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Greece in Print, April 15, 1995

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Tel. 201-666-7374; Fax 201-664-3402
April 15, 1996 - Year: 2, Issue: 24



*** Antholis Wins Academy Award ***

Kary W. Antholis of Los Angeles won a 1995 Academy Award for his film "One Survivor Remembers" in the category of Best Documentary - Short Subject. The 33 year old Greek American had received an Emmy Award in September of last year for Outstanding Informational Special for his production of the Home Box Office film, which had also been nominated for a Cable Ace Award.

"One Survivor Remembers" documents the creeping terror and devastating tragedy experienced by millions during World War II via the story of one Holocaust survivor. The film received its premier on HBO in May 1995 and is being distributed on video cassette by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Antholis is currently senior vice president of television development at Zallom Mayfield Productions in Los Angeles.

*** International Jury for Literature ***

Greek writer and poet Yiorgos Chouliaras will be among the international jury of eleven novelists, poets, translators, essayists and scholars from five continents who will convene at the University of Oklahoma Norman campus to select the 14th laureate of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. This years recipient of the Neustadt Prize will receive $40,000

The Neustadt Prize, which is awarded every two years, is the only international literary award emanating from the United States for which poets, playwrights and novelists are given equal consideration. The 1996 jurors already have nominated candidates. Mr. Chouliaras has nominated the Greek author Vassilis Vassilikos.

Mr. Chouliaras is the author of several volumes of poetry published in Greece including "Icon-Fighting, The Other Tongue, The Treasures of the Balkans and Fast Food Classics." His most recent volume of poetry, "Gramma," was published in Athens in 1995. English translations of his work by American poet David Mason have appeared in many literary journals in the United States and Europe.



by Arthur N. Frangos, 470 pages, 5.5x8.5, Paper

Review by Penelope Karageorge (Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora. Reprinted by permission.)

In "Realms of Gold," Frangos not only dares but succeeds brilliantly in "reinventing" an "Iliad of our time." Irreverent, politically incorrect and ethnically blasphemous, "Realms of Gold," a scathing satire, offers a rich tale wherein destiny turns on a French fry.

"Realms of Gold" has already attracted an avid cult of enthusiastic readers but has not yet found the wide audience it deserves, nor has it evoked the type of furor, and controversy that, for instance, Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint," fired off in the Jewish-American community. Roth made an emotional expose of growing up Jewish-American. Frangos, in this remarkable first novel, probes the underbelly of the Greek-American experience; his work is fierce, unrelenting, and important, bringing a new dimension to the Greek-American novel.

The Greek-American novel could be reviewed as an underdeveloped genre with a mere handful of exceptional practitioners. The great Harry Mark Petrakis has illuminated our laughing, tear-stained hearts in seminal works including "A Dream of Kings." Elia Kazan's novels, notably "The Arrangement," have dramatized the Greek-American psychic struggle. The short stories of Helen Papanikolas, "Small Bird Tell Me," are remarkable evocations of the unique Greek-American sensibility.

But we yearn for new voices to focus on our special ethos with its unique conflicts, joys, and tragedies. Perhaps part of our strength , our ability to assimilate rapidly into mainstream America, has also caused our literary down-fall, or at least created "artistic inhibition." Greek-Americans are eager to put their anxieties behind them, to hush them up, to suppress them. Greeks wail and thrash inwardly, but maintain public silence over their largest grieves. Rooted in a "shame" culture, we insist on turning a positive face to the world.

In "Realms of Gold," Frangos has outrageously and successfully succeeded in blowing the Greek-American cover. An original, Frangos can write, and does so with wit and brio in a novel of unrelenting pace to which the reader will return for its surreal, black humor, for its "send-up" of Greek-American foibles, for its splendid Homeric knowledge, and for its humanity. The author, a combination of one's favorite, charismatic professor who rivets with his delivery and erudition, and stand-up comic (the even "does accents"), keeps you involved in this classic "tour de force."

With brash literary hubris, Frangos hangs his tragicomic epic on Homer's "The Iliad" as two rival clans, Greek and Greek-American, fight out a life and death "diner" battle on the plains of New Jersey. Priam and Hecuba, a beautiful old couple, have worked their fingers to the bone to build the Troy Diner, dreaming of a better life for sons Dee, Hecky and Alex. On a bet, playboy Alex travels to Sparta and seduces Helen, "the most beautiful woman in the world," away from Menelaus and brings her back to be - what else? - a hostess in the Troy in "Nyoo Tzortzy."

