Reading Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Julian Evans: An aesthetic of fatality (Times Literary Supplement  25.7.2008)
The Boundless Garden. Selected short stories, Volume One. By Alexandros Papadiamandis. Edited by Denise Harvey & Lambros Kamperidis, Athens: Harvey and Co. 
“The saint of modern Greek storytelling Alexandros Papadiamandis (1851- 1911) has rarely been published in English.  This is not a simple matter for a writer many Greeks believe to be the saint of modern Greek storytelling, its Dickens or its Chekhov.
The Boundless Garden, the first of a new three-volume English edition of Papadiamandis’s stories, was initiated by Philip Sherrard in the early 1990s and was continued by his widow, Denise Harvey. It constitutes a memorial tribute to Sherrard’s lifelong efforts to restore poetry and spirituality to what he felt to be the aridity of modern existence.
The Skiathos-born Papadiamandis, wedded to rural island Greece, simultaneously pantheistic and Orthodox, widely versed in the European literary tradition, explored themes of emigration, displacement and exile, paganism and the power of evil, urban solitude, the shattering of a homogeneous past by the momentum of modernity. These things, Sherrard believed, required the restorative synthesis of poetry to make their hardship and loss bearable…”