And you have nobody and nothing
and wander through the world
with a suitcase and a case of books…
After Sparta and Volos, the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) is now hosting in another museum of its network the successful performance «Itineraries – Melpo Axioti», this time at the Museum of Marble Crafts of Tinos, on Friday, September 5, 2014, at 8:30 pm.
The performance, which lasts 60΄, is a composition around the life and work of Mykonos-bred Melpo Axioti (1905-1973), one of the most important voices of Greek prose writing. Through the books, poetry and letters of Melpo Axioti, actress Sophia Seirli brings to life on stage the image of this authoress with the tempestuous life and modern form of writing belonging to the Generation of the 1930s.
The text and staging of the entire theatrical composition are the work of Sophia Seirli, with Maria Alvanou responsible for the music, while the video projected during the performance is by Christos Dimas.
Free entrance (places allocated according to order of arrival).
Museum of Marble Crafts
Pirgos, Panormos Tinou, GR‑842 01
Information: (+30) 22830 31290 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.piop.gr
Melpo Axioti, one of the most important voices of Greek literature, was born in 1905 into a rich and prominent family of Mykonos. Over the period of 1918-1922, she attended the school of the Ursuline Sisters of Tinos. Her grandfather was a scholar and translator of Russian authors, while her father was responsible for founding the Piraeus Conservatory.
Her first book, Dyscholes Nychtes (Difficult Nights), received the prize of best women's prose in 1938. She became a communist and spent eighteen years in exile (Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Sofia). Her book Eikostos Aeonas (Twentieth Century) was translated into five different European languages and won her international acclaim. In parallel, she won the friendship and esteem of the most well-known, left wing European intellectuals, such as Louis Aragon, Paul Eluard and Pablo Picasso, as well as of Pablo Neruda and others.
She lived her whole life in hotel rooms, in the homes of friends who offered her hospitality, never in a place of her own; she had renounced her fortune, yet another price she paid for holding true to her ideology. She died in 1973, at the age of 68, in an old people's home, the cost of her burial being paid by her publisher, Nana Kallianessi. Only one daily newspaper carried an article with the news of her death. The funeral was brief and simple, writes Menis Koumantareas, in the same manner as she herself remained simple throughout her life. Among the few fellow-craftsmen present, the figure of Yannis Ritsos stands out. No sign, of course, of writers' unions or literary societies, no fanfaronades and no stump speeches. It would take time for her to be awarded the place she deserves.
Melpo Axioti's texts are part of the syllabus of European universities (Paris, Berlin, Zurich), now also taught in Greek. Grigorios Xenopoulos characterized her particularly personal style of writing as an «unsurpassed model for Greek literature».