2014 CYPRUS STATE PRIZES FOR LITERATURE

The Cultural Services DEPARTMENT of the Ministry of Education and Culture have announced the results of the competition for the State Prizes for Literature (for publications OF 2013).

1. POETRY:

By a majority decision of the Judging Committee, the State Prize for Poetry published in 2013 is awarded to Eleni Kefala for her work Chronorrafia / Stitching Time (Nefeli Publications).

Grounds for the award:

The collection of poems Chronorrafia by Eleni Kefala brings together the virtues of a bold experiment. The poet seems to explore the limits of poetic expression, replacing the voice of the lyrical text with polyphony,  through a particularly interesting synthesis in which voices, eras, cultures and historic moments are entwined. The architecture of Chronorrafia is characterised by reflection and intertextuality. An anonymous and almost illiterate Cypriot meets Columbus and his companions, the natives of the Caribbean,  John Knox and the Scottish Reformers, Cervantes and Rembrandt and many others, people more or less well-known from Greek and world history and literature. Ships which travel the seas of the world, with passengers and crews from far and wide, carry the diachronic and inter-cultural message of poetry as the preserver of memory, not of the famous but of the anonymous. The poetical composition of Eleni Kefala creates a multi-prismatic mirror of the fate of the obscure everywhere, while at the same time its creativity stirs the imagination of the reader and makes him or her a participant in the journeys of the imagination through time. The exceptionally well-presented publication, which makes use of ideograms and an original arrangement of the texts, gives additional stimulus to the reader. A road between sky and earth.

2. NOVEL:

By a majority decision of the Judging Committee, the State Prize for a Novel published in 2013 is awarded to Andreas Karayian for his work Skoteines Istories / Dark Stories (Estia Bookshop Publications).

Grounds for the award:

Andreas Karayian’s novel Skoteines Istories belongs to the tradition of formation novels (bildungsroman), a genre which is rare in the Greek language. In Skoteines Istories the protagonist, an imaginary person with autobiographical elements which we have met in other books by Andreas Karayian, is a sensitive and adventurous artist who is seeking the truth of art and life itself by travelling. His travels take him to Berlin after the wall has come down, to post 1974 Athens and to post revolutionary Alexandria. In these wanderings, the dominating demand for authenticity in art, friendship and love dictates his steps. Through the confessional character of the narrative, the author constructs his own theory of the cosmos, elevating the erotic union of soul and body, beyond social conventions and guilt, to a great good. The novel, deeply philosophical and political, opposes the mechanisms of power which attempt to control erotic desire and sexuality and tries to demolish social stereotypes in order to promote respect for Diversity.

3. SHORT STORY/NOVELLA:

By a majority decision of the Judging Committee, the State Prize for Short Story/Novella published in 2013 is awarded to Lefkios Zafeirios for his work Me evlaveia kai lipi (With Reverence and Sorrow (Gavrielides Publications).

Grounds for the award:

Lefkios Zafeirios’ book Me evlabeia kai lipi contains short stories which refer to the tragic moments of the history of Cyprus, through an approach which is reflective and directed towards trauma, memory and mourning. The protagonists of the stories are ordinary people whom the glance of the narrator elevates to heroes and victims of the mechanisms of power in an amputated homeland: They are the unvindicated enclaved of Rizokarpassos, the lost brave young men of the Greek Army Contingent in Cyprus and their parents who meet at the cemetery of Makedonitissa, the student volunteers who embarked like other Argonauts on an expedition which failed, never reaching its destination; they are also, however, the children on whose faces hope is preserved. The narrator moves in a “labyrinth without a way out,”,not as a cold spectator but as one who shares in the suffering, often in situations of impasse and tragedy. In the short stories in the book the reader can discern an autobiographical substratum but also an excellent example of the recasting of personal experience into literature. The short stories in the collection do not just preserve “the shattered face of the island” but are stories of human pain and persecution which acquire a diachronic significance.

4. PRIZE FOR A NEW WRITER:

By a majority decision of the Judging Committee, the State Prize for a New Writer of a publication in 2013 is awarded to Alexandros Adamides for his work I plirotita kai i aftarkeia (Completeness and Self-sufficiency) (Afi Publications).

Grounds for the award:

In Alexandros Adamides novel I plirotita kai i aftarkeia the young protagonist is an anti-hero who is searching in adverse conditions to find his place in the contemporary world of crisis. He travels to Europe in search of work but also of meaning, he suffers, struggles to find a path and often finds it in dreams and fantasies and in adventures which bring to mind a detective film. The wonderful descriptions and lively dialogue, the amusing digressions, the reflective techniques and the intertextual exchanges lend the novel an intensity which is redolent of accomplished masters of the novel. The new writer from Limassol skilfully conveys in his novel the anxiety of young people in the modern societies of alienation and poverty and the desperate struggles in search of identity.

The members of the Judging Committee for State Prizes for Literature were:

Frangiski Ambatzopoulou (president), Pantelis Voutouris, Kyriakos Demetriou, Yiorgos Kalozois and Kyriakos Charalambides.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s