What’s Left of the Night

Ersi Sotiropoulos, trans. from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. New Vessel, $16.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-939931-6-10
Sotiropoulos’s striking novel opens in the summer of 1897, as Constantine Cavafy arrives in Paris on tour with his older brother, John. The two are aspiring poets, cosmopolitans from a notable—though recently impoverished—family of Greek Alexandrians. Constantine (who’d eventually become celebrated 20th-century poet C.P. Cavafy) is the subject of Sotiropoulos’ portrait of a young artist in the making. Distracted and prone to daydreams, Constantine spends his days within himself, preoccupied with his fantasies and craft. His insular world is changed with the arrival of Mardaras, a fellow literary Greek expatriate who inadvertently shares a terse review of Constantine’s work from a famous critic: “Weak expression Poor artistry.” With his confidence shaken, Constantine turns to the streets of a vividly drawn, politically fraught Paris. There, he comes to terms with himself as an artist, facing the forces behind his poetry: his restless homosexuality, his conflicted family relationships, and his deep admiration of language. Sotiropoulos’s novel is both a loving tribute to a seminal Greek poet and a contemplative, fascinating reflection on the drive to create art. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 248 pages - 978-1-939931-65-8
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