Nikos Kouris reads Zisimos Lorentzatos’s "Viral Pneumonia" - Εικόνα

The SNFCC readers’ theater series, entitled PARABASES/READINGS, is returning to the core of stage reading this year, drawing inspiration from Cavafy’s verse, “Voices, loved and idealized.”

7 theater protagonists, 7 “idealized voices,” comprise two-people theater companies (in collaboration with young stage directors, renowned Greek composers and/or on-stage musicians) and attempt live theatrical readings of literary texts (short stories, novels, prose), all of them landmark works of Greek literature. In this way, the series utilizes the dramaturgy of the Readings that were recorded and presented by the SNFCC during 2020-2021, attracting great interest from the public.

The texts selection was compiled in collaboration with poet Nikos A. Panagiotopoulos (December 1945 – July 2023), to whose memory the series is dedicated. 

Nikos Kouris teams up with Mario Banushi and reads Viral Pneumonia, the only short story Zisimos Lorentzatos ever attempted to write. 
Iro Bezou collaborates with Danai Spilioti and reads two pieces of prose by Photis Kontoglou: Conan the God and His Monastery, the So-Called “Submergence” and Hosanna! . 
Maria Skoula teams up with Kornilios Selamsis and reads the short story The Detective by Dimitris Hatzis. 
Amalia Moutousi collaborates with Emmanouil Kontos and reads Moonstruck by Alexandros Papadiamantis. 
Christos Loulis reads excerpts from Erotokritos by Vitsentzos Kornaros. 
Akilas Karazisis teams up with Iason Aly and reads excerpts from the Architecture of a Dissolute Life, Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis’s trailblazing work. 
Anna Kokkinou collaborates with Nikos Veliotis and reads Moskov Selim, the most remarkable short story of Georgios Vizyinos. 

Sunday, October 29, 16.00 | LIGHTHOUSE

Nikos Kouris reads Zisimos Lorentzatos’s Viral Pneumonia.
Directed by: Mario Banushi  

The reading is carried out courtesy of MIET (National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation) and the heirs of Zisimos Lorentzatos. 

Viral Pneumonia is the only short story Zizimos Lorentzatos ever attempted to write, even though he did not consider himself a prose writer. In this short text, the writer, who consciously avoided self-referential confessions, talks in the third person about the loneliness of the sick, and the health incident he experienced in August 1981, when he fell ill on the island of Kefalonia and was taken to Athens to be hospitalized in “Sotiria” general hospital, having been diagnosed with viral pneumonia. This rare—and lost, until relatively recently—piece of prose appears to have been worked and reworked by the leading essayist, critic, poet and translator, but never completed. Paradoxically, Lorentzatos’s unpublished manuscript was found in incomplete—perhaps close to being finalized—form among other writings in 2016, when his archive was handed over to the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive (E.L.I.A.) of the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, which published the book in print that same year.


Committed to spirituality, an obsessive word seeker, a cosmopolitan with a broad scope of knowledge and a deep love for Greek tradition, Zizimos Lorentzatos (1915–2004) is one of the leading Greek scholars. The son of demoticist and classical philology university professor Panagis Lorentzatos, he mainly wrote essays, conducting studies on great Greek and foreign writers (Cavafy, Kalvos, Papadiamantis, Seferis, Solomos, Sarantaris, Eliot, Gide, Wittgenstein, Pound, et al.). The letters exchanged between Seferis and Lorentzatos are among the most notable correspondences of Greek literature. In 2001, he was awarded the Kostas and Eleni Ourani Foundation prize for his lifetime work. In 1988, he had won the 1st State Literary Prize for Critique-Essay, which he did not accept, as he was a modest and introverted man who loved simplicity and did not seek titles, offices and publicity. As he used to say: “Life is to be lived. Its fruit is edible; and the most you do by writing about it is regurgitating its peels. I take writing as an art, which I strive to do as best I can, so that it may serve some purpose in our lives…”


Advance Ticket Sales Points:

  • Online on Ticket Services website 
  • By phone: 210 7234567 (Ticket Services)
  • At the Ticket Services Box Office (Panepistimiou 39, Athens)

Online tickets pre-sales (Members)

Online tickets pre-sales (Public)

Pre-sale for Members starts on 04/10 at 12.00 (limited number of tickets).

Pre-sale for the public starts on 05/10 at 12.00.

    Ticket Prices: General entrance €12, reduced €8

    Concession tickets of €8 are available to students, people aged 65+,  minors up to 17 years old, the unemployed, Persons with Disabilities along with their companion, multi-child families and residents of the Municipality of Kallithea. Children can sit with their chaperones in any zone, with a concessions ticket.

    On the day of the concert, concession ticket holders will be asked to show their ID, as well as supporting documentation (student card, unemployment card, family status certificate for multi-child parents, certification of disability, utility bill for residents of Kallithea)

    Free tickets are available to Persons with Disabilities, by contacting the call center at 210 7234567 or via email at and by showing their ID and certification of disability on the day of the event.

    Important information:

    • Doors open at 15.30.
    • Entrance will be possible up to 10 minutes before the event's commencement.
    • Pre-sale is required. No order of priority will be available on-site.
    • Entrance allowed for children aged 6+.
    • All SNFCC areas are accessible to people with disabilities.
    • For more information or clarifications, please contact the SNFCC switchboard on 216 8091000.


    This event comes under a grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Alongside the majority of its events, which are free thanks to a series of SNF grants, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center also organizes a number of events with affordable tickets, thus enriching its income sources and securing its long-term financial integrity.

    See also

    Sunday 19/11, 21:00

    Microcosmos: Lambert


    Monday 20/11, 20:30

    Cosmos: Angelique Kidjo


    Sunday 12/11, 17:00

    Iro Bezou reads two prose works by Photis Kontoglou