Ποιος ξέρει. Πάντως στην Κερένια Κούκλα του 1911 διαβάζουμε μία περιγραφή που θυμίζει του Ξέρξη την θλίψη :
“Λόφοι εσείς απαλοί και πράσινοι και θάλασσα αρχαία που λάμπεις, με τα μαύρα καράβια των καημών που σε σιγοπερπατούν, πόσα μάτια σας έχουν κοιτάξει απ’ τον παλιό καιρό, εδώ, απ’ το βουνό του Φιλοπάππου απάνω, σαν τώρα που ξαστράφτει η ομορφιά σας, κι απ’ τα αιώνια νιάτα σας άντλησαν ελπίδα για της ζωής τη χαρά ! Κι έσβησαν όλα τα μάτια που σας αγναντέψανε, μα εσείς στεκόσαστε αυτού και δίνετ’ ελπίδα για της ζωής τη χαρά στα μάτια που θα σβήσουν!”
Asking questions on feelings – Images for each feeling
Πώς είσαι; = Τι κάνεις; = How are you ?
Πώς είσαι; – Πολύ Καλά ! (Χαρούμενα) (INSERT HAPPY FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Τι κάνεις; – Καλά! (Ουδέτερο) (INSERT OK FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Πώς είσαι; – Τα ίδια (Ουδέτερο) (INSERT INDIFFERENT FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Τι κάνεις; – Έτσι κι έτσι (Ουδέτερο) (INSERT so -so FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Also there are these vernacular varieties of feeling good:
Πώς είσαι; – Καλούτσικα ! (INSERT HAPPY FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK) Τι κάνεις; – Καλούλια ! (INSERT HAPPY FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK) Τι κάνεις; – Τέλεια! (INSERT TOO HAPPY FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Πώς είσαι ; -Χάλια (INSERT UNHAPPY FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Τι κάνεις; – Τα ίδια… (INSERT INDIFFERENT FACE JPG FROM ISTOCK)
Άσκηση 3: Ευγένεια – Politeness
Brief note on Politeness Plural and age/intimacy;
In modern Greek, much unlike classical greek, Politeness is presented in the vernacular. The use of “Politeness Plural” (that probably derived from late Latin) is very common as a social marker and indicator of respect. This politeness is shown to people of older age or plain acquaintances. As the acquaintance becomes more intimate, politeness and formality can subside.
Χαιρετώ φιλικά – Greeting someone informally – use of Singular form
(INSERT IMAGE JPG OF ASPASIA AND ALEXANDROS FROM FILM)
Γεια σου Ασπασία !
Γεια σου Αλέξανδρε !
Χαιρετώ επίσημα – Greeting someone formally – use of Plural form
(INSERT IMAGE JPG OF WOMAN AND OLDER WOMAN TALKING)
Title in Video: Episode 1: Καλημέρα σας ! VIDEO OK
VIDEO IN FOLDER: 01_DIALOGUE_
(95% – A1 level according to software)
Καλημέρα σας ! Είμαι ο Αλέξανδρος. Είμαι μαθητής. Οι φίλοι μου με λένε Αλέκο. Είμαι ο Αλέξανδρος ο μικρός. Δεν είμαι ο Αλέξανδρος ο Μέγας. Πηγαίνω στο σχολείο. Είμαι δεκαεφτά χρονών. Είμαι από την Ελλάδα. Μένω στην Αθήνα, στο Παγκράτι. Μένω πίσω από το Καλλιμάρμαρο Στάδιο. Ο πατέρας μου δουλεύει. Είναι καθηγητής μαθηματικών. Τον λένε Φίλιππο. Η μητέρα μου επίσης δουλεύει, είναι καθηγήτρια Ισπανικών. Η μητέρα μου είναι από την Ισπανία. Την λένε Μαρία. Έχω μία αδερφή. Η αδερφή μου είναι μεγάλη. Δεν πηγαίνει στο σχολείο. Είναι εικοσιπέντε χρονών. Την λένε Ελένη.
Μου αρέσει η μυθολογία και η ιστορία. Ο Ηρακλής και ο Θησέας, ο Περικλής και ο Οδυσσέας. Του πατέρα μου δεν του αρέσει η μυθολογία. Μου λέει “Αλέξανδρε! Η μυθολογία είναι ψέματα, η ιστορία είναι αλήθεια. Η μυθολογία είναι λάθος, η ιστορία είναι σωστό!” Εγώ του λέω “Εσύ είσαι καθηγητής. Ο Ηρακλής είναι ήρωας, ο Περικλής είναι επίσης ήρωας! Τι θέλεις; Αμάν!” Ο πατέρας μου λέει “Δεν θέλω κάτι. Είμαστε άνθρωποι, δεν είμαστε ήρωες. Καταλαβαίνεις;” Του λέω “Καταλαβαίνω” και τέλος.
Η μητέρα μου είναι από την Ισπανία. Καταλαβαίνει τι λέμε εμείς, αλλά δουλεύει πολύ. Λέει “Εγώ είμαι ήρωας. Δουλεύω όλη την ημέρα και ακούω και εσάς!”
GLOSSARY – ΓΛΩΣΣΑΡΙ ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΥ 1:
Καλημέρα = good morning – Καλησπέρα = good afternoon
Καληνύχτα = good evening / good night
Είμαι = to be
Έχω = to have
Πηγαίνω – Δεν πηγαίνω = I go / I do not go
Μένω = to live / stay
Ο φίλος / η φίλη = friend
Ο μικρός / η μικρή / το μικρό = small / little
Ο μεγάλος / η μεγάλη / το μεγάλο = big / grand
Το στάδιο = stadium
Ο καθηγητής = professor (masculine)
Η καθηγήτρια = professor (feminine)
Η μητέρα = mother ——- Η μαμά = mom
Ο πατέρας = father ——– Ο μπαμπάς = dad
Η αδερφή = sister ——- Ο αδερφός = brother
Ο, η, το = definite article
Τον, την, το = definite article accusative
Θέλω – Δεν θέλω = I want / I do not want.
Το ψέμα = lie – Η αλήθεια = truth
Το σωστό = right / correct – Το λάθος = wrong / mistake
Καταλαβαίνω = I understand
Δουλεύω = I work
Όλος – όλη – όλο = the whole, entire, all (masc. fem. neut.)
Ακούω = to listen
Αμάν = Oh dear! / Oh no! / Gee!/Good lord ! / Bummer ! / Oh man !
****ΙΝ RED NOTES FOR DESIGN AND IMAGES NEEDED FROM i-stock:
*some exercises must be formed according to the IMAGES
Sources: curriculum built from Ellinika A’, Epikoinoniste Ellinika 1, Athens University Syllabus (Bella, Iakovou et alii), Greek Today, Modern Greek For Classicists -Spain Syllabus, 1994-, Klik Sta Ellinika.
