CULTURE

Latest treats for Athenian book fanciers

Plenty of treats are in store for book lovers this week. Fans of Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi will have two opportunities to meet the writer, whose latest book has been published in a Greek translation. Today at 8 p.m., at Stoa tou Vivliou, at 5 Pesmazoglou Street, Agra publishers are launching the Greek translation of his book «Si sta faccendo sempre piu tarde» («It Keeps Getting Later»). The writer and Antaios Chrysostomidis will speak. Alternatively, combine a visit to the last day of the 31st Book Festival at the Pedion tou Areos park with another chance to meet the writer. He will be attending a presentation of his book by Chrysostomidis on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Bibliocafe run by the National Book Center (EKEBI), which has held a number of events introducing different writers and their work as part of the festival. Antonio Tabucchi Tabucchi is an Italian writer and university professor, who spends six months of the year in Portugal, which he considers to be his second home, and the remaining six months teaching literature at the University of Siena. He also writes a regular column for the El Pais and Corriere della Sera newspapers. He is popular in Greece, and 10 of his books have been translated into Greek. He has won the French Medicis (1987) for best foreign novel, the European Jean Monnet Prize (1994) and the Liebniz Academy’s Nossack Prize (1999). Tabucchi is also active in the International Parliament of Writers, an organization which offers refuge to writers who suffer persecution in their own countries. In an interview with Asbel Lopez of Unesco Courier in 1999, Tabucchi said: «In my books, I’m not on the side of the authorities. I’m with those who have suffered. My books are about losers, about people who have lost their way and are engaged in a search.» He shuns publicity as a rule, preferring to spend his time quietly with friends and family, though he believes writers have to act as gadflies. «I’m happy to go on living the life I have chosen,» he said in the same interview. «I’m a university teacher and I like my job. Literature for me isn’t a workaday job, but something which involves desires, dreams and fantasy.» Despite his interest, Tabucchi chooses not to become a politican himself: «I think it’s more interesting to keep a sharp eye on politics. My job is to look at what politics is doing, not be a politician myself.» Translating laughter The European Translation Center (EKEMEL) is celebrating World Translation Day on Monday, September 30, with ‘Translating Laughter,» a sampling of great comic theater moments. Greek actors will perform excerpts of classic European comedies in translation. Andreas Staikos and Giorgos Depastas introduce the event. Refreshments and appetizers will be served afterward. (Theatro Hytirio, 44 Iera Odos, 7.30 p.m. For information, contact EKEMEL, tel 010.363.9520-5.) Education in Smyrna There are just a few days left to catch the «Education in Smyrna» exhibition at the Stoa tou Vivliou, which ends this Saturday. Commemorating 80 years since the Asia Minor disaster, this exhibition deliberately focuses on something positive – the fine education system of Smyrna. Books and photographs from the collections of the Asia Minor Studies Center, Smyrna Association, and Nea Smyrni Estia offer a glimpse into a fine system that also contributed to culture and education in the new Greek state. (Stoa tou Vivliou, open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.)