Enraged at being cuckolded by a "xenos" - and an "American xenos at that," Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus and head of the clan of powerful ship-owners, vows to avenge the "clan's sacred honor," to "take back our blood." He selects three clansmen, wily Odysseus, "crafty concortor of devious deviltry," wise old Nestor, and young, virile Achilles, and, with Menelaus, sails to the USA on a company freighter to wage war and get satisfaction.

Initially vowing that Alex and every male member of his Trojam family must die, Agamemnon changes his tune after docking in New York and consults with Pandarus, manager of the local operations. Pandarus convinces Agamemnon that financial ruin rather than death will strike directly at the heart of Greek-Americans, and suggests erecting a rival diner - "the most modern, biggest and most efficient diner in New Jersey - and that means the world" - to bury The Troy.

The super-diner Spartan rises, and it's a no-holds-barred, war between the "Greek-Greeks" pr "Greenies," against the "Pseudo-Greeks" or Greek-Americans, with both tribes employing secret weapons, in this case a special French fry and a superior burger.

Frangos goes for the literary gold and the jugular, ripping the lid off of sentimental, dearly cherished folk-myths in his frequently brutal but never boring saga. Just when you think the author has pulled out all the stop, he makes another step into forbidden territory and "taboo" subjects.

This is a world of Greek-Americana turned topsy-turvy but not totally unrecognizable, of mega-diners and super-greed, as brother pits himself against brother and a beardless, blond, blue-eyed in Nazareth Knolss in the Catskills. In a society deserted by the Olympian gods, the 60-something Jewess, Zelda Freeman, a racing, clever virago, acts as a cross between the Delphic Oracle and the goddess Athena with her "Stool Analysis Chart," her slogan "A good bowel movement is every American's right," and her newspaper column, "Excrementally Speaking." Like Athena, Zelda can affect the action and does, briefly making The Troy a winner with her endorsement.

The goal of true art is not to be "tasteful" and "Realms of Gold," with its scatological humor and brazen sex scenes is no exception. Art shocks, makes us sit bolt upright, jolts us out of our complacency to force us to examine the world anew. But along with "shock art," Frangos has accomplished what the finest "ethnic" novel can do, which is draw on our heritage and revitalize it for today. Like the preeminent Greek-American novelist Petrakis, who in "A Dream of Kings" uses the Icarus legend as the framework for his story, Frangos has gone back into the ancient epic past for present-day inspiration and literary nourishment. Frangos knows Homer's "Iliad" and employs it with great affect to create tremendous irony. "Realms" is certain to intrigue "Iliad" enthusiasts and scholars as well as Greek-Americans as they discover to what effective and imaginative use Frangos has put Homer.

"Realms" presents a biting, trenchant, heart-breaking vision of a world driven by gimmicks, where fleecing the mooches is the goal, of consumerism gone amuck, of self-absorption and its logical outcome - a populace analyzing its own "stools." Leaping with literary bravado from black comedy to tragedy, Frangos injects moving passages into his ribald tale, and breaks out hearts with his depiction of the burning of Smyrna as experienced by the Armenian Hrant. Hrant survives, his psyche destroyed but his famous burger recipe intact, the "Gut-Buster" of the future.

In this novel of grotesques, a scathing portrait of values gone haywire, of tradition lost in a get-reach scurry, Priam and Hecuba, hard-working and honorable, founders of The Troy, provide the "center of good." A flashback to Priam and Hecuba's wedding evokes an earlier time of ceremony and ritual in Greece, a country financially but not spiritually impoverished. While waging the "Trojan War," the couple continues to gather their children in the diner's back booth, denying the truth of their dysfunctional family, until Priam is finally exhausted to the point of death.

Juxtaposing the "old Greece" and the "new Greece," ancient "Iliad" against the contemporary scene, burning Smyrna against New Jersey now, Frangos makes his novel reverberate to the steady drumbeat of time, and affords a broad spiritual perspective.

"Realms of Gold" should be on the "must-read" list of every Greek-American. Frangos asks us to look at ourselves, and his novel is rich in both vitriol and love, in classic erudition and modern invention, in laughter and in tears.


