literary Presence of the Greeks in Australia" is the fruit of eight years of research during which Mr. Kanarakis, who heads Modern Greek Studies at Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Bathhurst, personally interviewed all the living authors included here, with the result that in most cases, we have biographical and bibliographical data available nowhere else. In addition, each author is represented by one or more samples of work often previously unpublished . The need for such a book derives from these Greek authors' problems. Writing in a "minor" language, without translators, without anthologists, typically with no outlet for publication save local newspapers or short-lived periodicals, they have lacked the conditions normally thought necessary for creative work. The miracle is that so much has been done. Understandably, there are few professional writers in the volume; instead we see postal workers, factory hands, fishermen, civil servants, radar technicians, physicians—an array of occupations that in itself says much about the experience of Greek migrants in Australia. Mr. Kanarakis approaches his task from sociological and historical perspectives, as he explains in his extended introduction. Historically , he groups his writers into periods whose dates should speak for themselves: 1900-21, 1922-39, 1940-51, 1952-83. Sociologically, 122 Reviews he restricts himself to immigrants, defined as Greeks who left their country because of economic, political, or family pressure and went abroad expecting to remain permanently or to return home after acquiring economic security. This categorization excludes diplomats, industrial representatives, and archbishops (the present one, Stylianos Harkianakis, a distinguished poet, is therefore not included). The 82 authors listed are preponderantly male. Most write in Greek, although many younger ones use English exclusively; some employ both languages. All genres are represented: poetry, prose fiction , and drama. The range goes from the deliciously naive— Όταν σας λÎ-νε ο ποιητής εσείς μη καϕτεϕήτε κανÎ-να μεγάλον ποιητήσαντονΣουϕήναδήτε.διότιανήμουναΣουϕής,Θαήμουν στην Αθήνα και στÎ-κια [steaks] δεν θα Î-ψηνα κλεισμÎ-νος οτην κουζίνα. —to the avant garde. Interestingly, the language even in older writers is demotic, probably reflecting their lack of formal education more than any ideological bias. Australian-Greek elements are rare and are often admixed facetiously. Examples are: γουÎ-τςα (wages), ντςόμπι (job), ντϕαιβάϕω (to drive), χάϕυ-απ (haste as a noun). The obsessive theme, not surprisingly, is ξενητιά, and the dominant emotion seems to be humiliation: "Ox-for' Stree'," he pronounced very slowly. "You'll need more than that, mate. Fares 'ave gone up. 'Aven't you heard? Costs thruppence now." Kapetan Nikola did not know why the conductor refused to accept his two pence as all the others had for the last two months. He could not understand what the conductor was saying . He repeated, "Ox-for' Stree'." "Look mate. Fares gone up. No good this," and he pointed to the coins in Kapetan Nikola's outstretched hand and shook his head. "Need more—thruppence," and he indicated this by raising his middle three fingers, "three—sabee?" But Kapetan Nikola could not see why things should change today or any other day. He still believed that the conductor could not understand his poor English and he repeated even more slowly, "Ox-for-t Stree'." The conductor tore off a threepenny ticket and pushed it under Kapetan Nikola's nose. "Thruppence, see you bloody wog. You ignorant old dago. Why don't you bloody well learn English!" Kapetan Nikola recognized the words of abuse. He pushed away the conductor's hand and pulled out an extra penny. The Reviews 123 conductor took the money and purposely dropped the ticket onto the floor. He walked away grumbling to himself. George Kanarakis has pulled up a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 121-123
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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