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Dimitris Lyacos



Dimitris Lyacos is a contemporary Greek poet and playwright.[1] He is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy. Lyacos's work is characterised by its genre-defying form and the avant-garde[2] combination of themes from literary tradition with elements from ritual, religion, philosophy and anthropology[3]. The trilogy interchanges prose, drama and poetry in a fractured narrative that reflects some of the principal motifs of the Western Canon.[4][5][6] Despite its length - the overall text counts no more than two hundred pages - the work took over a period of thirty years to complete,[6][7][8] with the individual books revised and republished in different editions during this period and arranged around a cluster of concepts including the scapegoat, the quest, the return of the dead, redemption, physical suffering, mental illness. Lyacos’s characters are always at a distance from society as such,[9] fugitives, like the narrator of Z213: Exit, outcasts in a dystopian hinterland like the characters in With the People from the Bridge, or marooned, like the protagonist of The First Death whose struggle for survival unfolds on a desert-like island. Poena Damni has been construed as an "allegory of unhappiness" together with works of authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Thomas Pynchon[10][11] and has been acknowledged as an exponent of the postmodern sublime[12] as well as one of the notable anti-utopian works of the 21st century.[13][14]

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