ΤOURISM AND LITERATURE - COMPARISON BETWEEN CREEK AND BRITISH WRITES
University of West Attica, Greece
This study analyzes the meaning of literary tourism and examines the prospects of its development in Greece. Through the conceptual analysis of two case studies it attempts to present the wealth of literature in regard to the style of writing, values and meanings. It also presents the human relations and social stereotypes of the respective period comparatively to the works and their heroes. The aim of this study is to examine the ways that could prove helpful to the development of tourism through literature as well as to attract potential tourists to these island destinations.
Key words: Literary Tourism, culture, promotion, touristic economy,style of writing,human relations,social stereotypes,values and meanings development of tourism,potential tourists,island destinations,letterary mapped.
Literary tourism is a form of cultural tourism and refers to a specific type of tourists who mainly travel to visit the places where the heroes in the books they read appear to have lived and wandered; it is a way to experience a journey into the lovely literary world of their heroes:the world where the captivating stories of the book took place, where the writers where born and lived, where their last residence lies as well as the places created by the writers’ imagination.These are the destinations tourists head to, for their literary plumage (Ioannou:2016).
This type of tourism is of particular importance for any country because it can beall year through, thus contributinginto substantially stretching the tourist period. A literary tourist chooses the country of his destination by himself, without needing suggestionsby a travel agency. He is a tourist of higher educational level, has higher income, spends 10-15% more each day during his stay and he is a cultural tourist with a certain goal. (Andriotis:2008)
Literary tourism in England
London is the first literary destination in the world followed by New York, Paris, San Francisco, Rome and generally the Italian cities (Stergiou:2018).
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) is one of English writers whose name is connected with the rapid development of literary tourism in London. His works have great readability 200 years following his birth while they have form the basis for countless serials and films as they depict important social issues while all the more,the writer has the ability to create vivid literary descriptions of places and situations (Ioannou:2016).A passage from “Bleak House” which is considered to be the most readable novel,resulting in a flux of literary tourists follows:“Mist everywhere. Mist over the river, flowing among is less and meadows, mist down to the river… mist over this swamps… mist sneaking into the masts and wavering in the sails of big ships…”
Comparative references to Greek literature
In regard to Greece, studies are indicating the following:the1880s is a period suddenly characterized by a significant literary production, a phenomenon which may be related, firstly, with the industrialization and secondly with the publication (either daily or periodical). Finally, the movement of “demotic” language and the growth of folklore are also connected with that phenomenon. The competition in the literary magazine “Estia” for Greek short stories on rural life and local traditionsindicates the beginning of such a writing scheme. This tendency of modern Greek prose is called “ethografia”;it begins just after 1880 (Politis N:1883) and lasts throughoutthe first decades of the 20th century.
The choice of Papadiamantis and Theotokisis neither arbitrary nor the outcome of literary acrobatics (Pazanos:1984). It is considered “common sense” (Mpalaskas:1979) that the development of the Greek proseas it is around the end of 19th century and atthe beginning of 20th century, connect the writer from Skiathos with the writer from Corfu regarding the subjects of their works.
“Ethography” is merely a step (Steriopoulos:1979) forPapadiamantis. The writer rarely remains within the limits of “ethography”; he quite always goes further either to social or to psychological researches.Respectively at the beginning of 20th century,Theotokis receives the ethnographic tradition and without eliminating it, he substantially revives it, applyinga social orientation and a realistic writing. There’s also another reason why those two were chosen. I believe that they reflect, on a socio-politicalleve, the uncertain course of the Greek society at the threshold of the new century. The declining rural society of “The Murderess” gives its place to the suburb “Mantonki” and to the upcoming laboring class in “Honor and Money”. The social state of that time, following small-scale industrialization and the yet restricted economy, provides both writers with significant material(Saxinis:1973).
The “Murderess” was published in 1903, just six years after the “Goudi revolt” (1909). The turmoil is all over the modern Greek society. The financial bankruptcy in 1897 and the International Economic Control (IEC) are a source of suffering for the Greek society. People realize that the old structures of their society are out of date and cannot respond to the demands of their time. However, they are not able yet to define sufficiently what will be the “new” elementwhich will make the Greek conscience grow (Vitti:1978).