All dialogues are graded and follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. THIS IS THE SOFTWARE for level placement:
PROLOGOS – PREFACE
All of Classicists have had some Modern Greek more or less. This is not an introductory book to the modern greek language, but more of a graded reader that will help you remember the greek you might have learned back in the day when you excavated near that seaside! Also, with the tables at the end of the book, we are aiming at the classicists who have a better knowledge of classical attic and their own grammar foundations, upon which we would like to built their modern greek language.
This Graded Reader, Modern Greek For Classicists is targeted towards people who have studied Classics, Ancient Greek and Latin, therefore Classicists, that want to refresh their modern greek, or start systematically learning the differences and the developments from Classic Attic Greek into Modern. The writer is both a classicist and a linguist, and believes that one system (the Modern Greek) derives from the development of the other. Of course, the whole project was deemed as utopian by linguistics professors in Greece. “You cannot teach at the same time within linguistic synchrony and diachrony” was the response when I proposed the idea to my Master’s Degree supervisor in Athens. I studied Teaching Modern Greek As a Foreign Language at the time. Yet, the interest of Classicists in Modern Greece still existed. As Johanna Hanink has described very deeply in her article “On Not Knowing Modern Greek” at the Eidolon Journal, Modern Greek is “a version of Greek in which you can, in fact, hear words, laugh on cue, and watch actors act.”
Classicists, though, do complain they have to learn too many languages but Hanink, fortunately, insisted against all odds of Linguistics Professors in Greece: “But it’s worth it. Learning Modern Greek, at least to the extent that I have managed to learn it, has made both my life and my relationship with my work all the richer. I haven’t even mentioned the unique pleasure that modern Greek literature offers the classicist. That sheer enjoyment aside, few people have been more influential in shaping modern views of Greek antiquity than George Seferis, or have problematized the periodization of Greek poetry more than Constantine Cavafy (translated into English most recently by critic and classicist Daniel Mendelsohn). I first came to Modern Greek after reading Seferis’ essay “Delphi” (Greek here), but since then have actually come to prefer paddling around in Greek literature’s less classical waters.” So, this book kept on being written.
The protective wing of the Paideia Institute helped make an attempt for the impossible. Of course, all mistakes are at the responsibility of the author, Ilias Kolokouris. Had it not been for the kind support of Jason Pedicone, who believed in the project and funded it from the beginning, this attempt would not have been made possible. PROLOGOS – PREFACE
“They will never learn mModern Greek, they only study ancient! Go have fun, but do not expect much!” was the response of my Master’s thesis supervisor when I mentioned I will be teaching modern Greek to classicists at Selianitika, during Paideia’s Living Greek in Greece program seven summers ago. My Masters was on Teaching Modern Greek as a Foreign Language, a betrayal for my Classics Ptychion. Then, when I proposed the idea of a book that describes both the development of the modern Greek language and its phonetic or linguistic relationship with Ancient Attic Greek – my other supervisor at the University of Athens, a linguist also, refused firmly : “Modern Greek and Ancient Greek are two separate systems! They cannot be described simultaneously. I cannot accept this as a thesis proposal. It is impossible!” Therefore, this book is aiming for the impossible.
“They will never learn Modern Greek, they only study ancient! Go have fun, but do not expect much!” was the response of my Master’s thesis supervisor when I mentioned I will be teaching modern greek to classicists at Selianitika, at Paideia’s Living Greek in Greece program seven summers ago. My Masters was on Teaching Modern Greek as a Foreign Language, a betrayal for my Classics Ptychion. Then, when the idea of a research article/ book that describes both the development of the modern Greek language and its phonetic or linguistic relationship with Ancient Attic Greek, along with the modern greek language – my other supervisor at the University of Athens, a linguist also, refused firmly : “Modern Greek and Ancient Greek are two separate systems! They cannot be described simultaneously. I cannot accept this as a Thesis Proposal. It is impossible !” Therefore, this book is aiming for the impossible. And aiming for the impossible is bound to make it imperfect. Any faults, mistakes or typos are of the author.
Virginia Woolf in 1925 described our ignorance of classical Greek, in her famous essay On Not Knowing Greek : “For it is vain and foolish to talk of knowing Greek, since in our ignorance we should be at the bottom of any class of schoolboys, since we do not know how the words sounded, or where precisely we ought to laugh, or how the actors acted, and between this foreign people and ourselves there is not only difference of race and tongue but a tremendous breach of tradition. All the more strange, then, is it that we should wish to know Greek, try to know Greek, feel for ever drawn back to Greek, and be for ever making up some notion of the meaning of Greek, though from what incongruous odds and ends, with what slight resemblance to the real meaning of Greek, who shall say?”
Jason Pedicone, obsessed with making classics and the Ancient languages and cultures accessible to the people, has always been interested in exercising his modern Greek. Jason, who has been a student of mine for the last seven years, never thought the idea for this book was unrealistic. He has, as long as I have known him, respected both the Ancient Greek texts and the Modern Greek Literature. He well knew about Cavafy, Elytis, Kazantzakis and Vamvakaris already from his spoken Plato days. Also, Dr. Pedicone has handed in to me the great argument that our lessons of Modern Greek have improved his Classical attic Greek. And, more or less, Jason has inspired this book with his progressive mindset.
But for this book, hope and inspiration also came from a current classicist, progressive, expert on classical literature and works but also immersed both in modern greek and the conceptual reception of Ancient Greece from the modern western world. Johanna Hanink, professor of Classics at Brown University, wrote the piece that pushed classics towards learning the modern greek language and its culture. A piece that for quite some time while published at the online journal Eidolon, inspired many classicists to learn modern greek, on line or in programmes that take place in Greece. There, Hanink wrote:
“So why does Modern Greek still not have a seat at the classicists’ table?
This is, bluntly put, largely because our discipline continues to take a colonialist view of, among other things, Greece, Greeks, and (Modern) Greek. Historians and anthropologists who work on Greece have been much more willing than classicists to acknowledge the country’s legacy of metaphorical colonization: not by the Ottomans, but by the early European antiquaries and travelers who planted their flags in the ruins of Greek antiquity.”
All of Classicists have had some Modern Greek more or less. This is not an introductory book to the modern Greek language, but more of a graded reader that will help the classicst remember the Greek you might have learned back in the day when you excavated near that seaside! Also, with the tables at the end of the book, we are aiming at the classicists who have a better knowledge of classical attic and their own grammar foundations, upon which we would like to build their modern Greek language skills.
This Graded Reader, Modern Greek For Classicists is targeted towards people who have studied Classics, Ancient Greek and Latin, Archaeology, in other words, Classicists, who want to refresh their modern Greek, or start systematically learning the differences and the developments from Classic Attic Greek into Modern.
