Monday 29 May 2023
Wednesday 31 May 2023
*The Reading Club will take place at the Book Castle.
In May, the SNFCC Reading Club is dedicated to the memory of Filippos Tsimpoglou, Director General of the National Library of Greece (NLG).
In May, the SNFCC Reading Club continues its meetings, facilitated by writer Dimosthenis Papamarkos.
Dimosthenis Papamarkos was born in 1983 in Malesina of Locris. He studied Ancient Greek History in Athens and Oxford. He has published novels, short stories and graphic novels. In 2014, his short story collection Ghiak, which has been translated into Russian and German, earned him the Petros Haris Foundation / Academy of Athens award, as well as the award for best Short Story/Novella of the magazine Anagnostis. Papamarkos has also written theater and screenplays, and has translated classical Greek dramas for productions of the National Theater of Greece and the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. While an Onassis Artistic Research Fellow, he wrote the theatrical play Ston Koraka. He works as a content creator for projects of the Faliro House film productions company.a
On Monday, May 29, Reading Club facilitator Dimosthenis Papamarkos will welcome participants in the Mediterranean Garden, to exchange views based on the book of the month.
On Wednesday, May 31, the Reading Club’s meeting will take place online via Zoom.
Both May Reading Club meetings will be held in the presence of the author of the book of the month, Elias Maglinis.
May: I am what I have forgotten by Elias Maglinis
A son who attempts to form a fuller picture of his father, only to discover that his pursuit is doomed if he doesn’t manage to crack the mystery surrounding the life of his father's father, i.e., his grandfather. In Eimai osa eho xehasei [I am what I have forgotten], Elias Maglinis does not adopt a third-person narrative persona. He boldly steps into the shoes of his first-person narrator who plunges into his past, using historical research or autobiography as his vehicle, attempting to re-imagine all those things that rendered his father an “emotionally congested” man, the part his grandfather's murder played as a source of trauma casting its shadow on his father’s life until his last breath, and the fact that that crime was never solved as a factor thwarting its healing. During this reconstruction of the biographies of his father and grandfather, the writer is unavoidably moving from the personal to the collective, to eventually engage in discourse with the “secret” traumas of Greek society of the last century. Thus, Maglinis finds himself confronting not only his own personal memory, but also that of his family members, and ultimately the events that determined both his family history and the history of Greece during the 20th century. Moreover, this pluralism does not only characterize the thematic axes of the book, but is also reflected in its writing style, which ranges from emotionally charged direct addresses to the dead father, to parenthetical quasi-essays. Undoubtedly, Maglinis’s novel I am what I have forgotten is one of the most notable Greek books, fiction or non-fiction, of the past decade.
Elias Maglinis is a writer and translator. He was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire), in 1970. In 1973, his family moved to Greece. Maglinis studied English Literature and Political Science at Sunderland University, and pursued postgraduate studies (Mlitt) in Media and Culture at the University of Glasgow. Upon his return to Greece in 1996, he started working as a journalist, first for the literary magazine Diavazo, and then for the newspaper Kathimerini, in which he has been head editor of the Sunday cultural insert “Arts and Letters” since 2013. As a writer, he made his debut in the Greek literary scene with the novel Soma me soma [Mano a Mano] (Polis, 2005). Three years later he released his novella The Interrogation (Kedros, 2008). His novel Morning Calm (Metaichmio, 2015) was awarded the Academy of Athens Ouranis Prize for Best Novel, as well as the best novel awards of literary magazines O Anagnostis and Klepsydra. His book I am what I have forgotten (Metaichmio, 2019) is one of the finest examples of a non-fiction novel in Modern Greek prose, a fact that is reflected both in the book’s widespread readership and its being awarded the State Prize for Best Novel. His most recent novel, The Only Journey of their Lives (Metaichmio) is also non-fiction. Maglinis’s literary voice is characterized by its ability to combine a wonderfully lucid expressiveness with poetic reflection. At the same time, recurring themes of his prose are the negotiation of memory, both personal and collective, within the broader context of history and an individual’s life, as well as trauma and its psychological and physical complications. Both themes are being highlighted through his bold narration in a way that is quite rare in modern Greek prose.
Monday 29/05 | 18.30-20.30MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN
For adults | Up to 30 participants
Free admission, online preregistration required
Wednesday 31/05 | 18.30-20.30ZOOM
For adults | Up to 50 participants
Free admission, online preregistration required
Facilitator: Dimosthenis Papamarkos
To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month. (It is also useful to have it with them).
The book I am what I have forgotten by Elias Maglinis is available (in Greek) from Metaichmio Publications.
As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.