Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Petrakis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Petrakis. Show all posts

28 December, 2012

Harry Mark Petrakis, "Dark Eye"

I found, in my favorite used book store, the collected stories of Harry Mark Petrakis, an author I've never read before. The first story in the collection, "Dark Eye," is written in first person point-of-view and past tense.

A Greek immigrant, the father of the narrator, experiences trouble acclimating and moving forward with the changing times. He had been a celebrated Karaghiozis (traditional Greek shadow puppets) puppeteer in Greece but in the United States no one was interested and he fell into alcoholic depression. The long-suffering wife remained loyal and the young son bore the brunt of their frustrations.

The theme of the story is grief and loss. The father grieves for the past; the mother grieves for the past before her husband became an alcoholic. Thinking about grief after reading this story makes me think that grief, long-term grief, is the inability or desire to accept change and the wish to move forward.

When the father dies, he resembles the puppet character Karaghiozis which translates to Dark Eye.

This collection begins each story with a short essay by the author about what prompted the story.

One of my favorite lines: "And in his frenzy his voice altered, becoming shrill and hoarse, taunting and pleading, demanding and denouncing, as if all the myriad tongues of the Karaghiozis players were crying through his lips."

biography on Petrakis's web page
Recycled Books and Records