More visuals in latest Ithaca

« Ithaca – Books from Greece» has acquired a new look. In a slightly larger format, with a modified layout Ithaca will now be published monthly. First impressions of the new-look April 2002 issue are positive. A striking cover picture of a girl reading is a detail from a photograph by writer-psychoanalyst Andreas Embiricos and keys neatly into the special feature on books for teenagers. The larger format allows for more freedom in the layout, close-up portraits of authors, large reproductions of paintings in Penny Kounenaki’s article on the history of Greek painting, and enticing photographs of food to accompany Aglaia Kremezi’s reviews of cookery books. In general the new Ithaca has more color and more visual stimulus. The familiar masthead is still there, as are the bestseller list, features, an interview, and presentations of recent publications. Mariza Decastro offers a helpful roundup of a wide range of reading for teenagers, including books that tackle touchy subjects. New features include Cities of the World, each presented by a Greek writer: This month Yiannis Kiourtsakis takes an affectionate look at «inexhaustible» Paris. A new list alerts readers to the highlights of the next issue, which includes an article on Costas Tachtsis in the new Personalities section. Art is the focus of three well-illustrated pieces: Kounenaki’s interview with painter Yiannis Psychopedis, her article and another on photographer Aris Georgiou by Heracles Papaioannou. Ithaca could still benefit from a firmer editorial hand with overly literal translation, such as the otherwise interesting piece on E.C. Gonatas, and a final proofreading by a competent native English speaker to weed out errors like «hommage» and «teenager’s literature,» and typos like «teuth» and «representatire.» But the overall effort is commendable. Introducing the redesigned Ithaca, Christos Lazos, the National Book Center’s director, expresses the hope that «Ithaca will meet its readers’ expectations and demands and encourage a creative dialogue between them and Greek authors.» There is every reason to believe it will achieve this ambition. The visiting Spanish guild will consist of six writers, three publishers, and a literature critic, all of whom will remain in Greece for the event’s two-week duration to exchange views with local counterparts.