My book of the holiday was Modern Greek Writing, edited by David Ricks.

I’ve always thought of Greek poetry in terms of C.P. Cavafy and George Sefiris, neither of whom particularly grabbed me when I read them in translation.

This anthology has a mixture of prose, including short stories and extracts from novels, as well as poetry. I was struck by how experimental much of it is. A short story by Vizyinos grabbed my attention, initially,  as the writer was confined to an asylum after falling madly in love with a 10 year old girl.

By his own hand is a short story about a suicide. Mitsakis was also locked up for mania, having had a successful career as a journalist and person of letters.

By his own hand picks up on a detail in the suicide note, where the person who has killed himself asks people not to be bothered. The leitmotif of not bothering swells up in the short story like an ever-growing wave of indignation, and is repeated again and again like a manic chant.

I have ordered a copy of the anthology from Abebooks as it seems to be out of print. Not such a nice edition as the one in the Blue House, which had a cover that matched the blue shutters!

Update: recently got the book. Cover is in the Featured image section. Delighted!

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