Back home for Christmas


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dream steamer

Γεια σας 🙂
βρισκομαι στην Ικαρια και δεν αντεχω παρα να γραψω στη γλωσσα του τοπου, δηλαδη στα Ελληνικα. Ειναι χειμωνας, εποχη για παλιες ιστοριες. Ομως δεν μου βγαινει να σας πω μια δικη μου γιατι ειμαι πολυ κουρασμενη.
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Για την Ικαρία του 1978-80 στο 'Πύραυλος των Υπογείων' του Βασίλη Ηλιακόπουλου με τίτλο: 'Back Home for Christmas'Αντι για μενα λοιπον, καλυτερα να διαβασετε το γραπτο του Βασιλη Ηλιακοπουλου απο το μπλογκ του που λεγεται «Πυραυλος των Υπογειων» και εχει τιτλο: Back home for Christmas. Απο τις πρόσθετες φωτογραφιες μερικες ειναι δικες μου και οι υπολοιπες ανηκουν σε γνωστους και αγνωστους φιλους απο το Flickr. Με αυτες τις προσθηκες προσπαθησα να αποδωσω εικονικα, αν και χωρις να δείξω προσωπα και παλιες καταστασεις, παρα μονο σκηνες του τοπιου, κατι απο την κλειστη και τραχεια, ομως τοσο θερμη και οικεια σε μενα, το περαστικο πουλι, ατμοσφαιρα που περιγραφει ο Ηλιακοπουλος.

Back home for Christmas

Armenistis Ikaria winter wave

«Έχω βρεθεί καταχείμωνο στην Ικαρία, τότε που οι λιγοστοί κάτοικοι λουφάζουν περιμένοντας να περάσουν οι δύσκολες εποχές. Αγριεμένος ο καιρός, τρία μέτρα ψηλή η θάλασσα, ορμάει με πάταγο στην προκυμαία και η νύχτα προμηνύεται όλο βουητό και αντάρα. Ο Αρμενιστής, ένα παλιό ψαροχώρι, εκτεθειμένο στους βορεινούς καιρούς, δεν κρατάει το χειμώνα πάνω από τριάντα ανθρώπους. Όσοι δεν κάθονται γύρω από τη σπιτική φωτιά μαζεύονται στον καφενέ, τραβούν τα παραθυρόφυλλα και τις ξύλινες πόρτες που μαστιγώνονται από θαλασσινές ριπές. Παλιοί ναυτικοί και μετανάστες που γύρισαν ύστερα από χρόνια στην Αμερική, βολεύονται γύρω απ’ τη σόμπα, ψήνουν κάστανα και πίνουν ρακί.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter calm with a bird on a rock

«Ο μπάρμπα-Δημήτρης, ο Κόχυλας, ο καφετζής, άρχοντας της λιτότητας, αράζει σ’ έναν πάγκο στη γωνία, χωμένος σ’ ένα βαρύ δερματόδετο βιβλίο που αν κανείς κάνει τον κόπο και πλησιάσει, θα διαβάσει: “Απομνημονεύματα του Στρατηγού Σαράφη„. Η γυναίκα του, η κυρά-Μαρία, όρθια στην άλλη γωνία, στην κουζίνα, τηγανίζει ψαράκια που τσιτσιρίζουν στο τηγάνι της. Ο καφενές τρίζει από την επίθεση των καιρών και όσοι είναι μαζεμένοι γύρω από τη σόμπα ξαναμμένοι από τη ρακή, το ρίχνουν στη συζήτηση για τα καράβια που έπιαναν παλιά στην Ικαρία.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter storm and rainbow splash by Wim De Weerdt on Flickr

