Πλάτων Ροδοκανάκης : De Profundis - Ἀριάδνη

December 13, 2017

ΑΡΙΑΔΝΗ (1908)

Edward Burne-Jones, Ὀ Θησεύς καὶ ὁ Μινὠταυρος ἐν τῷ Λαβυρίνθω (1862, Προραφαηλίτης, ἐπιρροή Σώσερ) 

Εἶμαι νέος. Θέλω καὶ δύναμαι νὰ ἀναδειχθῶ. Ῥίπτομαι εἰς τὴν πρώτην τυχοῦσαν εἴσοδον ὅπως ἐπιδείξω τὴν ἀνδρείαν μου.

Πρὸ αὐτῆς ὀρθία μὲ ἀναμένει ἐκείνη καὶ μοὶ προτείνει μειδιῶσα τὸν μίτον. Φιλῶ τὴν χεῖρά της, τὸν ἀρπάζω καὶ χάνομαι.
Ἔτη παρῆλθον καὶ ἀκόμη πλανῶμαι. Ἐπὶ τέλους ἡ στιγμὴ πλησιάζει.


Μυκηθμοὶ καὶ γδοῦπος ὁπλῶν ἀντηχοῦν εἰς τὸ σκότος.
Ἀκατάσχετος ῥίπτομαι ὅπως συλλάβω τὸ θηρίον καὶ ἀναγορευθῶ νικητὴς εἰς τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦ βίου.
Ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῇ μέθῃ τοῦ δρόμου ἐθραύσθη καὶ τὸ νῆμα διέφυγε.

Βιαίως τὸ ἔσυρα ὅπως συντομεύσω τὰς στιγμάς;
Διὰ νὰ μὲ συγκρατήσῃ καὶ μὴ ἐκτεθῶ, ἐκείνη τὸ ἐκράτησε ἔξωθεν;
Αὐτὸ τοῦτο εὑρέθη μικρᾶς ἀντοχῆς; Ἀγνοῶ.




Τώρα οὔτε τὴν ἔξοδον νὰ ἐπανεύρω ἐλπίζω, οὐδὲ νὰ ἐπιτύχω τοῦ σκοποῦ μου τὴν ἐκτέλεσιν.
Ἀλλὰ σκιὰ μονήρης, παραπαίω εἰς τὰς ἀποπνικτικὰς σήραγγας τοῦ ἀχανοῦς Λαβυρίνθου.

 

Τυνησία, Χεντσίρ ελ Φαουάρ, περίπου 300 μ.Χ. Ο Λαβύρινθος του μωσαϊκού ευρίσκεται ακόμη in situ.  
Tunisia, Henchir el Faouar, dating circa. 300 AD. The Labyrinth mosaic floor is still found in situ.

 

 

Platon Rodokanakis was born in Smyrna in 1883. At an early age, he got ill and his family had to move to Kordelio, a beautiful seaside village near Smyrna. A student, still, he decided to become a priest and took up Theology at the the Theological School of Chalke. But the narcissism of his idiosyncrasy did not let him finish his studies. He decided to return to the world and, in his words "worship beauty". He moved to Athens where he worked as a bookstore assistant and a journalist for the newspaper Acropolis. In 1916 he was assigned to organize and found the Byzantine Museum of Thessaloniki and a year later he was put on the Head of the Byzantine Department for the Ministry of Education in Athens. He passed away on 1919 of tuberculosis. His main works where Cassock in Flames and Purple Rose. In his first work, De Profundis, the influence of Oscar Wilde is visible from the title already. Brief fragmental prose, with a tendency for sensuality and hedonism that is more than profound. His shift from Christianity to Paganism was already noted from the critics of his era. Tellos Agras wrote that "he began as a Jesus-to-be and ended up an Adonis" (Nea Hestia 32- 1942). An idiosyncrasy of pessimism yet adoration of the beautiful that was immense. And of course, a scandal and a lawsuit against his Purple Rose characterized his brief life.
After being accused of narrating the life of another writer and friend of his, Constantinos Christomanos, Rodokanakis rewrote his semi-autobiographical novel to avoid the charges of defamation and libellography.

 

 

 

 


Εἶμαι νέος. Θέλω καὶ δύναμαι νὰ ἀναδειχθῶ. Ῥίπτομαι εἰς τὴν πρώτην τυχοῦσαν εἴσοδον ὅπως ἐπιδείξω τὴν ἀνδρείαν μου. 

Πρὸ αὐτῆς ὀρθία μὲ ἀναμένει ἐκείνη καὶ μοὶ προτείνει μειδιῶσα τὸν μίτον. Φιλῶ τὴν χεῖρά της, τὸν ἀρπάζω καὶ χάνομαι. 
Ἔτη παρῆλθον καὶ ἀκόμη πλανῶμαι. Ἐπὶ τέλους ἡ στιγμὴ πλησιάζει.

Μυκηθμοὶ καὶ γδοῦπος ὁπλῶν ἀντηχοῦν εἰς τὸ σκότος. 
Ἀκατάσχετος ῥίπτομαι ὅπως συλλάβω τὸ θηρίον καὶ ἀναγορευθῶ νικητὴς εἰς τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦ βίου. 
Ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῇ μέθῃ τοῦ δρόμου ἐθραύσθη καὶ τὸ νῆμα διέφυγε. 

Βιαίως τὸ ἔσυρα ὅπως συντομεύσω τὰς στιγμάς; 
Διὰ νὰ μὲ συγκρατήσῃ καὶ μὴ ἐκτεθῶ, ἐκείνη τὸ ἐκράτησε ἔξωθεν; 
Αὐτὸ τοῦτο εὑρέθη μικρᾶς ἀντοχῆς; Ἀγνοῶ.

Τώρα οὔτε τὴν ἔξοδον νὰ ἐπανεύρω ἐλπίζω, οὐδὲ νὰ ἐπιτύχω τοῦ σκοποῦ μου τὴν ἐκτέλεσιν. 
Ἀλλὰ σκιὰ μονήρης, παραπαίω εἰς τὰς ἀποπνικτικὰς σήραγγας τοῦ ἀχανοῦς Λαβυρίνθου.

 

 

ARIADNE (1908)

I am young.  I want to and I am able to succeed. I buckle down to the first random entrance so as to demonstrate my bravery.

Before it standing up she awaits for me and smiling she offers me the ball of thread. I kiss her hand, I grab the ball of yarn and vanish.
Years have passed by and I still wander.   At last, the moment is approaching.  

 
Moans and the hollow sound, thud of hoofs echo in the darkness.
Relentlessly, I throw myself so as to capture the beast and be named a winner of the struggle of life.
But in the midst of intoxication of the path, the string breaks and escapes my hand.

Did I pull it violently in order to eliminate the moments?  
Did she hold it from the outside in order to hold me back so that I would not be exposed to failure?
Was this one string of little endurance? I don't know.
 
Now, neither do I hope to find the exit, nor do I hope to achieve my target. 
But a lonely shadow, I stagger into the musty tunnels of the vast Labyrinth.

(Translated by: Ilias Kolokouris - Spyridoula Papadatou)

 

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