Μαύρη Γάτα: The Tragic Death and Long After-life of Anestis Delias

Despina Michael

Abstract


 

The aim of this article is to analyse the image or depiction of Anestis Delias since the post-war period up to the present in the context of a mythification process which it seems most Greek popular musicians become subject to, in varying degrees, espe - cially once they are deceased. That process does not appear to need much evidence or detail in order to create a well-defined image. Rather, as arguably, myth itself does, this process thrives from the ambiguities and unknowns, the gaps, and the differing versions of the same story. The image of Delias, in particular (but not exclusively), is one created from shadows, essentially coming to life decades after his death. Despite this or rather because of this, Delias’ image is far from insubstantial. He has been presented for at least forty years as the tragic but talented youth whose innocence led to his undoing. A victim of a woman of suspect morals and of his own inherent weak ness, he succumbed to drug addiction and lost his life in heart-rending circum - stances. The essence of his image is one of beauty, talent and loss. The underlying ‘moral’ to his story has always been one of excesses but no commentator yet has con - demned him outright. There is always a sense in the commentaries that he is more of a passive victim than an active perpetrator. Somehow it wasn’t his ‘fault’. It was either the woman or the narcotic or society which did ‘it’ to him. His only weapon, as it were, was his music. This is, therefore, a very appealing image, inherently and classically tragic, and since no contemporary of his has been recorded as actually indicting Delias, it is this image which has endured and been re-invented by succeeding generations. It is an image subject to constant renewal and permutation, still healthy and vital in 2008, with no immediate termination date in sight.


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