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Christmas Book Decorations
30 November, 2022

It is common knowledge that apart from their reading and educational value, books are highly decorative and add glam, warmth and cosiness to every space, be it a shop window or a room in our house. This fact becomes even more relevant in christmas time as books can help booklovers decorate their house for the festive season using their books and enjoy a unique christmas atmosphere!

Here are some simple and easy diy ideas to turn your books into christmas decoration without ruining them! Happy holidays booklovers!

In Palaiovivliothiki-Karamouzas you can find a wide variety of second hand, vintage books in low prices suitable for decoration. Do not hesitate to contact us! Together we can design the perfect christmas book decoration!

How To Organise A Cosy Reading Retreat At Home!
26 October, 2022

Winter is so closely associated with cosy reading nights by the fire or not, that it is definitely the right season to organise your very own reading retreat! In these difficult times we need things to look forward to and it's not always possible to travel. So why not organise it at home? It seems to be the best way to escape for a while and what’s more it’s cheap, comfortable and at your disposal whenever you need it. 

A reading retreat is time set away from all duties to read books without distraction, an opportunity to hide from the real world for a few hours. You can grant yourself a bookish day or weekend at any time of the year, but an autumn or winter retreat is ideal. The months of September to February are ripe for absorbing new ideas and just cold enough to justify wrapping yourself up in blanket. You can be by yourself or in the company of other bibliophiles, which will give you the chance to read the same book and have a discussion afterwards.

You don't need a lot to create a bookish sanctuary at home and it can be as low-cost or as expensive as you want it to be. Buying second hand books from Palaiovivliothiki-Karamouzas means you can repeat the experience and even treat your friends to a book! The three essentials you need are: Time, a book and a place where you won’t be distracted! But first of all you need a plan! Here's 5 steps to help you organise the perfect reading retreat!


This seems obvious, but how many of us actually gift ourselves space to enjoy reading without interruption? We definitely don’t. There’s always something else to do! Weekends can be the best time, but taking a day off work for your bookish retreat can be really special. If you live with other people then the second option is also often a safer bet for peace and quiet. Once you’ve made a decision, put your date in the diary and stick to it. Let friends and family know you’ll be busy on that day.


To reduce the chances of a book slump on the actual day, we recommend lining up a few reading options. These could include: Short books, books you really want to read from your TBR pile, poetry collections, a classic novel you’ve always wanted to start. In Palaiovivliothiki-Karamouzas we can help you choose the perfect books! 


You don’t have to create anywhere specific for your bookish retreat, but setting up a small book nook will add to the experience. If you already have a favourite reading spot then maybe focus on this area. Add cushions and throws to make the space more comfortable and re-arrange lighting to suit. Use stacking tables to get your reading station sorted so eveything is in easy reach.


The sole aim of your reading retreat is to block out time for bookish pursuits so make sure you have everything on hand a few days beforehand. Here’s what to consider: Snacks, food and drink (as easy to make as possible). Takeaway is also an option! A notepad and pen to record ideas, sticky tabs to annotate pages, a scented candle for mood and playlists if you like to listen to music while you read.


Blocking out all distractions during your reading retreat is vitally important if you’re going to get the most out of your time to read. You can probably guess our top tip before we write it…switch your phone off! If you want to take photos then do a before and after – that way you’ll have a record of the day and a decent page count. Other distractions to avoid include tv, radio, laptops, PCs, tablets – anything with an internet connection and finally people who don't share your need for time to read!

Visit Palaiovivliothiki-Karamouzas and talk to our experts. They will guide you step by step to your very own reading retreat so as to get the most out of this experience!

Halloween Decoration and Spooky Books
28 September, 2022

There is no doubt that booklovers around the world love Halloween and everything that comes with that special holiday! Trick or treat, spooky decorations and horror books are all so appealing that we tend to celebrate Halloween for almost a month! And why not? The colors are perfect for automn and pumkins are just adorable!

Did you know that you can easily make paper pumkins either from scraps of paper or from newspapers and magazines? You can even upcycle damaged books instead of throwing them away! So, you can be both environmentally conscious and creative! You can find a lot of tutorials on the internet which explain the proceedure in simlpe steps. Why don't you have a go this year?


