Vima, D. N. Maronitis, 03.16.1997

Mr Maronitis is professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

And some light


I said the other day that we missed the useful and the mature speech as a counterweight of the modernism that often makes fun of the flourishing and the old. I don’t want to be misunderstood; I don’t blame the young. After all, I have worked with students my whole life; with that charming and strange age which hangs from the string of the forgone adolescence. An now that the circle of teaching has reached its end, I focus on the young people and I try to picture them. It is quite challenging to explain what this means. However, it has nothing to do with the blind perception of the modern-kavafist Smaragdis, who made me angry. But that is another issue.

As soon as I complained about the absence of a comforting speech the newspaper ''Vima'' proved me wrong. I am talking about two particular interviews: the first, from George Zongolopoulos and the second from Giannis Moralis. Great texts, where if we removed the questions, they could be heard in the Greek Parliament and broadcasted on the evening news.

I don’t want to be misunderstood: newspaper interviews are not my favorite; neither are they for Zongolopoulos or Moralis as we can conclude from their confessions to the newspaper. However, if interviews must be done, then they should alter their style: they should be done like auto-interviews a method that could be applied also to funeral speeches! I return to Zongolopoulos and Moralis words. For the former, that comment: thank god that Thessaloniki, although it is a city with many negative points, gave us the opportunity to install on the coast these ethereal umbrellas of Zongolopoulos; an ironic artwork of a young old man who plays with the grey color of the sea and the Macedonian sky. As far Moralis is concerned, I am really sorry that recently I moved from my old neighborhood and I don’t see that kind figure of his anymore, buying his morning cigarettes. Both of them seem to swim in time; it seems that nothing scares them. I turn back to their interviews and copy, because of my enthusiasm, scattered phrases from Zongolopoulos or Moralis, creating a twin net.

Ζ.: I am talking about art. Art doesn’t need advertising.

Μ.: I should leave my work and give interviews or present myself on TV shows so as not to be characterized as snobbish?

Ζ.: Art has nothing to do with right or wrong. […] I don’t know of art is a window. If it is a window, the artist must find the power to open it and to close it! […] The soul gets cooler during summer if the window is open but it can freeze during winter! […] The transformation is the artist's god.

Μ.: Are you crazy? Nobody enters my workshop. I do everything by myself. I cannot work if things are not tidy. I like to find my things exactly where I left them.

Ζ.: I always disagreed with Makris on that. I couldn’t endorse these beliefs. It is a personal feeling. I don’t agree with these ideas. All of my friends belonged to the left political parties. I was always supportive. In 1944 they came to my workshop and threw their guns on my sofa but I didn’t want to take part in that. Generally I never liked guns.

Μ.: Really? On the contrary, I believe that I am still very wordy.