Author Archives: vayosliapis

Sappho and Zelda: Elective Affinities (or, Marriage and the Single Girl)

Fans of American literature will know already that, only yesterday (24 of December), The New Yorker published (online) “The Iceberg”, a short story by Zelda Sayre (later Zelda Fitzgerald), which first appeared in 1918 in the Sidney Lanier High School Literary … Continue reading

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A few words on Stratis Tsirkas’ “Drifting Cities”

Drifting Cities by Stratis Tsirkas. My rating: 5 of 5 stars. Without a doubt the best work of narrative prose to emerge from Greece in the post-WWII era. The “Cities Adrift” are Jerusalem, Cairo, and Alexandria, where much of the drama of … Continue reading

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Dust to dust

A couple of days ago, I decided to watch again, for about the umpteenth time, Kenneth Branagh’s film of Hamlet. It is a lavish 1996 production featuring some excellent performances as well as some tragic miscasts: Gérard Depardieu, Charlton Heston, and —alas!— … Continue reading

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Aeschylus in the Boudoir: Tragedy, Pornography, Ideology

Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir is a pornographic parody of the philosophic dialogue, in which acts of exorbitant depravity are mixed, rather incongruously, with (im)moral and even political didacticism. This is a tradition that goes back at least to Pietro Aretino‘s … Continue reading

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Randy Cicadas on Fire

I live too far away from where the action is to experience the commotion first-hand, but I couldn’t help feeling a sort of vicarious excitement when I read that US States from North Carolina to Connecticut are about to be … Continue reading

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Family Matters: “The Godfather” and Greek Tragedy

It may be that the Great American Novel has yet to be written, although The Great Gatsby, which we touched on in last week’s post, is as good a contender for the title as any. When it comes to  the Great … Continue reading

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Plato

The web is abuzz with, ahem, mixed reactions to Baz Luhrmann’s latest motion picture extravaganza — the $127m 3D film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and so I’ll duly refrain from … Continue reading

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