«Το μεγάλο ερώτημα που ρίχτηκε στη κουβέντα, είναι: “Πότε ήρθε για τελευταία φορά το Μιμίκα Λ. στον Αρμενιστή„. Ήταν το ’47 ή το ’49; Για όσους δεν ξέρουν τι λαός είναι οι Ικαριώτες, πρέπει να πω ότι είναι πρωτομάστορες του καλαμπουριού και των ιστοριών. Όταν άρχιζε ο Στρατής ο Αφιανές ερχότανε μια στιγμή που βρισκόσουνα, χωρίς να το καταλάβεις, κυκλωμένος από παντού να τσαλαβουτάς μέσα στο τραγελαφικό και το παράδοξο. Κι όταν σηκωνότανε όρθιος ο Σταμάτης ο Κόχυλας, ο μεγάλος αδελφός του μπάρμπα-Δημήτρη, που ’χε κι αυτός έναν μικρό καφενέ πάνω από την προκυμαία, κοντός, ξερακιανός, αργομίλητος, τότε απλωνότανε νεκρική σιγή. Κι έπειτα, τα καλαμπούρια. Οι Ικαριώτες μπορούν να πειράζουν ο έναν τον άλλον για μια ολόκληρη νύχτα. Το κάνουν σαν ένα παιχνίδι που γυρίζει γύρω-γύρω κι αυτός που αρχίζει θα δεχτεί με τη σειρά του τα πειράγματα των άλλων. Άντρες πλατύστερνοι και βαριοκόκκαλοι, γέρνουν πάνω στην καρέκλα και με μάτια που λάμπουν από περιπαικτική διάθεση αμολάν το καλαμπούρι ενώ με τα χοντροδάχτυλά τους τρίβουν το κάστανο και ταυτόχρονα περιεργάζονται μία το θύμα και μία τις αντιδράσεις της παρέας. Ώρες-ώρες ο καφενές σείεται από τα γέλια. Πότε ήταν λοιπόν, το ’47 ή το ’49; Ήταν πριν από το γάμο του Τάσου του Φραγκούλη ή τότε που ο Τσαντίρης ο γέρος γύρισε από το Σικάγο και είπε ότι θέλει ν’ αφήσει τα κόκαλά του εδώ πέρα στα χώματα τα πατρογονικά.»

Eleni in Ikaria, February 08, 2006, thalassograph 2

«Όποιος δεν καλοθυμάται γίνεται αντικείμενο γενικής θυμηδίας. Μετά η συζήτηση προχωράει στα παλιά καράβια. Το Προπολεμικό «Φρίντο» που έκαιγε κάρβουνο, το «Παντελής», το «Δεσποινάκι» και η «Μαριλένα» πρώην «Κωστάκης Τόγιας». Μετά ερχότανε το «Μυρτιδιώτισσα» η «Μιμίκα Λ» και τα ιταλικά: ο «Κολοκοτρώνης», ο «Καραϊσκάκης» και το «Έλλη». Καράβια, φαντάσματα καραβιών που πέρναγαν σαν παλιές γκραβούρες μέσα απ’ την κουβέντα τους.»

Lighthouse in Armenistís by Ralf Moritz on Flickr

«Αλήθεια, τι απόσταση από το “Μιμίκα Λ.„ μέχρι το “Αιγαίο„! Κι από το Ο/Γ “Αιγαίο„ στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του ’80 ως τα σήμερα, τέλη του ’90. Παλιά σιδερένια βαπόρια με στρογγυλές πρύμνες, μυτερές πλώρες και ξύλινα καταστρώματα. Παστωμένα με άσπρη λαδομπογιά, με δερμάτινους καναπέδες και ξύλινες επενδύσεις. Το “Αιγαίο„ παλιό και ταλαιπωρημένο διέσχιζε το Ικάριο, βυθιζόταν με την πλώρη μέσα στο κύμα κι όταν σηκωνότανε πάνω από την ίσαλο γραμμή έβλεπες τα μίνια και τις ξεφλουδισμένες μπογιές του. Οι Ικαριώτες όμως ήταν βαθιά δεμένοι μ’ αυτό το πλοίο. Τους έφερνε στον Πειραιά μ’ όλους τους καιρούς κι από κει πίσω στο σπίτι τους. Γέρνανε στις κουπαστές και αγναντεύαν το νησί τους καθώς το καράβι έπλεε κατά μήκος του για μια ολόκληρη ώρα γιατί είναι ένα εξαιρετικά μακρόστενο νησί η Ικαρία.»

