For September, the SNFCC Book Club, in collaboration with the National Library of Greece, will be reading a book commemorating the 100 years since the Asia Minor Catastrophe: Story of a Prisoner of War, by Stratis Doukas.
On Monday, September 26, Reading Club facilitator Krystalli Glyniadaki will meet with book lovers at the Mediterranean Garden, to share experiences, emotions and ideas, as well as to exchange views, based on the book of the month.
On Wednesday, September 28, the Book Club’s meeting will take place online via Zoom.
A few words about the book for September:
A Greek soldier is arrested during the Asia Minor campaign and is taken to the Turkish inland. His physical and moral pain and suffering will be recorded by Stratis Doukas in one of the most touching and poignant narratives about Asia Minor, based on the true story of the Turkish-speaking refugee Nikolas Kozakoglou from Katerini. A book that stands in direct dialog with literary textbooks and testimonies of the time (e.g. Elias Venezis’s Number 31328), carrying within it the longing of similar literary texts and many refugees from Asia Minor—not so much a longing for repatriation, as a longing for peace, for the eradication of war instincts, for the brotherhood of peoples. Employing a simple, clean-cut style and an effortlessly oral narrative, Doukas managed to produce a timeless little masterpiece, each edition of which (from the first one in 1929 to the most recent one in 1980―and its dozens of reprints) renegotiates the relationship between narration and truth, fiction and testimony.
Stratis Doukas was born in Moschonisia of Asia Minor in 1895. After graduating high school in Ayvalik, he enrolled at the Athens University Law School in 1912, but was forced to interrupt his studies when World War I broke out. He voluntarily enlisted in the National Defense and fought in Macedonia and Asia Minor, where he was injured. Together with his university friend Photis Kontoglou and with Stratis Myrivilis, he co-founded the Mytilene Club of Musical Arts. He conducted journalistic research that was published in numerous newspapers, and started writing literature in 1929, to later also take up painting. He fought in the Greco-Italian War, first as a Greek army officer and then as a guerilla with the National Liberation Front (EAM) and the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), and joined the Communist Party of Greece. He worked for key post-war literary journals but, due to a medical procedure failure, he spent the last 20 years of his life bedridden at home, writing stories and collaborating with literary magazines, while still being pursued for his political beliefs by the junta. A year before his death, in 1983, he was proclaimed honorary president of the Society of Greek Writers, honorary Member of Pen Club, and honorary citizen of Zografou―in the cultural center of Zografou there is a small display featuring his manuscripts and drawings.
A few words about the facilitator:
Krystalli Glyniadaki was born in Athens in 1979. She studied Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Political Theory in London, and later Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. She has published three collections of poetry in Greek (all published by Polis), the last of which—Τhe Return of the Dead—received the Greek National Literature Award for Poetry in 2018. She has been an officially invited author to the international Istanbul Book Fair and International Izmir Literature Festival; her poems have been translated into English, Turkish, German, Slovenian and Italian; and her first English-language collection of poetry is to be released in the United Kingdom soon. She works as a translator, mostly of Norwegian literature, and as a book editor, and writes pieces for Norwegian online media. Her latest love is online interactive historical documentaries (i-doc), on which she has just finished her dissertation at Bournemouth University.
Monday 26/09 | 19.00-21.00
For adults | Up to 30 participants
Free participation via online pre-registration
Wednesday 28/09 | 19.00-21.00
For adults | Up to 50 participants
Free participation via online pre-registration
Coordinator: Krystalli Glyniadaki
To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month.
Stratis Doukas’s book Story of a Prisoner of War is available (in Greek) from Kedros Publishers.
Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.
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.