Friday, 27 May 2011

Christos Chrissopoulos corresponds

Chris has decided to go half Greek on us, which he is perfectly entitled to do since he's Greek himself. Very attractive, I find –– the hieroglyphs. Used to running miles every day, in 2007 Chris took up biking in the flat city of Iowa, and allowed me to trail along while he mastered the niceties of stopping, starting, and swerving. I gather he's now so proficient he bikes around Athens. Chris's offering in Slightly Peculiar Short Stories will show-case the versatility of the digital page, as well as his artful fiction.

Χρήστος Χρυσόπουλος
Writers’ Dos and Don’ts
Tι γνώριζε ο Blake για τη ζωή των συγγραφέων

Christos Chrissopoulos
Writers’ Dos and Don’ts
What Blake knew about the lives of writers

“The Proverbs of Hell for Those Who Write” is a project based on William Blakes’s “Proverbs from Hell” and it is composed of mini-essays attempting to shed some light on the many – and at times contradictory – facets of the writer’s consciousness. It is not a systematic theory, but rather a playfull exercise on aspect-seeing.

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
Η γραφή μοιάζει να επιβάλλει τις δικές της περιοδικότητες: από μέρα σε μέρα, σε μήνα, σε χρόνο. Ετούτη η επιτακτικότητα, που δεν λογαριάζει υποχρεώσεις ή φιλοδοξίες, υποδεικνύει (ή μάλλον δημιουργεί την κοινή εντύπωση) ότι ο συγγραφέας ζει πολλές ζωές παράλληλες, ή ότι βρίσκεται «αλλού», ότι το μυαλό του «ταξιδεύει» ακόμα κι όταν εκείνος δεν γράφει. Πράγματι, η φασματική εμπειρία της γραφής είναι για τον συγγραφέα μια διαρκής συνθήκη. Για όλους τους άλλους, το ζήτημα είναι απλώς μια μεταφορά. Τον καιρό της σποράς μάθαινε, τον καιρό του θερισμού δίδασκε, τον χειμώνα απολάμβανε.

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
Writing seems to impose its own cycles: from day to day, month to month, year to year. This rule, which seems to ignore the writer’s obligations or aspirations, underlies (or rather creates) the common perception that he leads many parallel lives, or that he resides “elsewhere”, that his mind “travels”, even when he is not writing. True, the experience of writing very often haunts the writer – but this only in regard to his own “untranslatable” consciousness. For all others, it remains merely a linguistic metaphor: in seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

A dead body revenges not injuries.
Ας μιλήσω για ένα ποίημα. Ένα ποίημα που οι στροφές του είναι ακατάληπτες, που οι στίχοι του σπάζουν στη μέση, που τα νοήματά του μοιάζουν με παρανοήσεις, που οι ήχοι του τρίζουν. Αυτό το ποίημα ίσως να επιζεί στη μνήμη των αναγνωστών του, αλλά δεν μπορεί να εντυπωσιάσει κανέναν με τη ρώμη του. Δεν φταίει όμως ο ποιητής που έχει κάνει μια τόσο ελάχιστη συνεισφορά στην τέχνη (έστω κι αν κάποιες φορές απολαμβάνει γι’ αυτήν μεγάλη φήμη). Σε κάθε περίπτωση, το φθαρμένο ποιητικό του κεφάλαιο, είναι ένα κεφάλαιο που πριν από εκείνον δεν υπήρχε καθόλου. Ένα θνησιγενές ποίημα λέει πολλά ψέματα την ίδια στιγμή το πνίγει μια αφανέρωτη αλήθεια. Το νεκρό σώμα δεν παίρνει εκδίκηση για τις πληγές του.

A dead body revenges not injuries.
Let me speak for a poem: a poem whose strophes are incomprehensible, whose stanzas break up unfinished, whose meanings look like misunderstandings, whose sounds are groans. This poem might live in the memory of its readers, but it cannot impress anyone with its elegance. Nevertheless, it is not the poet’s fault that he made such a small contribution to art. Despite his lack of achievement, his small poetic capital is still something that, before him, did not exist at all. A dying poem tells many lies while it is suffocated by an untold truth. A dead body revenges not injuries.

Christos Chrissopoulos (Athens, 1968) is a novelist, essayist and translator. He has authored five novels, most recently The London Day Of Laura Jackson (Academy of Athens Prize 2008), two volumes of essays and one collection of short stories. Since 1999, he has collaborated with the visual artist Diane Neumaier on several art projects. Christos has been featured in many anthologies of contemporary Greek fiction and writes regularly on literary theory. His work appears in five languages. He has won a number of grants and has been invited to writers’ centres in Europe and the USA. He is the founder and director of the DaseinFest International Literary Festival in Athens. His website is 

(With apologies for the double spacing Blogger's reluctant to change down — any tips, anyone?)

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