Hand by Eva Devriendt on Flickr

«Όπως το πλοίο έβγαινε από τον Άγιο Κήρυκο και τράβαγε δυτικά παραπλέοντας όλη τη νότια πλευρά του νησιού που την δέρνει το Ικάριο δείχνανε ο ένας στον άλλο με το δάχτυλο, και ονομάζανε με το όνομά τους, όλα τα χωριά, ένα, ένα. Γέροι με χοντρά τζην και καρρώ πουκάμισα φοράγανε εκείνα τα παλιά αμερικάνικα γυαλιά με τον μαύρο σκελετό που έδιναν οι αμερικάνικες κοινωνικές υπηρεσίες, το αμερικάνικο ΙΚΑ, στη δεκαετία του ’60. Στις πλάτες τους κρεμόταν ο γυλιός φτιαγμένος από δέρμα κατσίκας με το τρίχωμα προς τα έξω. Γυναίκες μαντηλοδεμένες, νύφες, γαμπροί, παιδιά.»

ikarialandscape by Gabriela Sofia Flores Schnaider inside album Ikaria on Flickr

«Διακρίνανε τα χωριά το ένα μετά το άλλο και στο τέλος πια τον Μαγγανίτη και μετά το Καρκινάγρι, που κρέμονταν πάνω στον απόκρημνο βράχο. Ξεχώριζαν το δρόμο που χρόνια τώρα πάσχιζε, με τις μπουλντόζες και τα φουρνέλα, ν’ ανοίξει η ΜΟΜΑ για να ενώσει το νησί. Κι όταν προσπέρναγαν το ακρωτήριο Παππάς, με τον φάρο του, τότε ήσυχοι πια κατέβαιναν στα σαλόνια του καραβιού και παρέες-παρέες άνοιγαν τα φαγητά με τα κεφτεδάκια και το ψωμοτύρι και τραβάγανε κοντά τη νταμιτζάνα με το κόκκινο Ικαριώτικο κρασί.»

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Τι ωραιο κειμενο! ^^’
Καλε μου αγνωστε αναγνωστη αν θελεις κι ενα οχι για τη θαλασσα αλλα για το βουνο της ιδιας ή πιο παλιας εποχης, διαβασε στο μπλογκ της Νανας το:

Ήμεσσαν τρεις ψυχεροί ελόου μας…

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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Κι αν θες τη γνωμη μου, πιστευω οτι και σημερα πισω απο το τσιμεντο, τα μηχανηματα και το τουριστικο πασαλειμμα επικαλυμμα, κατι δυνατο απο ολα αυτα υπαρχει ακομα.  ❤

Ελενη Ικ.
Ικαρια, 27 Ιανουαριου 2016

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WHY IKARIA? An interview with Eleni.


In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away
from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled
loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script.
There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination.
Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of
developements, without however being ever outside. It's in orbit
like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me
whose job is to generate ideas.

(This is Nana. The following interview is sure to debunk those who want to believe Ikaria as a soporiferous island. That’s all I had to say in place of an introduction. I should also say that I did a lot of mending to improve the word order so that the whole thing made sense. I mention this in case somebody thought we talk like that when we are between us…)

Yaaa…

– Ya sou.

After two years of hard work abroad, you spent an entire winter and spring in Ikaria. Why?

– In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script. There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination. Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of developements, without however being ever outside. It’s in orbit like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me whose job is to generate ideas. This, I mean the generating of ideas, by the way, is like a national sport for the locals. Everybody have various opinions on everything. There is a philosophical consideration of the reality, a continuous searching. That was good but at the same time it took all my self-discipline so that I was able to finish my work without being drawn away into this game; neither drift into the dramatic landscape nor be sucked up by the notorious slow times which the landscape imposes. When I was through with the work, ok then I let myself drift and be sucked up for a while.

So you used the island as a base, but you didn’t want to be sucked up?

– It’s precisely as you say. In order not to mingle and interfere with my work, whatever I saw and thought about Ikaria I wrote in my blog or I said it with photos in Flickr. Again a lot of discipline was needed; and I confess that I messed up quite a few times; thought of letting everything drop and become an Ikarian hippie. Fortunately I love my job and the friends I have there and the money that come from my work and provide for my independence; so I always brought myself back to order.