*** English Language ***


In this inspiring book, one of the most respected senior figures in American politics defines his political philosophy for the country as we approach the end of the century. For many years Paul Tsongas, Paul Tsongas, the former United States senator from Massachusetts and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate, has stressed the virtues of economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and social inclusiveness. He now tells us how we can achieve these goals if responsible politicians and ordinary citizens view the future as a "journey of purpose."

114 pages, 5.0x8.7, Cloth, $ 17.00

SPANNING A CENTURY, by Ann Sederocannelis

Here is a book that takes us from the Old World into the New, from simple village to busy metropoilis, and recreates the seemingly swift, astonishing pace of change in custom, habitat, and technology. Long-forgotten practices and rituals are vividly recreated. The difficult but victorius struggles of immigrants to claim the promise that America held are movingly recounted. A book of family stories that parallels the growth of America during this eventful century, an absorbing social history, and collection of family portraits lovingly rendered.

300 pgs, 6.2x9.2, Cloth, $ 20.95

THE WORLD MY CHURCH, by Fr John Chryssavgis

This book introduces young children to the people, places, and things they will come to know and love as their religious experience and knowledge develops. By reading it and discussing it with them, parents will help them take their first steps into the Greek Orthodox Church. Fr John serves in the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

56 pgs, 5.3x8.5, Cloth, Ages: Preschool to 6 years, $ 9.95

*** Greek Language ***

OYDETERH ZWNH, tou Manthou Skargiwtn

Evas boreio-npeirwtn, o Petros, katafeugei me tnv oikogeveia tou stnv Ellada me tnv elpida kai tn moiraia autapatn pws ola tha kulnsouv omala kai pws edw tha brei tov epigeio paradeiso. Oi apwleies eivai, omws, dusavaloga megales: kata tn fugn, pethaivei to mikrotero apo ta tria paidia tou kai xavetai n guvaika tou. Oso gia tn mntera-patrida, dev tou epifullasei para movo dusarestes kai avupofores ekplnkseis . Etsi o atuxos Petros apofasizei va epistrepsei stnv Albavia. Kalogrammevn kai isorropnmevn, n "Oudetern Zwnn" eivai sxediasmevn ne gvwsn kai xarn. O Skargiwtns perigrafei me spavia duvamn kai evtasn, ploutizei to logo tou me pointikous aponxous kai gvwrizei kala tnv texvn tns apolaustikns afngnsns. H "Oudetern Zwnn" ksetuligetai abiasta, oi xaraktnres avaptussovtai bathmiaia ki ekseliktika, oi katastaseis ksediplwvovtai glafura. Pera, malista, apo tnv avavtirrnth logotexvikotnta tous, to muthistornma auto thetei to problnma twv lathrometavastwv stis swstes tou diastaseis.

194 selides, 1995, $ 15.95

TO YPSOS TWN PERISTASEWN, tou Xrnstou Xwmevidn

Suvexizovtas to stigma grafns pou edwse me to prwto tou biblio, to poludiabasmeno "Sofo Paidi", o Xwmevidns epaverxetai me to deutero muthistornma se eva eidos favtastikns afngnsns kala, wstoso, rozwmwvns pavw sto alnthofaves. Aformn n stratiwtikn thnteia tou veosullektou hrwa tou kai o epeisodiakos dioikntns pou etoimazei tnv ulopoinsn tou mustikou tou ethnikistikou oramatos: mia polemikn apobasn stnv Tourkia. Proswpa pou avagovtai se xaraktnres komik kathws kivouvtai katw apo tov diastreblwtiko kathreptn mias grafns xleuastikns kai avatreptikns sumbolwv, stereotupwv kai stasewv koivwvikwv. To realistiko ekselissetai se ekswfreviko, n sobarofaveia tou asteiou se tragwdia ilarn. O Xwmevidns gvwrizei kala tnv texvn tns diaskedasns kai eivai mallov autos o prwtos pou to diaskedazei.


