Posts Tagged ‘Athens’

Plato in New York

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Vicki James Yiannias has written a wonderful piece in Greek News on Ersi Sotiropoulos and her “Plato in New York” and her recent doings.

“… [A]n unusual, riveting, and groundbreaking presentation in the Living Room at the Gershwin Hotel on October 11 was described by Sotiropoulos as a “hybrid of a novel that uses fictional narrative, dialogue, and visual poetry”.  “Plato in New York” was perhaps a “first” such hybrid by a Greek author.  But it was not the only “first” from this acclaimed Greek author.  Zigzag through the Bitter Orange Trees, one of her twelve books of fiction, was the first novel ever to receive Greece’s two most important literary awards, the Greek State Prize for Literature and Greece’s preeminent Book Critics Award (2000).  More professional tributes to Sotiropoulos’ work: her last novel, “Eva”, a young woman’s odyssey through the backstreets of Athens on Christmas Eve, won the Athens Academy prize for best novel in 2011, and her book of stories “Feel blue, dress in red” has just been short-listed for Greece’s National Book Award.

Sotiropoulos, who lives in Athens and was Artist in Residence at the Gershwin Hotel from September 6- October 18 (and Director’s Guest there in 2010), explained to the GN that “Plato in New York” used fictional narrative, dialogue and visual poetry, was a way of exploring the identity of the city through analogies between two distinct and very different times and cultures, New York now and Plato’s Athens.  “The idea is to portray New York as Plato’s cave, a complex place where it is almost impossible to separate the real from the virtual”, she says, “Plato wrote, ‘How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?’  It seems like the eruption of the past in the present, but it is not so simple.  With the virtual devouring big chunks of the real, apparent these days in the financial world and the media, Plato’s questions seem as relevant as ever.” Read more

Also, for a Greek perspective on the current European economic crisis, see these excerpts of Ersi’s piece for the BBC.