How much can you reveal here about the script?

– It’s nothing too original. It has to do with the way the general policies, ideas and popular trends affect a small insignificant place. About how these trends are digested, distorted or even, you may say, come up better. How they are «materialized» as a technocrat would say. At the same time the opposite can happen as well and there lies the juice of the story: how a small insignificant place can affect in its turn, if not the central events, at least a few, very few people of which some may be important in their own special way and prove able to affect the central events.

Is it about the 17N?

– No, no … (roaring laughter) …

Yet it has to do with Ikaria?

– There is a distant relation. My favourite island helped to inspire, that was all. The story takes place in another location which I thought was very alike. It’s not an island, though. After so much travelling I am pleased to say that there are many Ikarias in the world and many of them are in Europe, although we do not usually consider our continent as contradictory and exotic… (laughter) You may find an Ikaria, for instance, in some remote provinces, in valleys between mountains, or even in some uptown urban quarters -that’s not uncommon in mid-eastern Europe.

The year before last you walked the entire part of the E4 trail from Hungary to Greece. In this particular route how many Ikarias did you encounter?

– A lot. You can’t imagine how many. The only difference with the Ikaria we know, is that’s it’s an island, not metaphorically but actually. There are very strict geographical limits and that’s easier to take and more productive as far as the concept is concerned. On the other hand these limits are too restricted; the concept would be clear but the story would be limited. It might come out as a description of customs and folklore and I wanted to avoid this. Yet… look, I might not have written a script with a setting in Ikaria, however, after I finished the script, as an adjacent return from all those long hikes in the mountains and the ravines I turned up with a few nice fairy-tales.

Is it what you said already? I mean that you eventually let yourself get sucked up?

– I have always liked to invent and tell stories. Having all the time and space at my disposal in Ikaria for the first time I let myself set my strories on stage and I tried them with myself as an actor as well. So In the natural settings of the island I pretended to be «The Doe» and the «Fair Maid Sang» from two Greek folk songs that I adore; I improvised Ophelia of Shakespeare, «The Maid of the Castle» (that’s from Ikaria); and from the modern figures I acted the «grouvalina» in Chalares river – (laughter)

Why not play «the good terrorist» too?

– Whatever but not such fantasies, dear! Nor a nun or a missionary either, roles that sound to me very close to what you ‘ve just said. They get me down; not to tell you they dispair me. I reject anybody who prays for me or shoots a gun for me or in my name in order to save me without asking me.

How about an ecologist then?

– Yes, but only for me, not for the others. Yet why should I have acted this part? What else was I but an «ecologist» in the way I behaved in Ikaria? With my organic potato garden and my endless hikes in the hills, the herbs I collected and so on, what was I but an ecologist? But don’t you think this term has degenerated to mean almost nothing? Half of the Ikarian women I know, are «ecologists». It’s not a part for a fairy-tale. It’s a real attitude in life.

Did you also act Icarus?

– No. To begin with he was a man and secondly because the story has a bad end. From winged beings I played «Serafina», a female angel of my own invention … (laughter …pause)

Are you going to do something with these stories set in Ikaria? Professionaly, I mean.

– The island is very convenient for such RPG situations. First of all nobody gets you wrong as long as you don’t offend and disturb anybody; and then there is no strict code for a respectable lifestyle. You don’t have a problem if you appear in the supermarket in dusty clothes or dry weeds in your hair. I can tell you that they may take it like an honour…

As evidence that you had «friction» with the nature of the island? (laughter)

– Yes, as long as you are not like that all the time. This would be disrespect and «grouvalization». I, for instance, more than once have appeared sweat-soaked and in rags and the next time I showed up all clean and with my hair well-made in a nice and neat afternoon clothes set… (laughter)

That’s a useful tip for some people to know. Anyway, let’s get back to my question.

