Postcards                                           The English translation is now available


“The world will always continue to march forward, sometimes with a limp, sometimes falling and rising with one-legged skits, stumbling, or with cancerous steps. And woe to those who have grown old and tired and are unable to follow.” Alexandros Papadiamantis

“If women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women.” Mary Beard

“They didn’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.  That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird.” Harper Lee

Today’s post features eight new ink and collage drawings, which are part of the series of artwork that I uploaded in the previous post.

Some of today’s artwork is related to the important Greek sculptor, Yiannoulis Halepas and some of his works. The inspiration or need to create an image or set of images is usually accompanied by a little research and exposure to relevant material that interests me. The online search about the artist led to the purchase and reading of the graphic novel by Thanasis Petrou and Dimitris Vanellis with the title Yian Chalepas.




















This book by Petros and Vanellis is the second illustrated novel I bought recently. The first was Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird originally published in 1960, beautifully illustrated by Fred Fordham and translated by Tasos Nikoyiannis. This classic work won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was made into a film in 1962 directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck. I bought this mainly for my son, as I already have a nice old edition published by Heinemann: New Windmills.

To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into 40 languages or so and has sold millions of copies worldwide. It takes place in a fictional town of Alabama, during the Great Depression. An intelligent and unconventional girl that ages from six to nine years old during the course of the novel is raised with her brother by their widowed father, Atticus, a prominent lawyer, who encourages his children to be empathetic and just. When one of the town’s Black residents, Tom, is falsely accused of raping a white woman, their father defends him despite threats from the community. At one point he faces a mob intent on lynching his client, but refuses to abandon him. Despite his efforts in the end Tom is convicted and then killed while trying to escape custody. His death is compared to “the senseless slaughter of songbirds,” paralleling Atticus’s saying about mockingbirds: “They didn’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird.”

As I mentioned, when I paint, and because I spend several hours bent over a drawing, I sometimes choose to combine the process with something else, like listening to a literature audio or a podcast, and sometimes cooking. If I have something on the stove or in the oven I draw at the kitchen table. So, some of today’s artwork was created with the sound background of the reading of short stories by Alexandros Papadiamantis. I first became acquainted with Papadiamantis’ work, like most people, at school when I was about 15. Around then I also first read his important and popular novel The Murderess.  But it has been too many years since I read anything of his, and to be honest, I was positively surprised by the timely and timeless nature of the texts, the stark realism, and also, the tenderness and humor, as well as the author’s deep knowledge of human nature. Each text was also a small anthropological study of the morals, customs and conditions of the time. I also found that listening to his stories made Papadiamanti’s language easier for me to understand,  and also, rendered its beauty more visible.

In a text of his, in N.D. Triantafyllopoulos’ book about Papadiamantis (1979), the poet Kostis Palamas wrote:

“I hide something inside me that makes me go back to some distant early years, that my ego turns to every now and then with longing, just because they are far away and seem foreign to me. Someone said: a person is always what he was as a child. I do not know. But I know that something from the child always remains inside even the most altered person, from the age, from the passions, from the thoughts. Its childish something, the luscious and the unexpressed, this poem of the past, the music of what has been lost, shows itself to me again and stands in front of me, somewhat less airy, somewhat more physical (somatised), in the Short Stories of Papadiamantis.”

I also found an article entitled, Today is not Women’s Day, by the writer Petros Tatsopoulos about Mary Beard’s book Women and Power, which I had written about in my post on 12/27/ 2021. So, the book has also been translated into Greek for those who are interested and you can read Tatsopoulos’ entire article in the online newspaper TA NEA (17/06/2024).

Petros Tatsopoulos says about the book: “Within a few dozen pages and with humor that ranges from light and wistful to biting and vitriolic, Beard covers the considerable distance from the Homeric epics and the Elizabethan period to misogynist Internet trolling and the austere clothing choices of Angela Merkel or Hillary Clinton.” He writes: “Since the beginning of Western civilization, women’s public ‘silence’ has been regarded as the only ‘respectable’ position. “Mother, go to your room and take care of your work, the loom, the rocket… the many words are only suitable for men, and more than all for me because I rule this house.” The passage, a “slightly modified” translation by Kazantzakis – Kakridis,  is from the first rhapsody of Homer’s Odyssey. The one who speaks in a shadowy way is beardless (young) Telemachus, and the one who listens to him – and obeys him – is his mother Penelope.” And then he continues: “For two and a half thousand years, the “voice” of women, when it does not feed horror stories, is discredited and undermined. John Chrysostom, in the 2nd century after Christ, wonders what would happen if all males suddenly acquired a female voice: “Would it not be terrible, more unbearable than a plague?”

As I mentioned above I had written about Beard’s book in a post on 27/12/2021, with the title: Myths and her voice (continuation of the 18/12/2021 post), which focuses among other things on how women were silenced, how public speaking became the domain of men, and how myths provide us with ways of seeing and understanding the world, and that there are individual and more collective or universal understandings of myths, which are always embedded in specific cultures, traditions and times, and can be both destructive and limiting, especially for certain groups of people, and also liberating. Referring to Homer’s Odyssey, for example, Mary Beard writes that it would be a cultural crime if we read it only to investigate the well-springs of Western misogyny; it is a poem that explores, among much else, the nature of civilisation and ‘barbarity’, of homecoming, loyalty and belonging.

Some excerpts from this post:

“In her book, Women & Power, Beard explores the relationship between the classic Homeric moment of silencing a woman and some of the ways in which women’s voices are also silenced or repressed in our contemporary culture and politics. She suggests that we need to go beyond “the simple diagnosis of misogyny” because it is only one way of understanding or describing this reality.”

“There are many mechanisms and structures in place that facilitate the disempowerment, silencing and often severing of women from the centres of power. This has been achieved through many routes since antiquity. The silencing and oppression of women are interwoven with varying levels of trauma and violence, violations of human rights, culture and narratives. Mary Beard  writes: “When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice……This is one place where the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans can help to throw light on our own.”

“Beard mentions many examples throughout ancient literature on the authority of the deep male voice in contrast to the higher pitched female. She writes; “As one ancient scientific treatise explicitly put it, a low-pitched voice indicated manly courage, a high-pitched voice female cowardice. Other classical writers insisted that the tone and timbre of women’s speech always threatened to subvert not just the voice of the male orator but also the social and political stability, the health, of the whole state.” A more recent example of this is from Henry James’1886 novel, The Bostonians…”

“A lot of the violence and harassment that women and other groups of people have suffered lie in the structures of powers. Beard writes: “That means thinking about power differently. It means decoupling it from public prestige. It means thinking collaboratively, about the power of followers not just of leaders. It means, above all, thinking about power as an attribute or even a verb (‘to power’), not as a possession. What I have in mind is the ability to be effective, to make a difference in the world, and the right to be taken seriously, together as much as individually. It is power in that sense that many women feel they don’t have – and that they want.”

“Power does not have to be about domination and control over. Without power we cannot set healthy boundaries and our capacity to move through the world with safety and freedom are greatly compromised. So is our capacity to take part in life as equal and respected individuals, to create and actualize our dreams and fulfill our potential. “

You can read the whole text at:

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