  1. Deka Mythoi kai mia Istoria, by N. Papandreou
  2. H Proba tou Nyfikou, by N. Giannakopoulou
  3. Oi Palioi Symmathntes, by L. Papadopoulos
  4. Amav Amav by A. Papadakn
  5. Dytika tns Lypns, by O. Elytns
  6. Evas Skoufos Apo Porfura, by M. Douka
  7. To Ypsos twv Peristasewv, by X. Xwmenidis
  8. Avatreptika, by L. Kyrkos
  9. Avtio Kapetavie, by D. Karathavos
  10. To Thnliko proswpo tns eksousias, by M. Damanaki


  1. Greek Traditions and Customs in America, by Marilyn Rouvelas
  2. Timeless Myths, illustrated by Roger Payne
  3. Inside Hitler's Greece, by Mark Mazower
  4. American Aphrodite, by Constance Callinicos
  5. Greek Cookbook, by Sofia Skoura
  6. Not Out of Africa, by Mary Lefkowitz
  7. Odyssey, illustrated by Roger Payne
  8. The Axion Esti, by O. Elytis, translated by E. Keeley & G. Savidis
  9. Voices of Modern Greece: Selected Poems by Cavafy, Sikelianos, Seferis, Elytis, Gatsos, translated by E. Keeley & P. Sherrard
  10. The Greek Wine Guide, by Nici Manessis



April 18 - 20 * Xanthi. Greece - STATISTICS CONGRESS

The 9th Panhellenic Statistics Congress organized by the Hellenic Statistical Institute and the Engineering School of the Democritus University of Thrace, Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. For more information contact: ESI, Chiou 15, Kaisariani Athens 16-121, Tel. & Fax: 7253279, D.P.Th. Vas. Sofias Xanthi 67-100, Tel: 0541/79755, 20378 Fax: 0541/26939. E-mail karakos@xanthi.cc.duth.gr, http://platon.ee.duth.gr/confer/psc

April 20 * Chicago, IL - READING

The Greek Women's University Club is presenting a reading by Dr. Beatriz Badikiam, assistant professor oh Humanities, Roosevelt University, from her poetry "All These Beginnings." The reading will be held at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in Chicago at 3:00 PM. Admission is $5. Call Elaine Thomopoulos at (312) 726-1234 or Barbara Javaras (708) 209-1335 for further information.

April 20 * New York, NY - READING

The New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Branch, will present a reading and slide show at 2:30 PM on "The Trojan War," a fresh interpretation by Nancy Bogen, author of "Klytaimnestra Who Stayed Home." 425 6th Ave. For further information, call (212) 243-4334.

April 20 * New York, NY - READING

The Dahesh Museum, 601 5th Ave, will present an afternoon of storytelling for children by Eleni Constantelos, who will read love tales from Greek mythology. The stories are recommended for children ages 7 and up. Admission is free. The program is scheduled for 1 and 2 PM. (212) 759-0606.

April 20-August 11 * Cambridge, MA - EXHIBITION

The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, will sponsor a special exhibition "The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections." The exhibit will be the first ever to concentrate on large-scale Classical bronze statues. For information about museum hours and fees, call (617) 495-9400.

April 27 * Los Angeles, CA - BANQUET

The Basil P. Coloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies, Loyola Marymount University, will hold its 25 anniversary banquet at the Friars Club, 9900 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills beginning at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $100 per person, reservations required. Demetrios Avramopoulos, the major of Athens, will be the special guest at the event. Proceeds will help support the center. For more information, call (310) 338-4463.

April 28 * Chicago, IL - BOOK READING

Dr. Alexander Karanikas will read from his new book of poetry "Stepping Stones." At the Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center; 168 N Michigan Ave, 4th Flr. 3:00 PM. Admission $7 non members; $4 members. For more information call (312) 726-1234.

April 30 * Chicago, IL - LECTURE

The Classical Art Society of the Art Institute of Chicago will sponsor a lecture by olga Palagia, University of Athens, Greece, "Two Sculptors Named Scopas." For further information call (312) 443-3697.

May 24 * Chicago, IL - LECTURE

Marianne McDonald, Professor of Theater and Classics at the University of California, San Diego will speak on "Ancient Theatre in Modern Times: Japanese and Greek Classical Drama," at Fullerton Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave. Co-sponsored by the Classical Art Society and The Art Institute of Chicago. For more information call (312) 443-3697.


This newsletter is made possible by the members of the Hellenic Literature Society who have contributed towards its publication, and by the support of:


Australia           18             Israel               4
Brazil               1             Italy                3
Canada              26             Japan                2
Cyprus               1             Netherlands          2
Denmark              2             New Zealand          2
Finland              1             Norway               1
France               9             Singapore            1
Germany              4             Slovenija            1
Greece              26             Sweden               1
Hong Kong            1             Switzerland          4
Hungary              3             Turkey               2
Ireland              2             United Kingdom      38
                                   United States      356

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