In literature, the poem “The Twelve Lays of the Gypsy” (1907) written by .Palamas reflects exactly that. The words of the prophet in the 8th “speech” maintain their eschatological mood, without expressing the demand forsocial interference. Theotokis starts writing the novel entitled “Honor and Money” in 1911, which is then partially published in “Nouma” in 1912 (August – December) and officially published in 1914. Many things have changed in Greece. The middle class with Venizelos as representative is simply in power,establishing the rules of law and the first regulations on working pay and conditions. The socialist ideas infiltrate the Greek society. Skliros publishes “Our Social Issue” (1907), a first attempt of a Marxist approach to interpret the Greek society. The book stirred strong reactions and debate. At the same time, many men of letters, social-democrats, called “Sociologists” formed the “Sociological Company” led by Papanastassiou.
The following parallel reading refers to the four, successive and basic levels: a. ethnographic, b. social, c. psychological and d. human activity in certain situations. The setting, in both texts, is the Greek countryside. According to Papadiamantis and Theotokis, the life in the Greek rural areas is neither idyllic nor pure: the characters (Andreas, Siora Epistimi, the uncle of Andreas and Hadoula) are neither innocent nor guileless;on the contrary, they seem to be without illusion, but with knowledge, truth and psychographic ability. The small society of Skiathos, which is faced with extreme poverty and trading, is not essentially different from the poor seaside suburbsof Corfu. The description of the house of Fragogianou (Papadiamantis:2001)as well as that of SioraEpistimi (Theotokis:1993) show explicitly their financial state. The external ethnographic setting is not basically different:in that setting and because of it, the characters actually take their social part. Both Fragogianou,throughout her lifetime (Papadiammantis, “The Murderess”), and SioraEpistimi worked for their children and husband (Theotokis:1993). In their case, what is of great importance is not only the pressure exerted upon them due to their social role but also the pressure they receive due to the fact they are women, an aspectwhich is easily understood as their social status is very low. Both the heroine of PapadiamantisandSioraEpistimi may be considered not only extreme but also unconventional. Hadoula deliberately refuses the basic values of the society she belongs to (infanticide is an extreme but not the only sign of her refusal) and stays out of them.
The unconventional identities of SioraEpistimi and Andreas are connected with the method of production given that for SioraEpistimilabor does not just satisfy a necessity but it is a way to satisfy needs beyond her. On the other hand, for Andreas, “labor”lies on the financial fringes of society. Without difficulty, more marginal characters can be distinguished (Trinkoulas, the Uncle of Andreas, Mitros or Moros the son of Fragiogianou who is in prison in Halkida, accused for murder).
The psychological outline of the heroes in both works easily takes form. Their world consists of the social elements of simple, poor, deserted, humiliated people, living in contempt. Characters perplexed by the cruel controversies of life, who are not in position to rely on themselves (except for Rini) to overcome these controversies and find a new moral, serenity and calmness; in other words, to find a new balance between the urge of desire and the goals they have. The heroes sometimes have to fight againstmetaphysical evil, sin and temptation (Papadiamantis:2001) and sometimes against social evil and injustice (Theotokis:1993) which is also a part of evil in their life (Stergiopoulos:1979). At heart, the issue is the same in both texts: the degraded status of a woman in the Greek society of those times: “Life is wasteful, vain and burdensome” (Papadiamantis:2001) for Fragogianou; to continue living is unbearable and incomprehensible. She either has to yield to the human destiny or revolt and put (in her opinion) an end to the suffering stemming from her female nature (Papadiamantis:2001). “She exists to torture us and to be tortured” (Papadiamantis:1998) she says referring toher sick infant granddaughter. Besides, her usual wish for young girls is “May not live… may not go further”. In this way, Fragogianou attempts to repair “nature and society”. In that way, she “fixes” life and saves the poor from their bad luck. She can see further, she can understand, she can provide relief… She becomes judge and jury, she plays God (Saranti:1981). The secret signs she looks for in order to justify her decision and goes on with her job. However, the noose tightens firmly around Hadoula and the old Hadoula meets death amidst the way leading from punishment to redemption.
