George Seferis: Έξι νύχτες στην Ακρόπολη (Six Nights on the Acropolis)

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The latest addition to my website is George SeferisΈξι νύχτες στην Ακρόπολη (Six Nights on the Acropolis). Seferis won the Nobel Prize for his poetry. This was his only completed novel and it is easy to see why he owed his success to his poetry rather than to his novel-writing. It imitates the French novel of the 1920s – Gide and Valéry are big influences. It is about Stratis (clearly based on Seferis himself) a poet, whose family was driven from Asia Minor in the Greo-Turkish War, who has spent some time in France and now is back in Greece, struggling to become a poet and to get on with his life. He gets involved in a love triangle with a woman known as Salome (real name Billio) and her young protégée and would-be lover, Lala. He has met them through a group of intellectuals, who decide to meet for six months on the Acropolis whenever there is a full month, i.e. once a lunar month. These meetings seem casual and desultory with a certain amount of discussion about art but not much else. Stratis sort of finds himself, at least to a certain degree, but the whole thing does not really work unless you enjoy a somewhat watered-down version of a 1920s French novel.

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