+MENTION AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCHOOL IN ATHENSThe writer is both a classicist and a linguist, and believes that one system (the Modern Greek) derives from a development of the other. That is, with the ups and downs of Atticism, the lingua franca of Koine and biblical greek, the the pushbacks of Katharevousa, the revolts for it or against it, the riots for translating the Oresteia or the Gospels, the foundation of Demotike, still, classic Attic Greek is related to modern Greek. Some myth and the language somehow lives on; this is, to make clear that the conversation here is strictly about the language. Not about race or ancient Greek DNA or other nationalistic ideologies that have nothing to do with language.
Jason Pedicone, who has been a student of mine for the last seven years, never thought the idea for this book was unrealistic. With a mission to make classics and ancient languages accessible to all people, he saw how a study of modern Greek, with special attention to its evolution and development over the course of centuries, could bring greater interest and engagement with both the Ancient Greek texts and Modern Greek Literature.
But for this book, hope and inspiration also came from a current classicist, an expert on classical literature with a progressive vision for exploring the dialogue of modern Greek and the reception of Ancient Greece in the modern world. Johanna Hanink, professor of Classics at Brown University, wrote the piece that pushed classicists towards learning more of modern Greek language and culture. Her piece, published in the online journal Eidolon, encouraged many classicists to learn modern Greek, whether online or in programs that take place in Greece. Hanink wrote:
“So why does Modern Greek still not have a seat at the classicists’ table? This is, bluntly put, largely because our discipline continues to take a colonialist view of, among other things, Greece, Greeks, and (Modern) Greek. Historians and anthropologists who work on Greece have been much more willing than classicists to acknowledge the country’s legacy of metaphorical colonization: not by the Ottomans, but by the early European antiquaries and travelers who planted their flags in the ruins of Greek antiquity.”
Therefore, we find it incumbent upon the modern classicist to recognize the legacy and consequences of studying the classics, to give Modern Greek a seat at the table and a voice in the dialogue.
This book, Modern Greek For Classicists, is targeted towards people who have studied Classics, Ancient Greek and Latin, Archaeology, in other words, Classicists, who want to refresh their modern Greek, or start systematically learning the differences and the developments from Classic Attic Greek into Modern. This is not an introductory book to the Modern Greek language, but instead a book for those who already have some familiarity, whether it is a solid foundation in ancient Greek, a peripheral knowledge of the Greek alphabet acquired while studying Latin, or perhaps even the recollection of few phrases learned to communicate with locals from a summer spent excavating a Greek seaside. Upon these foundations and interests, we would like to build one’s Modern Greek language skills and increase access to the literature and contemporary issues that surround the fascinating culture of Modern Greece.
The author is both a classicist and a linguist, and believes that one system (Modern Greek) derives from a development of the other. That is, with the ups and downs of Atticism, the lingua franca of Koine and biblical Greek, the pushbacks of Katharevousa, the revolts for it or against it, the riots for translating the Oresteia or the Gospels, the foundation of Demotike, still, classic Attic Greek is related to modern Greek. The myths of the past and the roots of ancient words live on in the language of today.
We have structured this book as a graded reader, with fictional narratives in Modern Greek, followed by comprehension and discussion questions to explore the story and improve your understanding. Each dialogue has a limited set of vocabulary, and the grammar moves from simple to complex. For aural practice, animated videos accompany and expand upon the story.
The story itself is based on the myths of the ancient Greek hero, Hercules, with room for some liberal interpretations and comparisons with the realities in modern Greece. In the past decade, Greek society has gone through a period of rapid change and political circumstances. The huge Refugee wave, part of the European Migrant Crisis started in 2015 and is still going on with consequences for Greek society. While our story does not address these issues directly, it does inform the lens with which we view the past. Our main character, Hercules, comes from two different worlds, that of mortals and that of the gods. Tormented by Hera, he iscould be called a refugee in the land of mortals. Is he welcomed or forever viewed as an outsider? Does he struggle with finding a place in the world? How can he combine the two cultures that influence his identity?
As a book that draws connections between the ancient language and the modern, we are also interested in the future evolutions of Modern Greek. For example, some linguists propose the use of the personal pronoun οσεσόσοι or the noun φιλεσφίλοι that contain both genders equally. We find this suggestion attractive and look forward to when such developments are canonized in a Lexicon of the vernacular.
We need to explain a few things, lastly, about the method this graded reader follows. An amalgam it is. There are repetitions, and this complies with the motto Repetitio est mater studiorum, which might be neither latin or greek originally, but has been an influence on the sole responsible of its application in this book and teacher of Modern Greek. The Rassias method, as well as two particular aspects of Stephen Krashen’s theory have had their impact. First, the Affective Filter Hypothesis. With this, the great educational researcher and linguist, argued that learners with high motivation, a good self-image self-confidence, and a low level of anxiety along with extroversion are better equipped for success in second language acquisition. And how did we attempt to apply this on this Graded Reader ? With the use of provocative questions, both for conversation and throughout the dialogues themselves. Provocative dialogues can sometimes lead to humour and funnier moments throughout the reader. We hope that those who read the book will enjoy the moments and understand we are using humour. Our idea is that by making the student and classicist laugh, the anxiety level will lower and the input will become more comprehensible. The student, hopefully, will become a risk taker and feel safe within the classroom to make mistakes, without judgement and constant corrections. The lesson shall become a playful, fun activity and the student will gradually improve their lingustic output.
Which leads us to the second aspect of Krashen’s influence on this book, which is the Comprehensible Input Hypothesis : We acquire, in other words, only when we understand language that contains structure that is “a little beyond” where we are now. How is this possible? How can we understand language that contains structures that we have not yet acquired? The answer to this apparent paradox is that we use more than our linguistic competence to help us understand. We also use context, our knowledge of the world, our extra-linguistic information to help us understand language directed at us.
This graded reader attempts to contextualize the +1 language structures that are given within every lesson, despite the paradox, as Krashen well describes it. Of course, the second part of this book, with the Grammar & Syntax exercises that will be coming together with small brief lesson-videos that will explain the phenomena, shall make this reader a better tool for those who want to review their greek, to get back to their modern greek phrases.
Last but not least, and please correct us if we are wrong, this is the first book for learners of modern greek that uses the common word μαλάκα. Quite high as a word in many frequency lists, the M-word has been avoided for decades, even though everyone uses it. In a paper from 2015, The M-word – A Greek collocation between solidarity and insult linguists Nikos Vergis and Marina Terkourafi argued that the mock impoliteness of the word has developed. The Greek collocation re malaka, which could formerly be construed as either solidary (dude) or insulting (asshole) has witnessed the solidary sense prevail across the board, in contrast to the insulting sense, about which consensus was much lower”
So, we tried to use μαλάκα finally in a book for classicst learners of Modern Greek. Not in an insulting, but a rather friendly way. Hercules, is called μαλάκα, by a God. If this is a mistake, the only one to blame is the writer of this reader. There are no dirty words, only dirty minds? Who knows? We shall cover Katharevousa in a later volume of this series of Graded Readers.
