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Culture

Nikos Konstantinidis Discusses His New Book with TNH

Nikos Konstantinidis is a prolific author and Rhodes native whose works include poetry collections, prose, and theatrical works. He discussed his new book, Everything Is in Nothing, with The National Herald.

Konstantinidis said: “My new book entitled ‘Everything Is in Nothing’ is a novel whose plot and the time period in which it takes place give me the opportunity to present and ‘psychograph’ the persons involved and at the same time to describe in my own way the life of immigrants and the experiences of settlers of the last 60 years.”

“The story is a novel, however it refers to real events of modern Greek political and social history, it describes the class barriers in the interpersonal relationships of people, the effect of political choices and practices on the economic development of the place, the successes and failures of the protagonists,” he continued. “It may be that the period we are experiencing has different characteristics and the dreamers do not have the same chances to realize what they dream, as it in the past, but I believe that it proves what the title of the book symbolically hides.”

“The protagonist of the novel is the son of resident islanders, who settled in Piraeus, who takes life into his own hands from a very young age,” Konstantinidis said. “He is fighting for a better tomorrow. Alone, without any help, since his adolescence, he throws himself into the struggle of life, with the dream of creating a maritime company. He marries the most beautiful woman in town, daughter of one of the richest families in Greece, and builds, together with his friend, a huge financial group, with a fleet of ships, hotels and the largest department store in Piraeus. With their foresight and stubbornness, they manage to rise to the top of the Greek financial elite.”

“I had originally chosen the title ‘Immigrants and Settlers,’ he noted. “I considered it my personal moral obligation to dedicate a book of mine to these people I belong to and associate with all my life. But when it came time to make the final decision, I was very troubled by the initial choice, because there was a risk that the reading public would believe that the book is a story that simply describes the modern history of immigrants and settlers. So I chose the title ‘Everything Is in Nothing,’ which represents the main idea of the decision of all the immigrants and the settlers. And since the philosophical approach of the title is inevitable, yes, I believe that everything is in nothing, but not only symbolically. If we refer to the epistemology of all the great metaphysicians, ‘Nothing Is Being’ it is above all from which knowledge of individual phenomena is derived.”

Of his previous works, Konstantinidis said that “my first two books were poetry collections: ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Human Moments’. I have many years to publish poems; I am collecting more poems again to be published.”

“I like to write essays that are presented at the scientific symposia of the Dodecanese House of Letters and Arts and articles that are published in various newspapers. I have also written a historical book: ‘The History of the Heroic Island of Kasos.’ I would like this book to be published in English. It is useful for Greeks, expatriates and humanity to know the history of the small uninhabited island in the South Aegean, the seamanship of its inhabitants, the island’s relationship with Crete, the countries of the Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa, the contribution of the island in the national liberation struggle of Greece and the Holocaust suffered in 1824. Also the legendary captains of Kasos became ship owners and contributed to Greek and world shipping. I have also written four plays.”

Of his upcoming projects, he said: “Two of my new books have just been released, in the Greek language. One is titled ‘Citizen Guilt?’ and the other ‘History of the Heroic Island of Kasos,’ which will be presented later this year, on the occasion of the 200th grim anniversary of the Kasos Holocaust (1824-2024). At the same time, we started rehearsals for my new play ‘Birth, Life, Death.’”

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