Portrait of a Greek Imagination: An Ethnographic Biography of Andreas Nendakis

Portrait of a Greek Imagination: An Ethnographic Biography of Andreas Nendakis

by Michael Herzfeld




Anthropologist Michael Herzfeld first met Greek novelist Andreas Nenedakis in the drafty courtyard of a public library. This encounter led to an enduring intellectual relationship that prompted Herzfeld to reconsider both the contours of fiction and the nature of anthropology. Portrait of a Greek Imagination, part biography and part ethnography, is Herzfeld's contextualization of Nenedakis's life, as it was both lived and fictionalized.

Herzfeld explores how personal vision intersects with national cultures by examining the Greek author's novels and recollections as historical accounts. Bringing together the methods of the novelist and the anthropologist in their common concern with both social and lived experience, Herzfeld shows how different perspectives shape the historical record. Nenedakis has endured persecution, exile, imprisonment, and torture under Greece's military dictatorship, and his novels—excerpted here in English for the first time—offer an individual version of historical events. As one of his characters ask, "For was not his life, and are not the lives of all of us, a novel?"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226329093
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 01/28/1998
Series: Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion Ser.
Edition description: 1
Pages: 342
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Herzfeld is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and has taught at several other universities worldwide. He is the author of many books. 

Table of Contents

1: Anticipations
2: Provincial Beginnings
3: Crete, Athens, the World
4: Disillusionments of Exile
5: Sentence of Death, Rebuilding the Life
6: Hand to Mouth: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
7: Sordid Power: Colonels and Exiles
8: From the Cretan War to a Battle of Books
9: Painting an Ethnographic Portrait

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