E. Kotzia: Convergence of juries’ choices

Literary awards attract the attention of readers to the titles selected, while revealing (albeit silently) the criteria on which they are judged. Literary awards are an institution of collective criticism. The judges judge literary output, while being judged themselves in turn for their choices. The short-lists of the three prize juries included 22 nominations for 15 books. The majority of members on the three juries coincided on «Herouvim tis moketas» (Cherubim in the Moquette) by Eleni Yiannakaki, while all three rejected best-selling novels by established writers, such as «I apagogi tis Tasoulas» (The Abduction of Tassoula) by Rhea Galanaki, «I gynaika pou pethane dio fores» (The Woman Who Died Twice) by Manos Eleftheriou, «Kinezika koutia» (The Chinese Boxes) by Soti Triantafyllou, and «O vasikos metohos» (The Main Shareholder) by Petros Markaris. The 39-member jury of Na Ena Milo agreed with Dekata’s five-member jury only on «Manifesto tis ittas» (Manifesto of Defeat) by Angela Dimitrakaki, and with Diavazo’s seven-member jury on «Sto monopati tis thalassas» (On the Footpath to the Sea) by Antonis Sourounis. The Dekata and Diavazo juries agreed on «Thermokrasia domatiou» (Room Temperature) by Dimitra Kolliakou, «Dora panikou» (Gifts of Panic) by Cosmas Harpantidis, and «Lefki petseta sto ring» (White Towel in the Ring) by Nikos Davvetas. The close convergence between the latter two juries was to be expected, given that the 38 young and first published jury members of Na Ena Milo included all its contributors. Do these coincidences mean anything? I think they do, at a time when there is a growing sense of confusion about what literature means.