Tuesday, 10 May 2016


A common acquaintance between a sailor andyoung she-beggar that evolves into a touching friendship and paternal-love story - this is the story of  Li, one of the very few pieces of prose Greek poet Nikos Kavvadias wrote. 

The subdued atmosphere of the anchored ship and the port, the destitute life of the girl in her floating home, their walk around the city, the customary way of life and mentality of the Chinese, the unconventionality, courtesy and imagination of little Li everything is depicted in such a picturesque and eloquent manner.  Aleksandr Grin would definitely call it fairy-tale fiction.

However, Li is a short –only 51 small sized pagesepisode of the poet's real, adventurous life which is given with great sensitivity –to the point of introversion– and excellent demotic language. The writing of Nikos Kavvadias is experiential and very rich in sentiment and this is what makes his "poor" prose particularly noticeableThe dialect of the seafarers does not weigh on the text – contrary to what one would expect from a poet, it is absolutely minimal and balanced.  



Note: The short story book is translated only in French. The Greek edition is adorned with the Chinese ideogram of the name Li, which appears on the front cover and is hand-written specifically for this edition by actor and painter Tielin Zhang. // "Li" was adapted into a film which entered the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. // In the photo, a string puppet by prominent Michael Meschke.

No comments:

Post a Comment