caused by the retardation of the people (and the ruling class, it goes without saying, is wholly
to blame for this). Chatzopoulos, in his turn, condemns the emotional drainage caused inevitably by
the fetishism of money and possession.
Pyrgos tou Akropotamou (The Castle of Akropotamos) (published in serial form
in 1909) is the story of three spinsters reduced to poverty who live is isolation amidst their
prejudice and pride, in a rural milieu, totally cynical and hostile. Their state is one of a permanent
futility, without any hope or illusion. Chatzopoulos does not conceal his sympathy, which
does not however deteriorate to pity, he knows how to give in to poetry, to empathize with those suffering.
What is of importance in terms of his narrative technique is that he does not harp on disagreeable
tiny details but observes with his senses almost relaxed, without being hardened by the
intensity of his social engagement. His narartive varies and even though events justify his pessimism whereas
the oppression of the rural society accounts for his impatience for radical reforms, the novel as a whole
draws human life in its complexity putting aside every doctrine and one-sidedness. What is certain
is that in the quest for a new narrative language, the novel Fthinoporo (Autumn) will be a landmark
M. Vitti, Istoria tis neollinikis logotehnias, Athens, Odysseas editions,
1978, p. 323.
"[...] In Zoi kai o thanatos tou Karavela (The life and death of Karavelas) we encounter
the rule of money and interst, and the overall tone of traffic permeates the book.
Everything is subject to traffic: honour, love, assets, inheritance.
Within this suffocating atmosphere of calculation and competition,
a strong and dominating passion emerges [...] Karavelas is transformed into a tragic hero. His passion,
that has no limits, raises him to the level of tragedy. "Money
contends with passion", writes Angelos Terzakis about Zoi kai thanatos tou Karavela, "and in the
consciousness of the reader the latter is acquitted [...]. Passion is represented by Karavelas,
money by the social milieu surrounding him. Karavelas is not the only protagonist of the novel,
it is also the world of the petty, malicious and uneducated peasants[...]. There is not a single trace
of kindness in the novel, and the writer creates in this way within us and outside his heroes,
whom he describes and draws objectively their psychology, a state of redemptive reaction [...]."
Apostolos Sahinis, To neoelliniko mythistorima, Bookshop of "Estia",
Athens, 1980, pp. 211-212, reference in Yannis Dallas
(presentation-selection), "Konstantinos Theotokis", in P. Moullas
(intr.-ed.), I Palaioteri pezografia mas, v. 1, pp. 223-224.
"Heavy depression, submission to fate, lack of resistance,
compromise with failure, acceptance of petit bourgeois misery,
all these characteristic features, placed in a social milieu plagued by poverty,
misery and wretchedness, constitute the psychological landscape of the prose of Voutyras-
a corrosive atmosphere that groans beneath the crushing weight of pessimism.
[...]However Dimosthenis Voutyras had the power to suggest this atmosphere to his reader,
and thanks to his narrative technique unconsciously oriented towards the allegorical, elliptical
and suggestive expression, managed to lend to this suggestiveness a wider psychological
and symbolic dimension. He thus made up -in a certain way- for the defects of his narrative work
and secured a place in Modern Greek literature as the initiator and founder of popular prose".
Apostolos Sahinis, Anazitiseis tis mesopolemikis pezografias,
(first edition 1945), Thessaloniki, 1978, pp. 16-17, reference in Vera Varsadani
(presentation-selection), "Dimosthenis Voutiras', in P. Moullas (intr.-ed.)
I Palaioteri pezografia mas, v. 1', p. 316.