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Flowers of the Abyss
 Thanassis Valtinos

209pp.
Hestia, 2008
ISBN13: 978-960-05-1360-8

A sensitive but dark side of the personality of Dimitris Solomos, the forebear of Modern Greek poetry, emerges in Flowers of The Abyss. In the early nineteenth century, Solomos fought legal battles with his mother and half-brother over his father’s estate and the family’s aristocratic titles. At the core of this book is the poet’s love-hate relationship with his humbly-born, illiterate mother, who married his father, a count, just before the old man died.
As in some previous works, Thanassis Valtinos uses a document as the basis of a story told in screenplay style. The narrative moves back and forth in time, drawing in characters who played leading parts in Solomos’ life. It reveals the gap between the poet’s ill-tempered attitude towards his family and social milieu and his unshakeable devotion to the unattainably high ideal of his poetry. The historical-biographical material functions as a metaphor for that gap.


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