With suburbs soon coming out of covid-19 related lockdowns in the Australian state of NSW, we thought it apt to revisit a literary work on the suburb of Glebe from our favourite polymath Professor Vrasidas Karalis.
Locked down in Glebe, Professor Karalis laments how his work ‘The Glebe Point Road Blues’ was one of the many victims of the virus, as the airwaves and newspapers were saturated by the pandemic whilst the arts and most areas of human endeavour took a back seat as observers of the unfolding drama.
Known for translating into Greek the works (Voss, The Vivisector) of Australian Nobel Laureate Patrick White and introducing the English speaking world to possibly the first serious work on the History of Greek Cinema, much loved academic, polymath and prolific author, Professor Vrasidas Karalis pens yet another literary work.
This time the subject matter is something more personal, inspired by the Sydney suburb he has lived in for the last thirty years: Glebe.
Published by Brandl & Schlesinger, The Glebe Point Road Blues depicts the quirky microcosm of social outcasts and eccentric individuals with a metaphysical twist, in a way that only the polymorphous Karalis can.
Described by critic David Brooks as “ingenious and disarming in its unique angle of vision … powerful, even visionary writing, from one of our most interesting, distinctive and challenging voices” in The Glebe Point Road Blues Professor Karalis presents the imaginative recreation of his experience of living on Glebe Point Road.
Through the encounters of the unidentified writer with actual individuals, the narrative evokes unsuspected episodes and quirky moments taken from the lives of countless ordinary (or sometimes extraordinary) people, presented as fleeting snapshots depicting moments of compassion, love, evil and despair as well as death.
Karalis is currently the Sir Nicholas Laurantus Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies and Chair of the Modern Greek department at the University of Sydney. He is the editor of the Modern Greek Studies Journal of Australia and New Zealand. He has also edited volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His books include Recollections of Mr. Manoly Lascaris (2007), The Demons of Athens (2014), A History of Greek Cinema (2012), Realism and Post-War Greek Cinema (2017) and Reflections on Presence (2017).
Furthermore, Vrasidas’ Australian involvement is evident in the number of public lectures in Greek-Australian or mainstream Australian venues. He believes that this area of study has to be gradually incorporated within the mainstream dominant environment and extend beyond its introverted ghetto mentality.
For his services, Vrasidas received the Federation Medal from the Federal Government in 2003.
Karalis was born in 1960 in the small town of Krestena in Elis, situated western Peloponnese, Greece and grew in Pireaus. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1983.
His current projects include Six Greek Film-Makers I.B. Tauris (forthcoming) and Greek Philosophy After the Greeks re-press, Melbourne (forthcoming).
- Karalis, V. (2017). Realism in Greek Cinema: From the Post-War Period to the Present. London: I.B. Tauris.
- Karalis, V. (2012). A History of Greek Cinema. New York: Continuum.
- Karalis, V. (2008). Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris. Blackheath, NSW: Brandl & Schlesinger.
- Karalis, V. (2003). Essay on Andreas Aggelakis. Athens: Odos Panos Publications.
- Karalis, V. (2002). Reading Dionysios Solomos. Athens: Ideogramma Publications.
- Karalis, V. (2001). Leo the Deacon, Histories, Introduction-translation-notes, by V. K. Athens: Athens Kanakis Publications.