THE GREEKS: The Dilemma of Past and Present by Stephanos Zotos

THE GREEKS: The Dilemma of Past and Present

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Zorba the Greek is alive and well in Stephanos Zotos' ""Portrait of the manners, morals, habits, qualities, and defects of today's Hellenes""--the indomitable Zorba with his peacock's pride and his soul full of songs and dances. But Zotos scrutinizes his compatriots at a safe distance from their ""epidemic disease of self-admiration"" and sees them standing still in time, caught between myth and reality, living on the credit of a past which, regardless of how glorious, cannot be a passport to the future. Perennially disunited, the Greeks face with fatalism ""a sequence of confused political situations which never change the structure of the country as a whole."" There are short sections on everything from The Men (they beat their wives and worship their mothers) to The Women (silently nursing memories of Amazons and Sirens?); from Sex (""pairing off is one thing; consistency and faithfulness quite another"") to Religion (the God of Greece battles Heavy-handed Destiny while evil eyes still roam the provinces). Zotos must hold the world's record for overuse of the word ""anodyne,"" and he also repeats phrases (Americans with their inseparable cameras) and ideas, but he has captured the essential myth/reality of a land where the entrance to Hades is an actual geographic location.

Pub Date: July 23rd, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls