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Eros and the Nation


Hellenic American Union Theater

Presentation of Pantelis Boukalas’s new collection of essays on Greek folk song

In this fourth collection of essays on Greek folk song titled Eros and the Nation, Pantelis Boukalas takes up the numerous and diverse obstacles Greeks have encountered when falling in love with persons of different nationality, ethnicity, religion or color and explores how traditional folk music can illuminate aspects of a serious social issue with parsimony and rigor.

As the publisher notes: “Ancient Greek poetry and mythology have presented Eros as  “fairest among the deathless gods”. However, while the religion of love may have acquired a large and devout following, in real life obstacles often present themselves. […] Greek folk song has always given free reign to the diversity of real life, where love is likely to manifest itself indifferent to the implicit or explicit rules of ethnically and religiously proper behavior.” 

For those unable to attend live, the presentation will be broadcast in live streaming on the Hellenic American Union’s website and its YouTube channel (Hellenic American Union Athens - YouTube).


Thanassis Triaridis, writer

Leonidas Embirikos, historian

and the author, Pantelis Boukalas

With the participation of the musicians:

Natalia Lambadaki

Alexandros Kapsokavadis

Giorgos Kontogiannis

Pantelis Boukalas was born in Lesini in the proving of Mesolong, in 1957. He graduated from the Athens School of Dentistry and is a journalist at Kathimerini newspaper. He has authored the following books of poetry (in Greek): Αλγόρυθμος (1980), Η εκδρομή της ευδοκίας, Ο μέσα πάνθηρας, Σήματα λυγρά, Ο μάντης, Οπόταν πλάτανος, Ρήματα (Greek State Prize for Poetry 2010) and Μηλιά μου αμίλητη (2019). He has also published (in Greek) a volume of book reviews, titled ΕνδεχομένωςΣτάσεις στην ελληνική και ξένη τέχνη του λόγου (Attitudes in Greek and Foreign Literature); two volumes titled Hypotheses, featuring a collection of his editorials in Sunday Kathimerini; and the first three volumes of the series of essays on the Greek folk (demotic) songs titled «Πιάνω γραφή να γράψω...: Δοκίμια για το δημοτικό τραγούδι»Q: Όταν το ρήμα γίνεται όνομα: Η αγαπώ και το σφρίγος της ποιητικής γλώσσας των δημοτικών (Greek State Prize for Essay, 2017), Το αίμα της αγάπης: Ο πόθος και ο φόνος στη δημοτική ποίηση, and Κόκκιναχείλι εφίλησα: Το ταξίδι του φιλιού και ο έρωτας σαν υπερβολή (2019).

He has translated (into Modern Greek) Bion of Smyrna’s Epitaph of Adonis, the poems included in the volume titled Επιτάφιος λόγος – Αρχαία ελληνικά επιτύμβια επιγράμματα (Epitaphic Speech – Ancient Greek Epigrams on Funeral Steles), and Συμποτικά επιγράμματα της Παλατινής Ανθολογίας (Symposiac Epigrams of the Palatine Anthology). He has also translated Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (Municipal Peripheral Theater of Agrinio, 2005), Aristophanes’ Acharnians (National Theater, 2005), Euripides’ Trojan Women (Neos Kosmos Theater, 2010), Euripides’ Cyclops and Theocritus’ idyl of the same name (Athens Epidaurus Festival, 2017), Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae (Athens Epidaurus Festival, 2018), Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis (National Theatre of Northern Greece, 2019) and Eleni (National Theatre of Northern Greece, 2021). His poems have been translated into Italian (tribute in Milanese journal Poesia, November 2014), Polish (the translation of Ρήματα was published in Gdansk in 2014), English, Albanian, Arabic, Spanish, Catalan (in the volume La busqueda del Sur, Barcelona, 2016), French (in the volume Poètes grecs du 21e siècle, Paris, 2017). and Russian. In 2018, he received his PhD in Modern Greek Literature from the University of Cyprus Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.

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