Bozaitika, Patra, Achaia, Greece
Graded readers are “easy reading” books used to support the extensive reading approach to teaching English as a second or foreign language, and other languages. While many graded readers are written for native speaker children, more often they are targeted at young adults and above, since children’s books are already widely available and deal with topics not relevant to more mature language learners.
Graded readers can be adapted from literary classics, films, biographies, travel books, etc., or they can be original works written at a less demanding language level. Although they employ simplified language, graded readers do not necessarily lack narrative depth or avoid complex themes; often, they cover the same range of ‘serious’ themes as books written for native speaker audiences.
Graded readers are written with specific levels of grammatical complexity in mind and with vocabulary that is limited by frequency headword counts. For example, Level 1 in a series might be restricted to 500 headwords, Level 2 to 600 headwords, and Level 3 to 700 headwords. Simple English Wikipedia is designed along similar lines. Other factors taken into consideration when selecting titles to publish, or determining levels, might include, the number and range of characters; the complexity of the plot; the expected background of the target audience; compliance requirements for certain markets (regarding e.g., sex, dating, religion, gender roles and sexuality etc.), among other factors.
Graded readers are not to be confused with Basal readers, such as Dick and Jane, which tend to target specific language features, and therefore are more like textbooks in nature.
Thematically, the Graded Reader comes from a rather liberated use of ancient greek mythology. Especially, some labours of Hercules, along with a comparison with modern greek reality. Of course, Modern Greece is going through changes, and its population is currently (and as always has been through the centuries) being mixed with Refugees. The huge Refugee wave, part of the European Migrant Crisis that started in 2015 and is still going on, is not mentioned in this Graded Reader. That is, because as classicists or philologists or teachers, call us what you may, we do not have the ability to address political issues, suggest solutions and solve the crisis. This is why this Graded Reader belongs to the genre of Fiction and Mythology. Subtly, we do mention that Hercules is also of mixed race, a mortal and a god, a DemiGod. This is all we can do, concerning this aspect of the current political situation in Greece. A whole conversation should start, but cannot start with this Graded Reader. Therefore, bare with us. It will definitely not be perfect. Also, minorities will not be profoundly mentioned here. There is a Queer Eros character, and Hercules will dress up as Diianeira in the second volume of this Graded Reader, but all of these issues, unfortunately, important as they are, cannot be addressed in a Graded Reader that has to be published and written from a Native Greek speaker that teaches modern Greek to Americans. Greek scholars and Sociolinguists will find solutions for these issues within the modern greek Academia. These solutions will be suggested to the public (for example, some linguists propose the use of the personal pronoun οσεσόσοι or the noun φιλεσφίλοι that contain both genders equally. We find this suggestion attractive, but until it is canonized in a Lexicon of the vernacular, we could not use it in this Reader) adopted and then introduced to a book like this. Therefore, bear with us. The goals of this Reader is to introduce something comprehensible (A1 level, according to The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment) and fun to read for an average educated Classicist that has some interest in Modern Greece and its culture.
BRIEF LESSON ON THE ALPHABET AND PRONUNCIATION TIPS FROM Modern Greek For Classicists Course Handout &
Need to fix the english here:
ΤΟ ΝΕΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΑΛΦΑΒΗΤΟ
The modern greek Alphabet is similar to the ancient Greek Alphabet in terms of graphemes. Differences in pronunciation occur though, according to certain research, ever since the heyday of ancient Thebes. This pronunciation you have already learned, a more “phonetic” so to say, we will simplify during this course. In ancient Greek there is a correspondence of 1:1 between what you read and what you pronounce. In Modern Greek this is not the case. Certain phenomena that one learns when introduced to Ancient Greek simply do not occur in modern.
Aspiration Distiction (the h sound)
In ancient Greek when one reads Ἑρμῆς the pronunciation is /hermees/
hence the writing in English Hermes.
The /h/ sound is lost in modern Greek. Therefore, one will write Ερμής and do not pronounce the aspiration. Modern Greek does not have aspirated consonants.
Aspirated consonants were also simplified toward their counterpart:
/θ/ as in the English word theatre (fricative)
θέατρο, θέμα, θεός
phi /f/ or /fh/ voiced fricative but sometimes more bilabial rather than labiodental
φέρω, φάρος, φόνος
chi /χ/ fricative as in the German ich
χάος, χέρι, χόρτο
ΑΣΚΗΣΗ 1: Διάβασε δυνατά στα αρχαία και στα νέα ελληνικά:
The voiced consonants of ancient Greek lose their voice in modern. Sounds move from the strong use of the lips towards a more “rolling” sound. Therefore:
/v/ as in very, similar to Spanish fricative b but sometimes more bilabial
βάρος, βάθος, βάλλω
/δ/ = /ð/ as in there, somewhat similar to Spanish fricative d
δεν, δάσος, δίκη
/γ/ as the sound in year or way, similar to Spanish fricative g
γάτα, γη, γέρος
However, the same sounds do continue to exist in modern Greek. They survive in the digraphs described here, mainly common among words of venetian or turkish etymology, or ancient words where the consonant changed, like αγκάθι < ἀκάνθιον.
Προφορά Νέα Ελληνικά
ντάμα, έντιμος, ντοκιμαντέρ
γκαζόν, γκαρσόνι, αγκάθι
ΑΣΚΗΣΗ 2: Διάβασε δυνατά στα αρχαία και στα νέα ελληνικά:
The double consonants of ancient greek survive in modern greek. They are pronounced as double, but following the loss of aspiration, lose their quantity accordingly. Therefore:
ξένος, φιλοξενία, ξανά, ξύλο
ψάρι, ψέμα, ψωμί
ζάχαρη, ζενίθ, ζωή
ΑΣΚΗΣΗ 3: Διάβασε δυνατά στα αρχαία και στα νέα ελληνικά:
ξέρω, ξανά, ξερός, ξίδι, ξύνω, ξενοδοχείο
ψάχνω, ψάλλω, άψογος, ψητό-
ζώο, ζόρι, ζυγός, ζωμός
Voiceless Consonants and other consonants that remain the same
Voiceless Consonants of ancient Greek remain voiceless in modern. So do the nasal ones and the liquid consonants. Therefore:
πόρτα, πάλι, πόλος
τάση, τέμνω, τέλος
κάλλος, κρέας, κήτος
λαός, λαβύρινθος, λέξη
μόνος, μάτι, μέλλον
νίκη, νέος, ναός
ράκος, ροή, ράδιο
Σ, σ, ς
σάκος, σαλάμι, σαν
Length Distinction was a prime characteristic of the ancient greek language. It gave all the possibilities in meter and poetry. However, there is no length quantity in modern greek. There are no long and short vowels.Ω-μέγα and O-μικρόν sound the same: /o/.
Ε-ψιλον does not sound pitched, but like a plain /e/.
Ήττα, Ιώτα, Ύ-ψιλον along with some diphthongs sound all like /i/. Therefore, the diphthongs are only two phthongs in terms of graphemes and not phonemes.