– I admit that I slipped off your question on purpose. These stories are my own personal, private things. I may narrate them verbally; I may give ideas to others; but I won’t turn them into «work» : written narratives with scenic directions and detailled dialogues. They are my own salutary schizophrenia and I want to keep them so that I can change them once in a while according to my mood. In short, they are my girlish utopias and I won’t sell them. Or at least this what I think of the matter right now. Who knows, maybe when I am old, I change my mind. Or maybe the environment of Ikaria goes bad, or another danger comes about and in that case I may decide to be a «committed writer» and raise hell. (laughter…) But for the time being and with the baby I am unable to think of such activistic situations. My baby is enough activism for me now –

(These last sentences were said while Sideraki had started to cry. And so here the interview with Eleni was interrupted and stopped. Yaaaa-aaa… We speak again soon.)

Athina Sk.

Comments

(7 total)

As you may have noticed, in this interview there are no links for photos and other supplementary information. You are free to use your imagination.

Monday January 29, 2007 – 09:48am (EET)

Fascinating; my goal is to drift off into the landscape, with neither haste nor hesitation. You hiked the E4 Hungary to Greece? I offer a humble bow.

Monday January 29, 2007 – 08:50am (PST)

Drifting into the landscape? Well said. That’s Nana’s specialty to a degree extreme. Labors for hours across thornbush lands for sport. The mad Cretan bloke doesn’t need paths -:

Oh please don’ t bow about the E4. ‘Twas a smashing experience. It offered me good reason to curl up like a cat in Ikaria soon after.
Btw, there is a E4 related thread in Flickr group «hiking».

Tuesday January 30, 2007 – 12:58pm (PST)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

Η ΛΑΦΙΝΑ

Όλα τα λάφια που βοσκούν όλα δροσολογιούνται
Και μια λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πάει μαζί με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατεί, τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύει
Κι όπου βρει γάργαρο νερό θολώνει το και πίνει

Κι ο ήλιος την ερώτησε κι ο ήλιος τη ρωτάει
Γιατί λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πας κοντά με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατείς τα απόζερβα αγναντεύεις
Κι όπου βρεις γάργαρο νερό θολώνεις το και πίνεις

Ήλιε μου Σα με ρώτησες θα σου το μολογήσω
Δώδεκα χρόνους έκαμα μόνη χωρίς ελάφι
Δώδεκα χρόνους ήλιε μου στείρα χωρίς ελάφι
Κι από τους δώδεκα κι ομπρός εγέννησα λαφάκι.

Και σαν εβγήκε ο βασιλιάς να λαφοκυνηγήσει
Το βρίσκει μοσχανάθρεφτο και το διπλοσκοτώνει
Γι αυτό στ’ απόσκια περπατώ τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύω
Κι όπου βρω γάργαρο νερό θολώνω το και πίνω

Κι ο ήλιος τότε δάκρυσε και τα βουνά ριγήσαν
Και το φεγγάρι έσβησε ν’ ακούσει το ελάφι
Κι οι λαγκαδιές κι οι ρεματιές μαζί του αναστενάξαν
Κλάψε με, μάνα κλάψε με, με ήλιο με φεγγάρι.

Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:45am (PDT)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

THE LAFINA

All the deers are grazing and drinking clear fresh water
All but a humble Lafina (she-deer) who doesn’t go along with the others
She is walking in the shadows, she is turning her head away
And where she finds spurting water, she stirs mud and then she drinks it.

And the Sun asked her, and the Sun is asking her
Why humble Lafina, you don’t go along with the others?
Why are you walking in the shadows, why are you turning your head away?
And why where you find spurting water, do you stir mud and then you drinks it?

Oh Sun, since it’s you who’s asking, I will confess to you
I had been without a calf for twelve years
Sterile, ny Sun, without a calf for twelve years
And after those twelve years were over, I bore a calf at last.

And when the King came out to hunt
He saw that it was well-bred, he shoots two arrows and kills it on the spot
This is why I am walking in the shadows and I am turning my head away.
This is why where I find spurting water, I stir the mud and then I drink it.

And then the Sun bleared and the mountains quivered
And the Moon extinguished on listening to the deer
And the dens and the ravines sighed with her
Cry for me, mother, cry for me with the Sun and the Moon.

Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:47am (PDT)

I liked the ideas

…and beautiful poem

now I need to stay silent

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 09:02pm (EEST)

Stay silent as long as you wish. Silence in part of «The New Eloquence». Thank you.

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:32pm (PDT)


When I go paranoid …I think and write in Greek


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Αυτο που απασχολει παρα πολυ και με τρομαζει ειναι μηπως με τις φωτογραφιες μου της Ικαριας στο Φλικρ συμβαλω ωστε να αυξηθει η τιμη της γης και τα ενοικια. Μηπως χτιστουν διαφορες βιλες στα βουνα και πληγωσουν το τοπιο. Μηπως οι ιδιοκτητες τους νομιζουν πως απο τα μπαλκονια τους θα βλεπουν τετοια τοπια.
Μηπως συμβαλω στην οικοπεδοποιση του Αιγαιου;

Χριστε μου, εχω καιρο να περπατησω καπου συναρπαστικα και να μου φυγουν τετοιες σκεψεις. Κι αυτη εδω η πεδιαδα που ειμαι τωρα δεν μου κανει. Ακομα και να μη φοβομουν τ’ αλογα, αποκλειεται να μαθω ιπασια στη παρουσα φαση.

ImageΥπομονη…

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Comments

(2 total)

Everything is illusions -stay cool. There are other forces at work besides constructors and speculators. You know this well.
biz-bijoux
A.

Thursday September 7, 2006 – 10:22pm (EEST)

This may not be all paranoid. Look…
I quote from
http://www.artbox.gr/
about the Greek participation in this year’s Art Biennale of Venice

……..
The Concept of the Greek Participation >
The Aegean Archipelago is a scattered city

The governing concept of the Greek participation in the 10th Venice Biennial of Architecture is a presentation of the Aegean as a city.
Making reference to the thought of Italian philosopher and mayor of the city of Venice Massimo Cacciari, the notion of the Archipelago is presented in the Greek pavilion as a vital allegory for mutual social understanding.
In the context of the discourse regarding the metacity, the Aegean is being introduced as a counter yet extant example of an aquatic city that is a radiating land of desire. Its allure does not stem from the sediments of nostalgia, but rather from the enduring character of a structure of habitation that contains the promise of a different metacity, one that intently embraces the call for freedom.
The fact that the islands are surrounded by the sea, exposed to light, the sun and mighty winds of the Aegean delineates the unconditional relationship of the Archipelagic city with its nature, proposing not an anachronism but a topical, alternative form of urbanity throbbing with the intrinsic tensions of the metacity.

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A *metacity* ? An *archipelagos* ? Do you agree with these concepts? To my nose they smell st-trong of wet concrete. 😮

Friday September 8, 2006 – 09:54pm (EEST)


«The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must» :o


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«Right, as the world goes, is only a question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must

 

cat and mouse

source

Oh no. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t feel like and I am not going to write the story of sweet boy Glaucos, Cretan King Minos’ son, who drowned in honey.

Instead, I will tell you about the terrible fate of the Melians, the inhabitants of the island of Melos, who dared claim neutrality in a civil war. It was not because they were cowards; on the contrary they were the only islanders who didn’t surrender and opposed the Persians. The reason they didn’t want to fight with their allies, the Athenians, against the Spartans, was that unlike the Athenians and most other islanders who were Ionians, the Melians were Dorians like the Spartans. Greek can kill Greek and brother can kill brother; but in this case the Melians were asked to fight against themselves, against their own identity. So they pleaded to remain neutral.

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Mandrakia village / Milos island by Zdenek Senkyrik | Flickr

Read the story and then read THE MELIAN DIALOGUE, the debate between the Melians and the Athenians on the matter. It’s good drama. What the Athenians actually say is :

«We are going to destroy you and we will spare noone; but before we kill you, you will have to understand perfectly well the reason why we will kill you.» And the Melians seem to say : «We know that we are as good as dead; but why not for a change instead of proving you are strong by killing everybody of us, why not for a change prove you are strong by letting us live in the way we want.»

