Death and the Real in Karkavitsas’ Logia tis Ploris’
Voela, A. 2003. Death and the Real in Karkavitsas’ Logia tis Ploris’. Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora. 29 (1), pp. 35-61.
Logia tis Plorisis by A. Karkavitsas is discussed from a psychoanalytic perspective, using Freud's notion of the death instinct and Lacan's Real, the order which encompasses death, loss and the distortions of reality in a single framework.' It is beyond the scope of this paper to give a detailed account of either the death instinct or the Real; we will start by sketching their theoretical underpinnings, allowing text and theory to illustrate one another in the subsequent discussion of particular stories. In discussing those stories, we will focus on how Karkavitsas fleshes out the border of life and death and how he represents experiences that exceed both the control of the conscious ego and the powers of representation. The aim of the present reading of Logia tis Ploris is twofold. On the one hand it attempts to show that the book could today be interesting to a readership much wider than the Greek speaking audience. On the other hand, it proposes that the collective por trayal of the sailor community be interpreted not only with reference to the laws internal to itself but also with reference to the established and commonly held laws that regulate all communities on dry land. This juxtaposition, it will be argued, allows us to read Logia tis Ploris as a symbolic gesture in which deadly evil is pinpointed and marginalised, allowing the prospect or, indeed, the mirage of a better world to emerge with this act.
|Greek literature; Karkavitsas; literary criticism; nautical stories; psychoanalytic perspective; late eighteenth century literature
|Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora
|29 (1), pp. 35-61
|Accepted author manuscript
|Web address (URL)
|Publication process dates
|11 Nov 2010
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