The phenomenon that changed their sound is called Iotacismand it means the process of vowels tending to sound like a plain iota.
άλλος, άρμα, άτη
/e/ or /ee/
Ελλάδα, ένα, έπος
ήλιος, ήττα, ζωή
ίσος, ιατρός, ιδέα
όταν, όλον, οδός
ύβρη, υγρό, υδρία
ωδή, ωκεανός, ώρα
So to sum up, all the following letters and pairs of letters are pronounced /i/.
ι, η, υ, ει, οι, ηι, υι : /i/
/ai/ as in aisle
/e/ as in met
παίζω, παιδί, αίγα
/ei/ as in eight
/i/ as in see
εικόνα, είδηση, είδος
/oi/ as in oil
/i/ as in see
οίκος, Οιδίπους, οικονομία
/au/ as in sauerkraut
/f/ as in soft (before voiceless consonants)/v/ as in suave (before voiced consonants and vowels)
αυτός, αυτί, αυτάρκηςαυλή, δαυλός, παύω Παύλος
/eu/ as in feud
/f/ as in chef (before voiceless consonants)/v/ as in eleven (before voiced consonants and vowels)
Η νέα ελληνική έχει μόνο τρεις πτώσεις. Ονομαστική, Γενική και Αιτιατική.
The morphological root of all cases in modern greek seems to be the ancient accusative. The vocative is replaced again by the accusative, and so is the Dative. In these notes we will explain how it is replaced syntactically.
Η Δοτική πτώση στα νέα ελληνικά υποχωρεί. Στην θέση της δοτικής βλέπουμε την αιτιατική, συνοδευόμενη από προθέσεις. Τα παραδείγματα:
The dative case in modern greek subsides. In place of the dative we see the accusative, accompanied with prepositions. Examples:
Instrumental Dative > με + accusative
Locative and indirect Object> στο(ν), στη(ν), στο, στους, στις, στα
Ἁρμόττει + dative τῇ βασιλείᾳ ——-> αρμόζω + σε + accusativeΣτην βασιλεία αρμόζει η καλοκαγαθία.
Δηλαδή, στα νέα ελληνικά οι παραπάνω κατηγορίες ρημάτων συντάσσονται με αιτιατική ή εμπρόθετο προσδιορισμό σε θέση αντικειμένου και σπάνια με γενική:
Πολεμά τους εχθρούς.
Μοιάζει του παππού του. [ή: στον παππού του]
FOSSILIZED LEXICAL UNITS FROM ANCIENT GREEK
INTO MODERN GREEK
Εντάξει, εν μέρει, δόξα τω Θεώ, πράγματι, τω όντι, εν τω μεταξύ, ενώ
Αιέν αριστεύειν: Πάντα να αριστεύετε (Ομήρου Ιλ. Ζ 208)
Αμ’ έπος αμ’ έργον: Μαζί με τα λόγια και τα έργα (Ηρόδοτος)
Λάθε βιώσας: Να ζεις στην αφάνεια, να μην επιδώκεις την προβολή (Επίκουρος)
Η ΑΠΩΛΕΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΑΠΑΡΕΜΦΑΤΟΥ
The loss of the Infinitive
Ἐθέλω εἰπεῖν→ Θέλω να πω
Η νέα ελληνική δεν έχει ακριβώς απαρέμφατο. Στην θέση του απαρεμφάτου έχουμε την “υποτακτική”. In the place of the infinitve we have a pseudo-subjunctive. Linguists still argue whether it should be named the Subjunctive or the Infinitive.
In Ancient Greek the infinitive had four tenses (present, future, aorist, perfect) and three voices (active, middle, passive). Unique forms for the middle were found only in the future and aorist; in the present and perfect, middle and passive were the same.
Thematic verbs form presented active infinitives by adding to the stem the theme vowel -ε- and the infinitive ending -εν, and contract to form an -ειν (from εεν) ending, e.g. παιδεύειν. Athematic verbs add the sole suffix -ναι instead, e.g. διδόναι. In the middle voice, the present middle infinitive ending is -σθαι, e.g. δίδοσθαι and thematic verbs add an additional -ε- between the ending and the stem, e.g. παιδεύεσθαι.
MIDDLE – PASSIVE VOICE
λύσεσθαι / λυθήσεσθαι
λύσασθαι / λυθῆναι
να έχω λύσει
να έχω λυθεί
να είχα λύσει
να είχα λυθεί
In modern Greek, the infinitive ceased to be in use. It was replaced syntactically by the subjunctive. The characteristic -σ- that existed in the ancient greek still indicates the nature, the aspect of the action (ποιόν ενεργείας). Therefore, an action that is continuous, progressive, habitual, repeated and imperfective will keep the stem of the Present Tense. An action that is limited, momentary, single and perfective will use the -σ- or the according stem of the Aorist Tense.
Infinitives in Modern Greek are inflected for person. This means that depending on the actor the “infinitive” or better called the subjunctive changes accordingly.
Therefore for the Active Voice we have:
For a continuous action
For a limited action
Θέλω να γράφω
Θέλω να γράψω
Θέλω να γράφεις
Θέλω να γράψεις
Θέλω να γράφει
Θέλω να γράψει
Θέλω να γράφουμε
Θέλω να γράψουμε
Θέλω να γράφετε
Θέλω να γράψετε
Θέλω να γράφουν
Θέλω να γράψουν
As we see, depending on the nature, the aspect of the action, the stem is either the stem of the Present Tense or the stem of the Aorist ( *έγραφ+σα –> έγραψα –> να γράψω) . What we must be careful though, is that the second stem does not mean it is an action that is finished and belongs to the past. It is an action that will finish eventually at some point. Whereas να γράφω talks about an action of which we don’t know when it will end. In English that would be more like “I want to be writing” in antithesis with “I want to write”.
The “infinitives” can take nominative or accusative subjects. They take nominative subjects when the infinitive is specified for tense (that is, the present and past form of the infinitive can alternate and the infinitive fully supports a sequence of tense). They take accusative subjects when the infinitive is not specified for tense (that is, when the only form which is admitted is the present infinitive).
Only the Ancient Greek aorist infinitives active and passive survive in Modern Greek, but their descendants have a totally different function. The Ancient Greek γράψαι “to write” followed this path:
γράψαι → γράψειν (in analogy to the present infinitive γράφειν) → γράψει
used only in combination with the auxiliary verb έχω “I have”
→ Present Perfect: έχω γράψει “I have written”.
→ Past Perfect: είχα γράψει “I had written”.
Similarly, the Ancient Greek γραφῆναι “to be written” survives as γραφεί; thus, έχει γραφεί means “It has been written”.
In Modern Greek, the infinitive has changed form and is used mainly in the formation of tenses and not with an article or alone. Instead of the Ancient Greek infinitive “γράφειν”, Modern Greek uses the infinitive “γράψει”, which does notinflect. The Modern Greek infinitive has only two forms according to voice, “γράψει” for the active voice and “γραφ(τ)εί” for the passive voice.
