"I write because by writing i find beauty.
To speak about terror or human cruelty is
to seek a way for beauty and justice.
To write is to go against.
All my novels, historical or not, are the way:
From the soul to the soul."

Friday, 14 February 2014

SPARTAN (The Wooden Wall)

click on the image of the book cover
Cover page:
“And nobody can know what today’s world would be like, if Persian imperialism, with its immense riches and its servile spirit, had prevailed. It was the clash between two different civilizations, two different worlds, in which the “few” free ones predominated.”

The Wooden Wall is the oracle that the god of Delphi gave to the Athenians before the battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.

The novel animates the epic of the ancient world through the eyes of a child from Lemnos, Alkamenis, who was taken slave by Persians. He managed to go to Sparta and know that unique city. There he became the witness of the greatest military conflicts in human history. As helot, as moribund and as observer he is becoming the mythic axis for all the cruelty and the charm of a world one might call up-to-date.

The Wooden Wall is, above all, the human adventure, the human being. The epic of man’s struggles, but also, his conception about life and Moira, about Hades, about the soul. And only the decision of those “few” to oppose the hybris of Persian imperialism gives the measure of that era.
With a vivid and perceptive language, with the events running in their archetypal ritual, the novel animates that time. It annuls the millenniums, becomes an adventure of today’s human being on the same earth.
A novel which searches, in the depths of the soul, the collective memory and the lost self-knowledge.

The novel The Wooden Wall has been translated into English.

"Centuries from now, I reflect, when time will have traced its endless cycles over us, this morning, in the last part of the month Boedromion, only one day before the new moon, I will be here again, wandering here, dead or alive, attempting to detach from oblivion this terrifying but also magnificent theater of history. Because witnesses do not die. Witnesses keep vigil in the solitude of time, keep vigil with eyes open. And I, the insignificant child from Lemnos, the Helot, the wandering dreamer, I, the owner of time am here today, I say, the witness of history".

"Σήμερα, εμείς θνητοί, εδώ σε τούτο το ματωμένο θέατρο, θα δώσουμε αυτό που οι θεοί δεν μπορουν: τη ζωή μας. Θα τη δώσουμε, για να μείνουμε ελεύθεροι και έντιμοι στη μνήμη εκείνων που αφήνουμε πίσω μας. Oι θεοί έθεσαν τον φόβο, ως μέτρο της ανθρώπινης φύσης. Για να τον κρατά μικρό και δειλό. Να τον κρατά στα μέτρα του ανθρώπου.
Σήμερα, εμείς θνητοί, Σπαρτιάτες και Θεσπιείς, περιφρονούμε τον φόβο του θανάτου. Αλλά και, περιφρονώντας τον θάνατο, ξεπερνάμε το ανθρώπειο μέτρο. Οι θεοί θα μας ζηλέψουν σήμερα. Γιατί η απόφασή μας να πεθάνουμε δεν είναι μόνο η αρετή του πολεμιστή. Είναι μια νίκη ενάντια στη θεϊκή μοίρα που μας έπλασε με τον φόβο και την αγωνία του θανάτου. Αυτό μαθαίνουμε από τα εφτά μας χρόνια εμείς οι Σπαρτιάτες. Αυτό μας κάνει ατρόμητους.
Μου πρότειναν να φύγουμε. Να σωθούμε. Θα μπορούσαμε. Όμως η πράξη μας αυτή θα εσήμαινε ήττα. Θα εσήμαινε δειλία και φόβο. Και εμείς θα χάναμε το μοναδικό μεγαλείο μας: να πολεμήσουμε σαν θεοί. Να πολεμήσουμε έτσι που οι θεοί δεν μπορούν: χάνοντας ό,τι πιο πολύτιμο μας χάρισαν: τη ζωή μας.
Τι θα βρούνε από εμάς, τους Σπαρτιάτες, οι μελλοντικές γενιές; Τι θα αφήσουμε στον χρόνο; Ούτε περίλαμπρους ναούς, ούτε μεγάλες τέχνες. Ούτε πλούτη. Όμως θα αφήσουμε αυτό το ξημέρωμα που θα ΄ρθει. Θα αφήσουμε το αίμα μας καθαρό να κυλήσει στο αυλάκι του χρόνου. Θα αφήσουμε τούτη την απόφασή μας να πεθάνουμε για την τιμή μας. Γι’ αυτό, μόνο γι’ αυτό θα μας θυμούνται".
Από το κεφάλαιο "Το ύστατο χρέος"

From the chapter "The Ultimate Duty"
"Today, we mortals here on this bloodied stage will give what the gods cannot: our lives.
We will give it so that we can remain free and honored in the memory of those we leave behind.
And giving our lives willingly in this battle of ultimate duty, we raise them to the heights of the gods. Because the gods have placed fear, as guard, in the soul of man. Fear, as the measure of man’s nature. To keep it small and fearful. To keep man within human bounds.
Today we mortals, Spartans and Thespians, disdain the fear of death. And disdaining death, we surpass human bounds. The gods will envy us today. Because our decision to die is not only the virtue of the warrior. It is a victory over the divine fate that created us with the innate fear and anguish over death. That is what we Spartans learn from the age of seven. That is what makes us fearless".
"They proposed to me that we withdraw. To save ourselves. We could have done that. But such an action on our part would have meant defeat. It would have meant cowardice and fear. And we would have lost our unique grandeur: to fight like gods. To fight as gods cannot: losing the most valuable thing they have given us—our lives"
“What will be the legacy of us Spartans to future generations? What will be our legacy to time? Neither shining temples nor great art, nor wealth. Our legacy will be the coming dawn. We will bequeath our pure blood, to flow in the channel of time. We will bequeath this decision of ours to die in obedience to the laws of our city. For that, and that alone, we will be remembered".
The 300 of Leonidas battle.