Andreas Embirikos: Ἄργώ ἤ Πλούς Αεροστάτου (Argo or Aerostat Flight)


The latest addition to my website is Andreas EmbirikosἌργώ ἤ Πλούς Αεροστάτου (Argo or Aerostat Flight). Embirikos was a Greek poet who also wrote some prose, including this story. It is set in early twentieth century Colombia and has no Greek characters in the story. Don Pedro is a rich Colombian, born in Spain, a widower and father of a teenager, Carlotta. To Don Pedro’s horror, Carlotta is interested in their neighbour, Pablo Gonzalez. As she has accepted a bunch of flowers from Pablo, he forbids her from coming to see the launch of the balloon, Argo, the next day. Don Pedro who, by his own admission, is a womaniser, something he deems acceptable for men but not for (respectable) women, such as his late wife or daughter. At the balloon launch – he is with his married mistress – the three balloonists are revealed to be an English lord, a Russian count and a French explorer. At the last minute, the Russian count, who has been eyeing a young Colombian woman, leaps out of the basket, cuts the rope and embraces the young woman. Don Pedro decides to rush back home to tell Carlotta that the balloon is to fly over their property and she can see it. However, Carlotta is having passionate sex with Pablo and the balloonists can see what Don Pedro is about to see for himself. It is a strange but interesting tale of passion, hypocrisy and ballooning though sadly not easy to obtain.

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