The Author as Reader: the case of Margarita Karapanou

Sophie Iakovidou

Abstract


The publication of the journal and notes that Margarita Karapanou kept during her adolescence revealed an early and acute reader. Beyond her lineage, it is the range and speed of consumption of books (as well as other writers’ journals) that determined her literary destiny. What is striking, however, is her reading preferences: steering clear of Greek literature, which she blames for political polarisation, she almost exclusively focuses on foreign writers, mainly English and French-speaking ones – and she always reads them from the original. Such is proved to be also her own “literary citizenship” when she attempts her creative take-off with her first literary book. Kassandra and the wolf is namely her own rebirth by means of writing. It is also her proper portrait of the artist in early childhood. I will examine the ways in which she attempts to “correct” her own biography through her own readings. I will elaborate on three dimensions: a) re-writing her childhood, which was proven to be equally fascinating and traumatic, using as a projection screen of her own experiences The Turn of the Screw by H. James, a novel haunting her entire work, b) the theory about writing and reading that she develops through another child, daughter of another famous writer in Kassandra and c) the way she is led to choose the career of a creative fiction writer over the one of a literary critic or academic.

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