Il colonnello Liapkine
In the story of Colonel Liapkine, a Russian exile who found safety in Greece after the October Revolution, M. Karagatsis’s favourite themes have reached full maturity: orgiastic realism, erotic desire, the primeval strength of the physical landscape on which the psychological world of the characters is reflected, the mixture between the fiction of the story and the authenticity of the story, and the encounter/clash between different cultures and identities, sometimes radically irreconcilable. On everything shines inexorably Phoebus, the Sun god who blinds the minds and to whom the Acclimatization under Phoebus refers, the title of the trilogy of which Colonel Liapkine constitutes the first part. The rise and fall of the protagonist, unable to construct a new identity in an environment that is completely alien to him, transports the reader to a world dominated by the merciless power of history, which like an imperturbable stone mill grinds the bodies, souls and consciences of the mortals.
M. Karagatsis (pseudonym of Dimitris Rodopoulos) was born in Athens in 1908 and died there in 1960. He was a novelist, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, journalist and theatre critic. An extremely prolific writer, from his debut in 1927 and until his death he published eleven novels, six collections of short stories, four short stories, a biographical novel and an essay on the history of the Greeks. Two novels, two historical novels, two travel diaries, three collections of short stories and two volumes of critical writings on the theatre were published posthumously. M. Karagatsis is considered one of the greatest Greek authors of the twentieth century, the first to have introduced the Freudian theory of the libido as a narrative element. The taste for satire, his encroachment into narrative genres such as detective and fantastic literature, his unscrupulous use of psychoanalysis and sociology, and the luxuriant narrative vein render this author a forerunner of the postmodern climate in Greece and a diachronic author who still today enjoys an extraordinary public success. Colonel Liapkine (1933) is the first novel by M. Karagatsis to be published in Italian.
- M. Karagatsis
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