CULTURE

Stratis Tsirkas’s trilogy now out in new edition

The «Drifting Cities» trilogy by Stratis Tsirkas has never been out of print since Kedros published the first volume in 1961. Now, after dozens of reprints, «The Club,» «Ariagni» and «The Bat» have come out in new annotated Greek editions which Kedros launched Tuesday night at the new branch of the Benaki Museum on Pireos Street. Chryssa Prokopaki has written widely on Tsirkas and translated his trilogy into French. Set in 1942-44 in the Middle East – the «akyvernites politeies» or drifting cities are Jerusalem, Cairo and Alexandria – the trilogy covers crucial events of the Second World War, including the little-known mutiny of the Greek armed forces in April 1944. History, politics – especially the struggles of the anti-fascist forces and within the ranks of the Left – and human relationships play out in a dramatic setting of world-changing events in what the author described as «a dialogue with history.» Kedros did Tsirkas proud on Tuesday. Critics Gina Politi and Yiannis Papatheodorou spoke on the writer and the trilogy and paid tribute to Prokopaki’s endeavors to set the work in its historical and literary context. Actors Aleka Paizi and Yiannis Bezos gave powerful readings. The time seems to have come for a new generation to appreciate the life and work of Tsirkas. Recently the writer’s library was rescued from the Villa Botsi, where damp and neglect had begun to make inroads. The author’s 3,000 books are now housed at the National Book Center (EKEBI) and are accessible to the public, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.