ΑΣΚΗΣΗ 1 :
Fill in the gaps with Simple Subjunctive. Some verbs are irregular in form, in other cases you need to use simple tenses (Future etc) so don’t worry about mistakes!
Εγώ πρέπει _______ το μάθημά μου. (ετοιμάζω)
Εμείς πρέπει ________το χορτάρι. (κόβω)
Λέμε ________ μια βόλτα. (πάω)
Ο Νίκος ίσως _______μία ταινία πριν κοιμηθεί απόψε. (βλέπω)
Η Ελένη μάλλον______ ένα φόρεμα αύριο. (αγοράζω)
Εσείς πρέπει____________σε όλες τις ερωτήσεις μου. (απαντώ)
Ο Ανδρέας θέλει _______ το δωμάτιο. (βάφω)
Η Νίκη δεν θέλει _________ αργά στο σπίτι της απόψε. (γυρίζω)
Λέω ________ μέχρι αργά σήμερα το βράδυ. (γυρίζω)
Η θεία μου πρέπει ________ το σπίτι της αύριο, αν και δεν θέλει. (καθαρίζω)
Εμείς μπορεί ________ στην πισίνα του ξενοδοχείου. (κολυμπώ)
Εσείς θα είναι ευχάριστο _________ καλά Ελληνικά. (μαθαίνω)
Μπορείτε ________ στο σπίτι μας, αν θέλετε. (μένω)
Ο Αλέξανδρος σκέφτεται ________ το αυτοκίνητό του για το ταξίδι του από την Αθήνα προς το Άγιον Όρος. (παίρνω)
Είναι πιο εύκολο για εμάς _________ με το τραίνο. (ταξιδεύω)
Πρέπει ________ ως το σταθμό του μετρό Ακρόπολη, και βαριέμαι. (περπατώ)
Σε συμβουλεύω __________ να εργάζεσαι μεθοδικά. (συνεχίζω)
Φρόντισε ___________το διάβασμά σου πριν τις 12 μ.μ. (τελειώνω)
Η Αλίκη μπορεί ___________ το φόρεμα που αγόρασε μέχρι αύριο. (αλλάζω)
Ποιο είναι σωστό; Γιατί;
1.Η ανηψιά μου μαθαίνει ελληνικά. Λέει:
Α. Μαθαίνω να γράφω.
Β. Μαθαίνω να γράψω.
Βλέπω ένα ντοκυμαντέρ για την μεσογειακή διατροφή. Μιλάνε για το πόσο καλό κάνει το κρασί. Λένε:
Α. Είναι ωφέλιμο να πίνει κανείς κρασί.
Β. Είναι ωφέλιμο να πιει κανείς κρασί.
3. Στο πάρτυ γενεθλίων της θείας μου δεν μπορώ να πάω, γιατί έχω δουλειά. Τι λέω;
Α. Δεν μπορώ απόψε. Πρέπει να δουλεύω μέχρι αργά.
Β. Δεν μπορώ απόψε. Πρέπει να δουλέψω μέχρι αργά.
Ο παππούς μου θέλει να χάσει λίγα κιλά. Τι λέει; Α. Δεν πρέπει να τρώω λιπαρά. Β. Δεν πρέπει να φάω λιπαρά. 5. Γράφω ένα γράμμα στα ξαδέρφια μου στην Ελλάδα. Για το επόμενο καλοκαίρι, εύχομαι: Α. Θέλω πολύ να σας βλέπω το καλοκαίρι. Β. Θέλω πολύ να σας δω το καλοκαίρι. 6. Είμαι στην παραλία, κοντά στη θάλασσα. Μετά από πολλές ώρες μουσικής και διαβάσματος, θέλω θάλασσα και κολύμπι. Τι λέω στο φίλο μου; Α. Πάμε να κολυμπάμε; Β. Πάμε να κολυμπήσουμε; 7. Είμαι στην Ελλάδα. Θέλω βόλτα και ουζάκια στις ταβέρνες κάθε βράδυ, αλλά οι Έλληνες φίλοι μου δεν έχουν λεφτά. Τι μου λένε; Α. Δεν μπορούμε να βγαίνουμε κάθε βράδυ. Β. Δεν μπορούμε να βγούμε κάθε βράδυ. 8. Προτείνω στο φίλο μου ένα παιχνίδι τάβλι μαζί μου. Τι του λέω; Α. Θέλεις να παίζουμε τάβλι; Β. Θέλεις να παίξουμε τάβλι; 9. Οι Έλληνες φίλοι μου με κάλεσαν για φαγητό. Εγώ δεν μπορώ, η γάτα μου είναι άρρωστη και θέλει γιατρό. Τι λέω; : Α. Δεν μπορώ. Έχω να πηγαίνω τη γάτα μου στο γιατρό. Β. Δεν μπορώ. Έχω να πάω τη γάτα μου στο γιατρό. 10. Ένας φίλος μου θέλει να ξέρει τι μου αρέσει, το ταξίδι με το πλοίο ή με το τρένο. Εγώ απαντώ: Α. Προτιμώ να ταξιδεύω με πλοίο. Β. Προτιμώ να ταξιδέψω με πλοίο.
ΑΡΘΡΑ – ARTICLES
ANCIENT GREEK MODERN GREEK
αἱ θάλασσαιοι θάλασσες
Ἡ νύξ → ACC. τήν νύκτα → NOM. η νύχτα
As mentioned above, the most predominant case in Modern Greek is the accusative.
Not only in terms of syntax, but also in terms of inflection. Here we see how the ancient accusative formed the modern greek Nominative Case. Similarly:
Ἡ Ἑλλὰς → ACC. τήν Ἑλλάδα →ΝΟΜ. Η Ελλάδα
Ἡ πόλις → ACC. τήν πόλιν→ΝΟΜ. Η πόλη
*Difficult 3rd declension nouns become neuter deminiatives and drop the suffix -ιον:
Ὁ παῖς → ACC. τὸν παῖδα
Τὸ παιδίον →ΝΟΜ. Το παιδί
Ἡ κλείς → ACC. τήν κλεῖδα→ΝΟΜ. Η πόλη
Τὸ κλειδίον→ΝΟΜ. Το κλειδί
*ΜΕΣΗ ΦΩΝΗ : MIDDLE VOICE
Morphologically Middle Voice is not distinct from the Passive Voice
Μιλώ – μιλιέμαι
Κοιτώ – κοιτιέμαι
*ΕΥΚΤΙΚΗ ΦΩΝΗ: OPTATIVE MOOD
We have no Optative Mood in Modern Greek. It is replaced by Υποτακτική Subjunctive,
Or other structures in more complex cases:
Εἴθε φίλος ἡμῖν γένοιο → Μακάρι να γίνεις φίλος μας.
