CULTURE

Tastes & travels in July-August issue of Ithaca

” Tastes and travels» is the theme of Ithaca July-August 2002, published by the National Book Center. In «The Palate and Literature,» Katerina Schina comments on the relationship between food and writing: «It is a complex, many-sided, passionate, warm, loving relationship.» She explains how food has gone from being an occasional literary reference in the past, to «the heart of the fictional conception» in many modern Greek works. She traces those changes from Karagatsis and Myrivilis to Michalopoulou, Staikos and others, showing how food in literature can illuminate every aspect of the human comedy. In the «Personalities» section, Schina introduces Dimitris Hatzis, 1913-1981, whose works have recently been reissued. She shows how Hatzis, a dedicated Communist who paid for his beliefs with torture, and exile, struggled in his writing to «overcome his inner conflicts and to bring them into harmony.» Peggy Kounenaki interviews Chronis Botsoglou, dean of the Athens School of Fine Arts, an artist whose paintings are usually accompanied by explanatory essays and who also illustrates books. Botsoglou, who keeps a diary about the act of painting, talks about the books that have affected him and his work. Yiannis S. Papadatos and Mariza Decastro review travel books for children, a relatively new genre that is bound to blossom as 2004 approaches. Ersi Sotiropoulou takes us back with her on a visit to Rome where she used to be cultural attache at the Greek Embassy. There are reviews of recent publications – fiction, verse, children’s books. (Most interesting perhaps is Oksana Chaus’s «The Twelve Gods and the Sharing of Time» illustrated by the author, a Russian who lives in Greece.) And for dessert, as it were, there are Aglaia Kremezi’s «Gastronomy» reviews, which always set books in a larger context. As Kremezi says: Food reflects «much more than our personal taste.» This is another creditable effort by Ithaca, with lively reviews and fewer signs of overly literal translation. (For further information, visit the conference website: http:www.libver.