Theotokis strongly and perceivably attempts to present his heroes more dependable upon the conditions of the society they live in and their economic status. There’s a general attitude about them:they destroy and are getting destroyed. SioraEpistimi, Andreas, his uncle, Trinkoulos all their desires, their weakness and malice are led by money and passion. The only positive character is Rini, who endures her misfortune sending away Andreas. Even though she knows that she will suffer, she does not give in. Her very revolution is the demand for the right to work and a right to be part of society. Her decision points out the role of a job in feeling free. “I am a laborer, whom do I need?” (Theotokis:1993)she exclaims, expressing a redeeming reaction against the established society and mentality.
The parallel reading of these two works points out their dialectical complementarity. Both writers have a common startingpoint. Beginning from ethography, they lead the story towards a systematic search to get out ofethography itself (Vitti:2008). It would not be wrong to say that both Papadiamantis (to a lesser degree) and Theotokis use to the utmost the limits of ethography. The personalities of their heroes, along with the development of naturalism in Greece, sometimes will achieve their full potential and sometimes they will collide with society (Hadoula), sometimes they are defeated, on a personal level (Rini), but they still provide a positive prospect.
Papadiamantis (Murderess) choose an advanced fantastic solution, giving his heroine a tragic aspect and maybe even a metaphysical character. On the contrary,Theotokis (Honor and Money), in a strict realistic way, shows what leads a woman to social liberation. In any case, it is clear that the heroes revolt; it is also clear that they are independent and that, finally, their freedom is associated with the action of judgement. From a common perspective, the dramatic leitmotif about the characters of both writers is accomplished. “The old Hadoula met death in the passage… somewhere between divineand human justice”. Such death cannot be considered neither a punishment led by human justice nor redemption in front of divine justice. Papadiamantis neither judges nor condemns;he understands the gradual deterioration and distortion of a human character but he remains there. Seemingly,Theotokis mores. His characters are fatal and irresponsible victims of a social system based uponinjustice. The strain situation they find themselves in is due to an apparent contradiction. “All suffer but nobody is responsible by himself”. Under this perspective, both texts include their social service. Both Papadiamantis and Theotokis (each in his own way) are sensitive individuals,experiencing the social events of their times. Their social speech reveals their social perspectives. No one can write without a reading audience and fable without a definite audience created by the historical circumstances, without a fable which largely depends to on the demands of that reading audience (Saxinis:1973).
If this aspect is accepted then the term “engaged literature” -at least for the case of Papadiamantis- even if it sounds a bit strange, could be applied to both texts (Santre:1971).Both writers are engaged with in the same social adventure with their readership;furthermore, as they also belong to the same society, they talk about them, they talk about themselves and talking about themselves they talk about the others. The above reference is more acceptable for Papadiamantis. However, we should not forget Theotokis’ strong moral attitude especially towards the end of his life (1919-1922).
Athenian period and hardships
The concentric theological circles, such as presented in the previous focus of this parallel reading make it possible to point out the opinion that both Papadiamantis and Theotokisthrough these works stand on opposite sides, across a bridge which tries to unite 19th century Greece with 20th century Greece. What the writer of Skiathos started but never completed (at least, according to its social practice) the Corfiot writeris able to complete, on a rational and moral level. The metaphysical revolution turns into a social revolution and the departing Hadoulaof Papadiamantis is transformed into the decisive woman (Rini) of Theotokis, being able to cope with her life vigorously.
Two different attitudes towards life, two different, but in no case opposite worlds are represented. The course of life is different for each woman; the end, however, as well as the aim are the same: the question of a socially unjust system of values which acts in an oppressive way against everybody, especially women. The process from ethography to a middle-class novel is not yet completed, in the beginning of the 20th century. Theotokis believed that the Greek prose was experiencing an ethographic stagnancy until 1929 (Theotokis:1993). A decisive turning-point for the existence of aessential middle-classwithin the Greek society will take place following the aftermath of the Asia Minor disaster. The generation of 1930 will be associated with the middle-class novel,among other things.