Σὺ κομίζοις ἂν σεαυτὸν ᾗ θέλεις. → Αν το ξεχάσω, μου το θυμίζεις. [οριστ. ενεστώτα]
*VERBS ENDING in -μι
Develop differently in the active voice, into simple -ω verbs, but do keep their Passive Voice in modern greek
ANCIENTMODERN GREEKANCIENT PASSIVE
Δείκνυμι → δείχνω αλλά : δείχνομαι (δείκνυμαι)
Δίδωμι → δίδω/ δίνω αλλά : δίνομαι (δίδομαι)
Τίθημι → θέτω αλλά: τίθεμαι (τίθεμαι)
Θέλω ἵνα + Subjunctive → θα + Subjunctive : θα φύγω / θα μάθω
In Modern Greek, as mentioned above, Aspect replaces Tense. Therefore, we indicate differnently, according to the frequency of the action mentioned by the verb:
Πάω – πηγαίνω
Θέλω να πάω στην Ελλάδα
(Here the aspect is for an action that will happen ONCE)
Θέλω να πηγαίνω στην Ελλάδα κάθε καλοκαίρι.
(Here the aspect is for an action that will be happening MANY TIMES)
Γράψω – γράφω
Ο Νίκος θέλει να γράψει καλά σήμερα.
(Here the aspect is for an action that will happen ONCE)
Ο Νίκος θέλει να γράφει συχνά γράμματα στην οικογένειά του.
(Here the aspect is for an action that will be happening MANY TIMES)
The -s- stem or γρά-ψ-ω from the Aorist, describes an action that has a specific beginning and an ending. The -φ- stem or γρά-φ-ω from the Present Tense, describes an action we do not know when it will end, might continue in the future or repeat.
Look also Geoffrey Horrocks: Greek, a history of the language and its speakers.
Talk / Presentation Given at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford, November 2017. Under the supervision of Dimitris Papanikolaou, Associate Professor in Modern Greek and Fellow of St. Cross College
Basic article to which this rough presentation owes most of its structure and points is Vassilis Lambropoulos’s Unbuilding The Acropolis in Greek Literature in the Volume: Classics and National Cultures, Edited by, SUSAN A. STEPHENS AND PHIROZE VASUNIA. Oxford : Oxford University Press, pp. 182 – 198. Available at the link below:
1) A society, as its history unfolds, can make an existing heterotopia function in a very different fashion; for each heterotopia has a precise and determined function within a society and the same heterotopia can, according to the synchrony of the culture in which it occurs, have one function or another. 2) The heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible. Thus it is that the theater brings onto the rectangle of the stage, one after the other, a whole series of places that are foreign to one another; 3) Heterotopias are most often linked to slices in time—which is to say that they open onto what might be termed, for the sake of symmetry, heterochronies. The heterotopia begins to function at full capacity when men arrive at a sort of absolute break with their traditional time. Michel Foucault, Heterotopia, From: Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité , October, 1984; (“Des Espace Autres,” March 1967, Translated from the French by Jay Miskowiec) pp. 5-6.
Hellas, the most classical country in the world, is a topos of architectural and sculptural ruins. This is true, especially of Athens, Greece’s cosmopolitan capital, with its crowning Acropolis. In modernity’s secular imagination “this ground is holy”. Certainly, the Acropolis was holy for ancient Athenians, too, but in a very different sense. In the modern period, artists, diplomats, and scholars have conjured up a different spiritual landscape in their descriptions of the place. Travel annotations, letters, journals, these texts make the Acropolis European, the traveler Hellenic. This is one of many patterns of expression, thought and practice commonly found in texts. Hellas is a heterotopia, a space set apart precisely because it contains classical ruins. The Acropolis is the most frequented and the most formidable place, the one in which all meet their measure of sacredness, harmony, beauty and grandeur. A place of homecoming, from home. Here one finds unexpected reversals of colonial powers’ self-representation as mother to pockets of civilization outside the West.
Artemis Leontis, Topographies of Hellenism – Mapping the Homeland (Myth and Poetics), Cornell University Press, 1995.
A rethinking of the role that a piece of art can play within a city.
Minimalistic narrative strategy, with a collection of documenta, realia, each of which plays a different and significant role in forming the whole story. A 21 year old X.K. has a messianic mission; he will relief the city of its eternal weight, of the most renowned monument of western civilization. He will blow up the Parthenon.
The short novella was first published by a rather alternative publishing house, in 1996, Anatolikos. The first version was slightly far from the Archive style that we have today. Yet, it was still written in a scattered, post-modernist manner. The differences from the older text are the addition of the reference to the surrealist poet Yiorgos Makris, who, at the age of 21 and a little before Dekemvriana and the greek civil war, wrote a utopian call for the blowing up of the Parthenon, as a political act against progonopliksia, the emotional stain connected to the ancestors. Makris considered this the main reason for the ideological and intellectual fall of the modern greek people. Written in bits and pieces, like a puzzle that the reader is supposed to solve, with real or made up evidence and exhibits, testimonies and witnesses narrations, the narrative is built in a kaleidoscope manner; the bomber decides to destroy the Parthenon following an old call, inspired by a surrealist poet and intellectual. He believes in the rather romantic ideal of “Creative Destruction”. The modern hellenic identity is being questioned; who are the modern Athenians? Where will they go without the main monument of their so-called ancestors ? What life will they lead ? The blowing up of the Parthenon is a liberating act; now the modern Greeks are able to choose, to act upon their lives in their own, liberated way. The eidolon of themselves is no longer their. The security guard that testifies on the bomber cannot believe his eyes. He accuses himself of not having taken enough care of the archaeological site. But in the end of his testimony, he wonders “Have I said it correctly?”
