Dying As a Country, 1978


Dimitris Dimitriadis

The main and greatest part of this short novel is a narrative. Written some years after the end of the colonels’ dictatorship in Greece, it recounts the various passions and plights of a country in a state of crisis and imminent collapse – one provoked not so much by external factors but the internal corruption and decay that prevails at every level. The «country», the «nation», the «people».

The long, fragmented – regularly interrupted by ellipses – narrative ends in a raging, violent and desperate female monologue.

Registries are destroyed, museums and state archives are pillaged; atrocities are exposed in this fit of national self-punishment. The love life of four hundred prime ministers is the subject of orgiastic films that rested on irrefutable evidence. The senior officials who did not manage to flee abroad in time are deposed and compelled to confess in front of raging masses of people, who first lynch and then consume them with the vengeful rage of those who are wronged. The occupation actually lasted many centuries; as long as it took to eradicate the country's traditional stature, forcing it to merge in the world-map that now covers the whole globe.

Like a nightmare, the playwright’s visionary and aggressive writing goes against the euphoria of the post-dictatorship era.

This work has been translated into French, Italian and German, as well as in Spanish and Catalan (unpublished translations).



Translation: Elena Delliou


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