October 17, 1952

HOURMOUZIOS AGAINST PAXINOU: (From a review of a National Theater performance of Sophocles’ «Electra,» directed by Dimitris Rondiris) About 15 years ago, when Mrs (Katina) Paxinou was applauded by everyone for her interpretation of Electra, I had the audacity to disagree with everyone. I didn’t like (the performance). My opinion, that of a newcomer to criticism, perhaps, was published as a form of punishment to me in a special edition issued after the National Theater’s triumphant tour of Europe. It was the sole discordant note within a symphony of praise (…) I was not too sorry. Youth is always blessed with an abundance of audacity. Now, however, I am sorry, sorry because I will have to abide by my criticism of 1936 and say that Mrs Katina Paxinou, after 15 years of maturing as an artist, has given us an Electra that is no better, dare I say worse, than the first.(…) This most recent performance had all the formal characteristics of Rondiris’s earlier interpretative efforts. The presentation of the spectacle was well-organized, but the human element of the tragedy was completely ignored, as was the poetry. The trouble is that Mrs Paxinou was influenced by her teacher and that the experience and artistic training acquired during her long artistic career was subjected to a coldness that is incomprehensible for someone of her warm and versatile talent. (…) Katina Paxinou is no longer suited to the role of Electra (…).