Greece generally needs a more integrated scientific analysis of the tourist object (Laloumis:1998); as it can be seen so far, in the case of literary tourism, we are quite far from the European and national markets. Only Tinos, since 2010, has had the privilege of being the island of an important literary festival in Greece, with the participation of 120 world renownedwriters,,through the initiative and third attempt of NtinosSiotis,ofthe De(katon) society, in association with local authorities of Tinos.(www.efsyn.gr)
We quote the texts of the research as a sample of our literature in a corresponding time with the writer of England who is claimed to be a magnet of literary tourism in his country. Skiathos of Papadiamantis and Corfu of Theodokis with “Murderess” and “Honor and Money” respectively are writing and force and acceleration, full of concepts and vivid pictures. They are definitely not inferior to the English writings that nurturedthe explosion of literary tourism in London. At the same time, bibliographic research indicates that literary tourism has tried to present the island through local associations and individuals who have been attracted by the island and by Papadiamantis (Anestis:2014).
It is of great importance, particularly G. Koumentakis’ attempt together with the Greek National Opera to transform Fragogianou into a tragic operatic protagonist in a literary gathering which was an event of great success and promotion. Myron Michailidis, the conductor, commented a little later that the psyche of Fragogianou wandered and was expressed unhindered and freely, reaching to the point where reason could not have reached. Nature and Fragogianou have the first role in this opera, whereas Skiathoscomes second. The nature embracesFragogianou, it surrounds her, it suffocates her and it is lost between divine and human justice (Tabaki:2014).
In an attempt for the island to bepresented and promoted to tourists, through literature:
1. The area was literary mapped (www.academia.edu)
2. There is a digital map with the literary names of the places in Skiathos
3. Literary Geography depicts Papadiamantis’ text
4. The writer’s house turned into a museum with the writer’s items is included
5. The central pedestrian street is named after the writer
6. Best of Papadiamantis near the school he attended at an early age
Skiathos continues to be a source of inspiration and a unprecedent worship has arisen in theatrical stages, internationally. Skiathos of the 60s became the scene for the next production of the National Theater with the play “Sunset at the Villa Thalia” by Alexi Kaye Campbell,and the participation of Greek and foreign actors.
The “Murderess” of George Koumantakis comes back at Megaron Athens Concert Hall for four plays only (Huff Post Greece) 2 years later because of its artistic and collecting success at its first worldwide presentation in November 2014. (www.megaron.gr)
Respectively in Corfu, the village Karoussades in Theotokis’ work is a place of particular natural beauty, surrounded by olive groves and cypress trees, coupled with a superb beach and alluring view over the Ionian Sea. The tower of the Theodokis family, also known asthe tower of Karasades is the house where the father of the Corfiot novel and creator of social literature was born and also where he died. Unfortunately,nothing has been done for the house-museum to be preserved. In 1884, the film “The price of love” was shot, based on the play of Elena Kerandrou “Honor and money”. The film received 7 state awards in Thessalοniki (Tabaki:,2014) and was presented again in 2018 in reference to the National women’s day at the town hall of Kaisariani. The critics at Athinoramaawarded it 3.5 stars and many tickets were sold that day.
RegardingTheotokis, there is no attempt to be seen through the literary tourism.The cultural association of Karoussades fells that this is due to the self-sufficiency Corfu has always experienced, thanks to the natural abundance and tourism. Thus, there is no need for extroversion and social show.
Literary tourism may become the foundation for a multinational literary of the country and forge lasting relations.
Greece can be a famous destination of literary tourism because according to the research of the study cases, our literature is alive and rich in meaning, words, pictures and is of unique beauty and interest, similar to those of London which is the world champion in this kind of tourism.
1. Making literary maps by the local cultural associations.
2. Training local guides with financial support from local authorities.
3. Invitation to literary festivals in which the audience will participate as well as the creators.
4. Loading and showing on internet not only the works and house-museums but also the life of world renowned writers..
in a country with two Nobel Prizes in Literature, lies a great opportunity for literary tourism only if the authorities andpeople in charge realize it and start organizing to accommodate it.
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www.megaron.gr.2016news.beats.gr George Koumentakis: ifonissamegaronmousikis.(09/01/2019)
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