Christos Christovasilis

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Christos Christovasilis
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Born c. 1861
Soulopoulo, Zitsa, Epirus, Ottoman Empire
Died 1937
Ioannina, Greece
Occupation Journalist, author

Christos Christovasilis (Greek: Χρήστος Χρηστοβασίλης; c. 12 March 1861 – 26 August 1937) was a Greek journalist and author, representative of Greek pastoral literature. He was a collector of rural and folk material[1] and one of the most important figures in the literature of Epirus in late 19th-early 20th century.[2]

Life[edit]

Christovasilis was born in the village of Soulopoulo, Zitsa, Epirus, then in the Ottoman Empire.[3] As a teenager he ran away from school in order to join the Epirus revolt of 1878, and participated in the guerilla operations near Sarandë.[3] As a result he was twice arrested by the Ottoman authorities and sentenced to death, but he managed to escape. In 1885 he moved to Athens, where he studied, compiled and published several works on Greek history.[1] In December 1889 he won the literary competition of the Athenian newspaper Acropolis, with his countryside tale Pastoral new year. He subsequently decided to devote himself to journalism and literature.[4] When the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) ended and most of Epirus became part of Greece, he moved to Ioannina and published a newspaper named Ελευθερία ("Freedom").[1] In 1924, he became a member of the administrative committee of the Educational Club (Εκπαιδευτικός Όμιλος) of Ioannina. together with other prominent figures of Epirus, such as Georgios Hatzis.[5] Additionally, in 1936 he published the cultural magazine Epirote Leaves. Christovasilis was twice elected as a member of the Greek Parliament.[1]

Work[edit]

Christovasilis was a collector of rural and folk material and one of the main representatives of Greek pastoral literature of that era.[6][7] He wrote his works in the Demotic (vernacular) language, which he called "koine of the future".[8] His work was inspired by high degree of patriotism aimed against Ottoman rule. Christovassilis best prose is gathered in the Stories of Exile (1889) and in Stories from the Stockyard (1898), a compilation of eleven stories inspired from his rural childhood.[1] Additionally, in 1901 he published the Tales of the Mountain and the Valley, which earned him another literary prize, promulgated by the supporter of the Demotic language, Ioannis Psycharis.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Merry p. 72
  2. ^ Sakellariou, 1997: 409
  3. ^ a b Χρήστος Χρηστοβασίλης. National Book Centre of Greece. Greek Ministry of Culture. (Greek)
  4. ^ Merry p. 84
  5. ^ Sakellariou, 1997: p. 411
  6. ^ Jelavich Charles, Jelavich Barbara (2006). The Balkans in Transition. University of California Press. p. 251. 
  7. ^ Peckham, Robert Shannan (2001). National histories, natural states: nationalism and the politics of place in Greece. I.B.Tauris. pp. 57, 58, 75. ISBN 978-1-86064-641-6. 
  8. ^ Pappageotes, George Christos (1977). Modern Greek reader: Demotic. s.n. p. 111. 

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