Title: The Boundless Garden: Selected Stories, Volume I
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Denise Harvey June 2008
960712023X / 9789607120236
Seller ID: 69635
In much the same way that Dostoevsky and Tolstoy animate the Russian soul, Alexandros Papadiamandis enlivens the Greek way of life by meditating on the human predicament: in the constant flux of life and death, good and evil, his characters commit themselves to fully inhabiting their world, knowing that 'even though we always struggle for the good, often things go wrong' (from 'The Gleaner'). Ironically, the sub-title of this collection could be 'The Unlucky Ones.' Every story portrays at least one ill-fated soul of which, to quote poor Yannios in 'Black Scarf Rock,' 'God had made a damn good job of it.' Yet as Papadiamandis goes on to narrate, 'Yannios was one of those people who may grumble a lot but who never give up.' An Orthodox Christian, Papadiamandis (b. 1851) was an intensely shy man who never married and who supported himself and his sisters by writing stories and translating the work of Dostoevsky, Bram Stoker, and Chekhov. Because Papadiamandis understood the Church as a microcosm of the Kingdom of God, his description of the natural world and its inhabitants-both pagan and Christian-comes alive in a kind of liturgical 'now,' quietly yet insistently proclaiming reality to be a seamless whole ever moving toward its eternal source. His stories often deal with ecclesiastical life, but spells and charms, nymphs, incantations, and a myriad of natural phenomena also people his liturgical universe. And lest we portray him as an earnest bore, we'll add that his caustic humor is something of a blunt sword (not unlike human nature), walloping as it may but also extending itself as a limb in the slim hope of saving a fellow drowning soul. 332 pp. New copies.