(If you have time to read the whole original Dialogue, search for the quote in the title of this entry. Look how and where exactly it drops in the text. What effect it’d create to your ears if you were a Melian?)

I hope one day Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue will be adapted and set on the scene succesfully. But my ambitions are greater. They say that the constitution of the European Union will contain Pericles’ «Funeral Oration» on the benefits of democracy; I strongly believe that it should also contain the arguments of the Melians. My arguments? My arguments are he arguments of so many weak people I know.

filakia Elle Image

Comments

(8 total)

«Might makes right!» «Wait a second.. no it doesn’t!»

If there were any justice in the world, all imperial leaders would be forced to sleep with a copy of this dialogue under their pillows.

This was one of the first pieces of classical literature I ever read. It brought home the one reason I’m still studying the ancients, and in fact plan to teach this stuff for my career: Nothing Ever Changes. That’s not to say I’m a pessimist, but rather that there are universal elements of the human experience, and sometimes they were expressed best 2500 years ago. These elements, from Achilles’ rage to Dido’s tragic love, are what have kept me stuck in school for all these years.

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 09:24am (EDT)

My old teacher Vidal-Naquet died recently. I was lucky to meet him again after many years in Ikaria. He had been invited to a conference on history and myths. I was told that he expressed the wish to visit again and spend a lot of time in Ikaria. Anyway what he always said was that the study of the classics helps a person committed to a cause become more relative and more profound in his/her ideas. I want to add that Thucydides was FOR the Melians. Unfortunaltely we weren’t taught that at school. I was told that Thucydides is taught as a course in the Mlitary Academies of the U.S. I assume it’s about strategics and that they leave this passage out.

(psst… El, what’s on your mind? a script?)

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 10:43pm (EEST)

The cat got his paws on a cockerel. «At last I’ve got you. You… you… wake up everyone far too early in the morning. Now I’m going to stop all your crowing once and for all.» Although the claws of cat were round his neck, the cock managed to answer, «But actually a recent poll has shown the majority of people are grateful for a wake up call.» «Well… don’t think you can reason your way out of this. I’m hungry, and the main thing is… I want a meal.» And with that the debate was over.

I’ve just had a look at the Melian dialogue – it is sort of surreal – it must be the greeks and debate – why, before the age of mass media and spin – why when there will be no audience apart from the vanquished – why bother to reason?? The performance should have a comic edge I think.

Saturday September 30, 2006 – 11:24pm (CEST)

Typical situation «Shoot me but spare me the lecture». Fortunately (for us) none of them was short of words and Thucydides was a top «journalist». So a typical everyday situation became an *all-times-classic*. When someone to who a company is grateful*, refuses to do some dirty job which is against his/her principles, and so he/she gets fired, the attitudes that you see and the arguments that you hear are from the Melian Dialogue.

*** I all agree with Simon G. This is Black Comedy. Though no expert, I think this genre is the most difficult to put on stage.

Sunday October 1, 2006 – 07:10pm (EEST)

OH YES IT IS ! As ‘Simon G’ insinuates, the somebody has to be vanquished and that will be the audience for such a play. If I’m not mistaken, during the war Thucydides was busy being a general; he wrote his history later in his self-exile in Thrace after his home town, Athens was defeated. Aristophanes on the contrary wrote and directed his comedies between battles and campaigns of that war. Lycistrata, The Birds, Acharneis – my favourites!…

Sunday October 1, 2006 – 12:27pm (PDT)

Tragic that we as humans have not learned a Goddamned thing in 2,500 years.

Write it Elle!

Monday October 2, 2006 – 07:35am (PDT)

Oh no greg! We have learned one thing : that we have not learned a Goddamned thing in 2,500 years. ha ha ha Somebody else said this -not me. Maybe a comedian, maybe a historian, I can’t remember.

I think I’ll try and do it. I’ll need to put on 3 hats : a lawyer’s, a comedian’s, a historian’s, plus some Aristophanic spirit «shoot us but spare us the lectures» (thank you Nana!) Let’s change the subject because I don’t want to think about it now. It will be for after… you know.