It is this correctness that is vital to what the bomber wants to destroy; a national narrative has been formed, on to all of the Greeks are pre-supposed to abide by. They all have to be “correct”, they all have to follow the national rules concerning the monument. They cannot question, they cannot disagree, they have to follow the state’s opinion on this national treasure. The liberty that derives from the act of destroying is enormous. Everybody considered the monument impossible to overcome. Now that it is no longer there, everyone can create their own narrative. No longer connected to what has been, but focusing on what will be from now on. The monument was the mirror, up until the moment of its destruction. All of modern greeks were obliged to see themselves on that mirror. But was that something possible ? For the Bomber, it was utopia. Therefore, he had to destroy the mirror, so that the greeks would no longer see the Eidolon of themselves, but their real identity would be revealed. At the online edition of the book, Chryssopoulos makes connections with the dadaist movement and the Paris Communa, painters that wanted to destroy monuments. Also, he describes briefly the surrealist poet Nikolaos Kalas, who also called for the destruction of the monument, only a few years before Yiorgos Makris. But it is Makris who foresaw the tourist industry taking over, the modern materialistic world ruling over the city scape, in a continuum, throughout the civil war, after the civil war, throughout the Military Junta and after the Junta in Greece. It has always been the Greek national illusion, according to Chryssopoulos, the schizophrenic present, a certainty that kept going, no matter how the political situations changed in Greece. A national labour camp, that never seized to exist. In the hands of every man in power, the Monument took shape in the forms the Authorities longed for. Everybody believed (and still does) that the monument belonged to them, so they were able to use it as evidence and proof of belonging, of ancestry and of continuation. But our Bomber believes that all of Greeks have been living on borrowed time. The myth, the constitutional of myth of the modern greek state, is just a borrowed made up fairy tale. This is why, using the monument whenever we were in need or in awe, whenever we felt small or poor, was just an excuse for not inventing our own selves of today. Creation needs Destruction, the writer believes, we must stop turning back and through destruction start looking forward. The Bomber is not a paranoid criminal, or monstrous charmer. His actions are not irrational. He believes in sabotaging the old, so that everyone will have now the ability to bring the new forward. The same way the Monuments comes to pieces, in a quite similar manner the book is structured; We start off with a poem, written by a friend of Yiorgos Makris, Then we have a possible monologue of the Bomber. Testimonies of the Bomber’s neighbors and acquaintances. News coverage of the act of Bombing. The whole “terrorist” so to say proclamation of Yiorgos Makris, edited. Other, real testimonies concerning the Proclamation of Makris, by friends of his and other underground figures of Athens, like Leonidas Christakis, editor of the magazine Ideodromion. The security guard’s testimony. A list of the people to which the Bomber referred to, presumably from police document sources. Photos of Yiorgos Makris. Other Athenians testimonies, watching the Blowing Up of the Parthenon from the News. The sentence and the shooting of the Bomber, by troops who almost did not believe that had shot a man.
Then, on the online edition of the book there are additions which make it intertextual and multimedia friendly. The excerpts and snippets make the book of the print version intertextual already, but here we have some extra photos of different Parthenons and also a bibliography of other writers and creative minds who wanted to destroy the Parthenon, or other monuments. I believe that the writer wants to oppose to the Oneiric Archaeology that seems to constitute the national narrative in Greece. Greeks, and the greek state, choosing the name “Hellenes” as opposed to the closer-to-reality “Graeci” formed a national discipline, a national imagination to which the national body keeps the Parthenon as a core. It is the sacred mission and obligation to participate in this; it is not something to be used by academics or archaeologists only. It is everyone’s job to adore the Parthenon and to feel humble in front of it. It is the national treasure, the central national treasure, and all antiquity findings are to be called “treasures” as well. Politicians drop their original identity and adopt the politician-archaeologist persona. They are obliged to become everything connected to their ancestors. They are prophets of a possible promise of enrichment through the ancients.
The recent live concert of the band Foo Fighters at the Herod Atticus Odeon is just another proof of this national narrative. Even the singer of the band revealed that “this is a concert we will remember and treasure for the rest of our lives!” The rock star’s ideas do not differ much from the ideas behind the occult economy that seemed promising, the national hope for salvation that occurred during the Amphipolis excavation in the national (public and private) media in Greece. Our ancestors are there when we need them, They conquered the world and today, they can possibly be resurrected, come back again to rescue their descendants in their darkest hour, the hour of the Crisis and the fall of the economy. This is why the bomber wants to destroy this imagined solution, because he know that this is an imagined community, a nationalism built up on a socially constructed idea, that here we have this big ancient thing, the Parthenon, and not only is it ours, it is US ! It is our collective property and hope.
Here I must make some remarks on why I consider the structure of the book as an archival impulse. The failed vision of the Parthenon is what the writer is trying to recoup. He wants to turn it into an alternative scenario of social relations, amongst the greeks. He seeks to transform the no- place of his archive into the no-place of utopia. Since the topos of the Parthenon will no longer be there, the excavation site will turn into a construction site. Together, the greeks after the Blow up of the monument will create their own identity. Liberated from national treasures and fixed ideas. So far, the culture has been melancholic, view the past as something sacred. Now it will be something more then the traumatic experience of the past.
The archive aims for reinvention; as very well mentioned its mood is “characterised by depression, dissociation, pragmatism, cynicism, optimism, activism, or an incoherent mash” This fits perfectly for the Bomber. He is depressed and a cynic. He wants to destroy, therefore he becomes an activist, a bomber. He is optimistic about the future. Now the Greeks, the modern Athenians will be free ! They are allowed to re-invent themselves. They talk about the past and it remnants not in order to find a solution but as a practice of re-invention, and they do so against all odds; they will be creative and optimistic. The Bomber has a pervasive sense of urgency; it makes an iconoclastic return to the past; Hence the connections with the term “Archive Trouble”. The length of the book is small. This happens because the book makes a statement, and the statement has to be urgent . Brief. Cut to pieces. And handed on to the public, like a proclamation. The Bomber reframes historical and political understanding of the monument. He alerts us to the modalities of a history in the present. What is the Parthenon now ? is the question of the Bomber.
The novella does not answer. It questions national reassurances. It stands against the national narrative, the official materiality of the monument. In a very creative manner, Chryssopoulos uses an older text, the surreal proclamation of Makris, within a new modality, a post-modern manner. Hence, as Archive Trouble does, he recontextualises while accepting that its own context, the Crisis, is inescapable. Chryssopoulos uses photos, advertisements and other media in his book. Therefore, as Archive Trouble does, he takes into account and interacts with the surge in information flow. The Bomber’s archival poetics presuppose a public interaction with this flow of images and data from different sources, questioning information from the past, the whole national idea of the Parthenon as the Treasure. He creates personal, novel and agonistic archives.
Archive Trouble aims to “unearth” hidden voices or lost patterns. And this, in The Parthenon Bomber, is done with the lost voice of the poet Yorgos Makris. One book, leads to the other, after reading the Parthenon Bomber, we feel the need to read the writings of Yiorgos Makris in total. The archival structure of the book aims for incompleteness, it does not creat a fuller archive, but lays bare the constitutive incompleteness of the historical archive itself. The book makes the reader want to read more. And of course, it does criticize institutional archives, institutional symbols and institutional time. The reader has to participate in writing and reading the book, filling in the gaps between the testimonies with his/her creative imagination. The bomber’s testimony itself if full of irony, and the whole book is pastiche. We do have a genre playfulness and the forms of different types of literature are mixed. Here, concluding, I must say that the writer does not seem to find anything positive in the Parthenon itself. The Bomber seems to hate the monument. Alas, the Security Guard seems to believe that the Bomber loved the monument. This position I will take myself. Since the book allows you to read it from many perspectives, I will believe that yes, the Bomber loved the Parthenon but could not bear the nationalistic ideas built around the monument. Therefore, he decided to solve the Archive Trouble and destroy the monument.
If we take into account only the nationalistic fever around the Parthenon, yes, we do have to destroy it. If that would liberate us from idea groups like the Golden Dawn. Yet, I believe that such would not be a solution. Probably education and the knowledge that every nation is an imagined community, as Benedict Anderson put it, would liberate us from such fixated thoughts.