My Mother's Sin and Other Stories by Georgios Vizyenos

G. M. Vizyenos, Author, Georgios Vizyenos, Author, William F. Wyatt, Translator Brown Publishing Company $25 (249p) ISBN 978-0-87451-434-6
This first English translation of six stories, written in the first person and set in Greece and the Ottoman Empire, reveals a subtle artist in the 19th century Greek Vizyenos. The demanding, complex tales are replete with character development, probing psychology and detailed descriptions; by today's standards, they may well be considered novellas. In the title work, a boy understands his mother's selfish behavior when he learns of a terrible secret in her past. Other stories also concern the narrators' search for another character's identity or motivation, as in the detective-like ""Who Was My Brother's Killer?'' and ``Between Peiraeus and Naples,'' where a young man sadly discovers the essence of two fond acquaintances during the course of a boat journey. Refined language and close observations mark Vizyenos's dense prose. Charged with strong emotions and a love of nature, it is a triumph that the stories' romanticism comes across fresh and true today. The scholarship evinced in the translation and in the commentary that accompanies the stories is also noteworthy. (April)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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