Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

The Phantasm of Suicide

Attempting to define a suicidal tradition in our modern literature, apart from Kalvos’ and Solomos’ advocacy and the contribution of the “morbid Romanticism” of the school of Athens, we paradoxically trace a strong self-destructive stigma in the texts of the short –story triad of writers (Vizyinos, Papadiamantis, Mitsakis), the notorious “Generation of the 80’s”, the generation of healthy genre literature. Michail Mitsakis’ Suicide (1895) highlights suicide in counterpoint to the itinerant mood of the text: the narrator lingers about Patras and gives a precise description of whatever his greedy sight devours, while his thought is constantly pestered by the enigma of the suicide committed in the hotel he stays. The hammering of his mind by the last words of the perpetrator becomes continuously stronger and essentially imposes the rhythm in this evocative setting. A few years earlier (1891) Alexandros Papadiamantis announces the Suicide, one of his short-stories, which, however, was not published until much later. Self-censorship or other conjuctions? In any case, the presence of later textsin his oeuvre dealing with suicide allow us to consider that the writer from Skiathos island (and masterly translator of Dostoevsky) also fell under the spell of the subject. Even later, in the early 1880’s, Georgios Vizyinos deals with the self-destructive end of an ill-fated erotic couple in his work Consequences of an old story: we follow here how languish and melancholy lead slowly, methodically and inevitably to the threshold of the (redeeming) death. Thus, the phantasm of suicide hovers decisively over the young short-story writing, which, already in the early nine-teenth century, will change radically the landscape of Modern Greek prose, by creating the technical, rhetoric and thematic prerequisites of a literary modernism already in the nineteenth century.