Tuesday 27 July 2021
The SNFCC Reading Club, hosted by the author Yannis Palavos, comes together once again in July.
Book lovers renew their date for Tuesday, July 27, to talk about all things literary – or not! Inspired by the book of the month, the group of readers will come together once again to share their experiences, feelings and thoughts, make friends and exchange opinions.
July Book of the Month: Erich Kastner, Fabian (At the Edge of the Abyss)
Famous mostly for his ever- popular children’s novels (Emil and the Detectives, The Flying Classroom), Erich Kastner (1899 – 1974) is considered one of the foremost figures of 20th century European literature. A satirical poet, novelist, and writer of screenplays as well as scripts for Berlin’s musical theater, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times, and received the International Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Georg Buchner Prize, and the Literary Prize of the City of Munich.
He was born in Dresden and studied philology, philosophy, history and drama. When he returned from fighting in WWI, he worked as a journalist and critic on German publications. His left-wing ideology made him a target for the Nazi regime; he was arrested twice, his books were banned – and subject to burning – and he was stricken off the Reich’s Authors’ Association. Despite the adversity, the pacifist and antimilitarist Kastner managed to maintain his literary career, writing harmless pieces and film scripts under a pseudonym, and publishing works with Swiss publishing houses.
A writer blessed with rare eloquence and a caustic sense of humor that decried the hypocrisy of the social, government and cultural institutions, the great German author is known for his bold discourse, inspired by the candid humanism of the European Enlightenment.
Kastner’s most prolific time was his so-called Berlin period, from 1927 until the fall of the Weimar Republic in 1933. He published his first poetry collection in 1928 and his first children’s book, the universally loved Emil and the Detectives came a year later, and has since been translated into almost 60 languages and captured the hearts of millions of children the world over.
His novel Fabian: The Story of a Moralist followed in 1931. Kastner’s classic masterpiece was initially published in a heavily censored version and was met with huge success, selling in excess of 30,000 copies within the space of a few months, despite being labelled “publishing trash” by the nationalist social press! It was many decades later that it was finally republished in full and under its original title, At the Edge of the Abyss.
The book tells the story of unemployed philosophy professor Jacob Fabian, who lives in Berlin in the early 1930s, striving to stand up against the immorality of his time. Through his shrewd and insightful eyes, the author follows the steps of a society tumbling towards moral degeneration, financial ruin, political brutality and the collapse of values. Steps that will lead, a few years later, an entire country into the horror of Nazism, and the whole of mankind into the devastation of World War II.
Yannis Palavos was born in Velvento, Kozani, in 1980. He studied Journalism at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Arts Administration at the Panteion University in Athens. He has written the short story collections True love and other stories (Intro Books 2007), Joke (Nefeli 2012), which received the State Literary Award for Best Short Story, and the Short Story Prize of the online literary journal O Anagnostis, and The child (Nefeli, 2019). Working together with Tasos Zafeiriadis, he wrote the script for the graphic novels The Corpse (Jemma Press 2011) and Gra-Grou (Ikaros 2017), illustrated by Thanasis Petrou; Gra-Grou received the prize for Best Comic and Best Script at the Greek Comics Awards. He also edited the republication of Athanasios Gravalis’ short stories Broken Columns (1930), as part of the “Prose Tradition” series by Nefeli Publishing (2019), and translated works by Tobias Wolff, Alden Nowlan, Breece D'J Pancake, Wallace Stegner, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, etc.
Coordinator: Yannis Palavos, author
Tuesday 27/07, 19:00-21:00
Free participation by online pre-registration
Preregistration starts on Friday 02/07 at 12.00
To join the Reading Club meetings, all registered participants are required to have read the book of the month.
Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.
The use of face mask and social distancing measures are mandatory in indoor and outdoor areas of the SNFCC, in accordance with Hellenic National Public Health Organization regulations.