Πλάτων Ροδοκανάκης : De Profundis - Τὸ Ἰδανικὸν, Νύξ - Πηνελόπη

June 27, 2019


Pehr Gabriel Wickenberg, Oedipus och Antigone (1833)


Οἰδίπους ἡ ψυχὴ μου ἔκπτωτος, πλανᾶται ὑπὸ τὰς κατάρας καὶ τοὺς ἐμπαιγμοὺς τοῦ πεπρωμένου.
Θὰ ἐκρημνίζετο εἰς τὰ χαώδη βάραθρα τῆς πείρας καὶ τῆς ἀπογοητεύσεως, τυφλὴ ὡς εἶναι καὶ ἀδύνατος,
ἂν μία Ἀντιγόνη τρυφερά, δὲν ἤρχετο νὰ τὴν χειραγωγήσῃ ἀσφαλῶς.


Oedipus is my soul overthrown/fallen, lingering under the curses and mockery of destiny.
It would collapse into the chaotic abyss of experience and dismay, blind as is it is and weak,
(had it not been for) if an Antigone tender, did not come to lead my soul safely by the hand.



John William WaterhousePenelope and the Suitors (1912). Pre-Raphaelite (influence on British Aestheticism)

Ιωάννης Ουίλλιαμ Ουότερχαους, Η Πηνελόπη και οι Μνηστήρες (1912). Προραφαηλίτες (επιρροή στον Βρετανικό Αισθητισμό)


Οἱ χρυσοχίτωνες ἥλιοι, ὡς μνηστῆρες περὶ τὴν σεμνὴν περιφέρονται νύμφην.
Ἀλλ᾽ ἐκείνη καθ᾽ ἑκάστην ἑσπέραν τὸν μαῦρον ὑφαίνει ἱστὸν καὶ ὑπόσχεται.
Εἰς τὸν ἀπόντα ἥρωα πιστή, διαλύει τὸν πέπλον κατὰ πᾶσαν πρωΐαν.
- Ἀναμένει τὴν ἐπάνοδον τοῦ συζύγου της Χάους.
Ὅπως ἀποσύρῃ τὸν κεστὸν ἀπὸ τὴν ἄδρακτον.
Διὰ νὰ σαβανώσῃ τὴν Δημιουργίαν.


The golden cloaked suns, as suitors they roam around the humble bride.
But every single evening/ evetide the black she weaves web/ shroud and promises.
To the absent hero loyal, she dissolves the veil through every morning.
- She awaits the return of her husband, Chaos.
So as to remove the ornament/ girdle from the spindle.
So as to shroud Creation. 

Παράβαλε: Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι, Θεογονία - Ἡσίοδος.

510 B.C. Attic red-figured amphora, depicting Penelope weaving on the loom in presence  of Telemachus.
National Archaeological Museum of Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy.

510 π. Χ. Αττικός ερυθρόμορφος αμφορέας, απεικονίζει την Πηνελόπη να υφαίνει στον αργαλειό, παρουσία του Τηλεμάχου.
Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Κιούζι, Τοσκάνη, Ιταλία.

(Translated by : Ilias Kolokouris)
Copyright: Greek Texts : © Academy of Athens, Ίδρυμα Κώστα και Ελένης Ουράνη. 
English Translation: © The Paideia Institute & Ilias Kolokouris



Ροδοκανάκης Πλάτων, Αφηγήματα, επιμ. Αθανασόπουλος Β., Αθήνα: Ίδρυμα Κώστα και Ελένης Ουράνη 2010.


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.




Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.