The Fourth DimensionBook - 1993
In the dramatic monologues that make up The Fourth Dimension--especially those based on the grim history of Mycenae and its royal protagonists--the celebrated modern Greek poet Yannis Ritsos presents a timeless poetic paradigm of the condition of Greece, past and present. The volume also contains a group of modern narratives, including the famous, and much-anthologized, "Moonlight Sonata." Ritsos, rightly, regarded the The Fourth Dimension as his finest achievement. It is now presented to English- speaking readers for the first time in its entirety.
All the speeches of great men, about the dead and about heroes.
Astonishing, awesome words, pursued us even in our sleep,
slipping beneath closed doors, from the banqueting hall
where glasses and voices sparkled, and the veil
of an unseen dancer rippled silently
like a diaphanous, whirling wall
between life and death. This throbbing
our childhood nights, lightening the shadows of shields
etched on white walls by slow moonlight.
Blackwell North Amer
In Greece, more than most places, past and present, living and dead, have always coexisted: against the backdrop of that spare, harsh, beautiful limestone landscape, ideas and heroes have battled through the centuries. Homer and Makriyannis tell the same story. Those who fought for freedom against a Persian invasion share voices and profiles with the anti-Nazi guerrillas of World War II - not to mention their common habit of internecine stasis, civil war. Feuds and vendettas, the endless remembrance of ancient wrongs, run unbroken from the doomed house of Atreus to the bloody political infighting that still surfaces today. Ghosts crowd the islands; Trojans and Turks are indistinguishable. All this is the fabric of the poetry of Yannis Ritsos.