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The Few Things I Know about Glafkos Thrassakisby Vassilis Vassilikos
Synopses & Reviews
The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis, published in Greece in 1978 and never before translated into English, is widely considered one of Vassilikos's most important novels. A brilliant work of the imagination as well as an inspiring commentary on writing, the story follows a biographer's investigation into the life and works of a famous, yet highly mysterious, deceased Greek writer, Glafkos Thrassakis.
Told in the voice of Glafkos's biographer, the book unfolds at the same pace as the narrator's research, and Thrassakis?s biography develops into a work-in-progress where the process of writing and creation itself fuse together. Exploring the identification of the fictive with the real, the narrator ends up questioning the very existence of Glafkos.
At the crossroads where magic realism and political fiction meet, Vassilis Vassilikos's buoyant literary imagination successfully defies narrative structural conventions and common fiction grounds. With its irreverent and often comically absurd tone, Glafkos Thrassakis is a literary tour de force.
"In the tradition of A.J.A. Symons's Quest for Corvo, a brilliant tale of witty and sophisticated fun. Long established as a classic of contemporary Greek fiction, it deserves a wide audience here, too." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] playful, dense patchwork....Vassilikos is an engaging, literate writer whose ironic humor emerges at unpredictable intervals....But the uneven structure and the long-winded treatment of Thrassakis's work reduces the effectiveness of this elegantly written (and pristinely translated) satire." Publishers Weekly
"[A] deft and witty reflection on writing as well as a moving portrait of the artist as political exile....By turns moving and scathingly satirical, refracting their truths through layers of falsehood, these fragments add up to an ultimatly coherent vision of a life torn into pieces....Vassilikos has been to rarely translated into English; one can only hope this complex, multilayered novel will change that." Mary Park, The New York Times Book Review
A brilliant work of the imagination as well as a meditation on writing itself, the story follows a biographers investigation into the life and works of a famous, yet highly mysterious, deceased Greek author named Glafkos Thrassakis. At the crossroads where magical realism and political fiction meet, Vassilis Vassilikoss buoyant literary imagination flourishes beyond the confines of conventional narrative structures.
A brilliant work of the imagination as well as a commentary on writing, this novel follows a biographer's investigation into the life of a mysterious deceased Greek writer, Glafkos Thrassakis. Told from the biographer's point of view, the book explores the identification of the fictive with the real and leaves the narrator questioning his subject's very existence.
About the Author
Born in 1933 in Kavalla in Northern Greece, Vassilis Vassilikos grew up mostly in Salonika. After the military coup in 1967, he spent seven years in exile, returning to Greece in 1974. Author of some 120 books, translated into more than 20 foreign languages, Vassilikos is Greece's formost living novelist. His novel, Z, was adapted for film by Costa Gavras, winning the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969.
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