Monday October 2, 2006 – 01:04pm (PDT)


Eleni (still) in Ikaria (May 12, 2006)


My birthday Image is in a few days. As a gift to myself (because if I didn’t have me, what had I become in life?) and because myself needs, I ‘ll (tara tata taram…) try and illustrate «The Island» with photos.

For the rest, today was a cloudy and it rained a bit in the morning, so we cocooned.

Comments

(6 total)

Taurus, yes indeed I can see it. Me too sort of, on the cusp, but my girlfriend says more Aries.

Friday May 12, 2006 – 03:28pm (PDT)

yeah, Taurus. Terrible, isn’t it? I smash everything and then I say ‘sorry’, and I mean it, and I want to make even, but people don’t believe me. I’ve seen capricorns and aries do 100 t worse but they don’t have the looks, see?

Did you read ‘The Island’ in that link? Is it too scholarly and ‘British English’? I’m using the Greek translation.

Saturday May 13, 2006 – 01:05pm (PDT)

Oh no, my little mountain ash is Taurus (she was one last week), and I am Aries. She is already showing signs of wilfulness – we lock horns already.

I re-read The Island after your comment – I don’t know what the style of the poem says to a wider audience, but to me, the language evokes an ambience, and a feel of the island in the 50’s from an onlooker’s point of view. I can identify with it totally. My Greek is not good enough to comment on the translation, but I can only assume that it also captures that same feel and subtleties present in the original. I look forward to the illustrated verion.

Saturday May 13, 2006 – 11:28pm (BST)

-> images of beauty and words of love soothe the bull
-> I read somewhere that while in Ikaria McNeice had seen and known a lot and that he found himself in a very difficult position. On one side he had an idyllic place (the closed circle) and on the other Civil War, Cold war, nationalists vs communists. The sudden vision the poet has during his afternoon siesta under the pine tree, when the idyll becomes a Kafkian nightmare is my favourite part.

Sunday May 14, 2006 – 08:33am (PDT)

The poem, I like it at first then it become too long and ponderous and my intuitive nature rebels.

Monday May 15, 2006 – 07:23am (PDT)

You are right. The poem is often ponderous and really too long. As Eleni assumes, the poet was an eye witness of many situations and acts that he could not write shorter, hence clearer about. But the verses make good imagery and if Eleni already has or can find pictures to match the text, then …
We will see.

Thursday May 18, 2006 – 01:18pm (EEST)


The Island


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The Island

Does the wind sing in your ears at night, in the town,
Rattling the windows and doors of the cheap-built place?
Do you hear its song as it flies over marsh and down?
Do you feel the kiss that the wind leaves here on my face?
Or, wrapt in a lamplit quiet, do you restrain
Thoughts that would take the wind’s way hither to me,
And bid them rest safe-anchored, nor tempt again
The tumult, and torment, and passion that live in the sea?

I, for my part, when the wind sings loud in its might,
I bid it hush—nor awaken again the storm
That swept my heart out to sea on a moonless night,
And dashed it ashore on an island wondrous and warm
Where all things fair and forbidden for ever flower,
Where the worst of life is a dream, and the best comes true,
Where the harvest of years was reaped in a single hour
And the gods, for once, were honest with me and you.

I will not hear when the wind and the sea cry out,
I will not trust again to the hurrying wind,
I will not swim again in a sea of doubt,
And reach that shore with the world left well behind;
But you,—I would have you listen to every call
Of the changing wind, as it blows over marsh and main,
And heap life’s joys in your hands, and offer them all,
If only your feet might touch that island again!

Edith Nesbit


(There seemed to be someting wrong with my blog
and I couldn't post an entry I had prepared.
Then suddenly I received this as a gift through the net.
So I'm posting this instead of a test entry.
It's so appropriate... Thanks Greg !)
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Comments

(1 total)

You don’t have crowds of friends in you blog, but those you have, are worth hundreds !
I know you about to post the «unpublished» squall photos here. If this junk.., oops, sorry, I meant your «pretty orange bicycle» works, I suggest you add some Greek verses to this series of photos.

Thursday March 2, 2006 – 01:16pm (EET)