Z213: Exit

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Z213: Exit
English edition
Author Dimitris Lyacos
Original title Ζ213: ΕΞΟΔΟΣ
Translator Shorsha Sullivan
Cover artist Gudrun Bielz
Country Greece
Language Greek
Genre World literature, Postmodernism
Publisher Shoestring Press
Publication date
Published in English
Pages 101
ISBN 1907356053

Z213: Exit is a book by the Greek writer Dimitris Lyacos.[1] The book is the first installment of the Poena Damni trilogy.


The work recounts, in what reads like a personal journal, in verse form as well as in postmodern poetic prose,[2] the wanderings of a man who escapes from a guarded building, in a nightmarish version of a post-Armageddon ambient. In the opening sections of the book, the narrator/protagonist flees from what seems like an imprisonment in a building consisting of wards and personnel and from where people are being inexplicably taken away to be thrown into pits.[3] The fugitive leaves the "camp" to get to the nearby train station and starts a journey he records in a "found" bible-like booklet which he turns into his diary. As the journey continues a growing sense of paranoia ensues and the idea of being pursued becomes an increasingly central preoccupation. There are no pursuers to be identified, however, in the course of the journey and the supposed hunt remains a mystery until the end.[4] The environment seems to allude to a decadent futuristic state of a totalitarian kind. The journey is mapped in an indeterminate way, though oblique references creating a feeling of a time/space vacuum. The narrator seems to be moving ahead while at the same time being engulfed in his own nightmarish fantasies.[5] Z213: Exit ends with a description of a sacrifice where the protagonist and a "hungry band feasting" roast a lamb on a spit, cutting and skinning its still bleating body and removing its entrails as if observing a sacred rite.[6] The mood is enhanced by the overriding waste-land setting, which could be (it is never explicit) the result of a war that has left the landscape in ruins. The general impression is reminiscent of a spiritual quest or an eschatological experience.[7]


The book is written in an almost telegraphic style omitting articles and conjunctions,[8] using the rhetorics of diary form; mainly colloquial, with violations and distortions of grammar. Fragmentation combines occasionally with lacunae to form a broken unstructured syntax, seemingly tight but leaving enough loopholes through which subconscious fears are expressed.


  1. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica. Greece, The arts
  2. ^ Manos Georginis, Verse Wisconsin, Issue 106, 2011
  3. ^ The Adirondack Review. Allison Elliott, Poena Damni Z213: Exit by Dimitris Lyacos
  4. ^ Manos Georginis, Verse Wisconsin, Issue 106, 2011
  5. ^ Decomp Magazine. Spencer Dew, Dimitris Lyacos' Z213: Exit. July 2011.
  6. ^ Cha An Asian Liteary Journal, Issue 13, February 2011. Michael O' Sullivan. A philosophy of exits and entrances: Dimitris Lyacos' Poena Damni, Z213 Exit
  7. ^ Manos Georginis, Verse Wisconsin, Issue 106, 2011
  8. ^ The Writing Disorder. Shorsha Sullivan, The art of translating. A note on translating Dimitris Lyacos's trilogy. 2012