The new kid on the block offers a fresh approach

Though the market is seemingly glutted with magazines of all kinds, new hopefuls still keep appearing. One promising newcomer is «Frasi: Living with Books,» which has just published its third issue and has already established a distinctive image. Just under 100 pages, in full color, Frasi is visually appealing. An attractive balance of visuals and text combines reviews, interviews, essays, poetry, excerpts from works of fiction, and news of cultural events: exhibitions, theater and music. The emphasis is on books and writers in Greece and abroad. Frasi is a magazine about books without being a literary magazine: «We don’t do literary criticism; that’s a very specialized field. We are targeting a general readership,» says publisher and editor Nikos Megapanos, talking to Kathimerini English Edition about the genesis of Frasi. After working for 12 years in a publishing company run by his family, Megapanos felt that particular phase of his career had drawn to a close. He was ready for something new. «I tried to figure out what it would be,» he explains, «but it always turned out to be something to do with books.» Not that the magazine is confined to books; Frasi casts its net wider. Life as we live it The intention is to cover general topics, to reflect life «as we live it,» he says. War looms large in the February issue, for instance – with Gunter Grass, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky and Vassilis Vassilikos writing on the war and Jonathan Franzen fulminating against the Bush family – because, Megapanos explains, «that’s what we’re living through now.» Is there sufficient demand to warrant yet another magazine for the general reader? Megapanos thinks so: «I kept hearing the same complaint, that there were so many magazines full of pictures of socialites but nothing to read in them.» There’s certainly plenty worth reading in Frasi, with contributions by leading Greek authors like Maro Douka, Margarita Karapanou and Evyenios Trivizas. Good luck to the new kid on the block.