As so many people love to read horror novels, thrillers and detective stories, Halloween is the perfect excuse binge reading! Palaiovivliothiki has a great variety of such books and here are the links of 5 suggestions for this year's Halloween Season.

1. Graham Masterton - The Sleepless

2. Mo Hayder - Birdman

3. Collective - The Ashes Of Our Soul 

4. Thomas Harris - The Silence Of The Lambs

5. Dean Koontz - By The Light Of The Moon

Check out our proposals and find a lot more books in our horror, thriller and mystery sections in and our physical store! Place your orders by e-mail or call 2310 218049!

Have the spookiest Halloween!


Styling Ideas To Transform Your Bookshelves
3 September, 2022

September is here and it's the perfect time of the year to re-arrange your bookshelves and transforrm your home libraries. Automn and winter are definitely the seasons when you feel the need for a cosy reading nook which you can create next to your redecorated bookshelves.

In this blog post, we are going to give you 5 bookshelf styling ideas and multiple ways of how to set out your books. These displays can be adapted to include many different types of books. So, why style your bookshelves? Good question since there’s a purist school of thought according to which bookshelves should only be arranged by content - that is by author, subject or genre and when it comes to easy reference, this is certainly the best way. Needless to say that this is the way we arrange our books in Palaiovivliothiki but we are a bookstore with thousands of books and it can't be helped! When you arrange a home library there is no need to be so austere and booklovers all over the world can give you numerous reasons for styling bookshelves in visual ways:

Variety - You never get bored of the way your books look.

Appreciation of Art - Book artwork remains hidden when books are arranged by spines. Reframing your book collection can highlight hidden beauty. 

Rediscovering Your Own Books - If you have a sizeable book collection then it’s easy to overlook or forget certain titles. You’re more likely to resdicover hidden gems by occasionally re-arranging your bookshelves

Highlighting Themes According To Your Current Mood - You can highlight themes that you are currently fond of, using covers, colours and book stacking methods creating a cosy atmosphere.

Highlighting Colors For Purposes Of Interior Design - A thoughtfully-styled feature bookshelf can transform the design and mood of a room. Minimalist inspires simplicity, monochrome sparks the intellect, rainbow lights up a sombre corner, pastel relaxes and you can even style your bookshelves to match the season... pumkins, christmas decorations, snowflakes, flowers and plants, sea shells! There is literally no end to what you can decorate your shelves with!

Here are 5 styling ideas that will transform your home libraries!






Tell us in the comment section which one is your favourite and make your own suggestions! Don't forget that we are experts in book arranging and shelf organizing, so do not hesitate to ask for advice. Palaiovivliothiki - Old Books Karamouzas is a bookshelf heaven!

A 50,000-word novel without the letter 'E'
31 July, 2022

Imagine writing a 50,000-word novel without using the letter 'e'. That might seem a rather pointless challenge but you can actually read such a book because somebody took the trouble writing it.

Gadsby is a 1939 novel by Ernest Vincent Wright which does not include any words that contain the letter E, the most common letter in English. A work that deliberately avoids certain letters is known as a lipogram. The plot revolves around the dying fictional city of Branton Hills, which is revitalized as a result of the efforts of protagonist John Gadsby and a youth organizer.

Though vanity published and little noticed in its time, the book has since become a favorite of fans of constrained writing and is a sought-after rarity among some book collectors. Later editions of the book have sometimes carried the alternative subtitle 50,000 Word Novel Without the Letter "E".

Apparently, 'e' is the most common letter to cast aside for such challenges and that means the author cannot use words such as 'the', 'he', 'she', 'have', and 'they'. Wright did not use abbreviations, such as Mr., where the full word contains the letter 'e'. He avoided using numerals written as words so there are no numbers between six and thirty. Wright admits the story overuses the word 'said' as 'replied' and 'asked' could not be used. He also avoids the past tense which would require the use of -ed.

Wright struggled to find a publisher for the book, and eventually used Wetzel Publishing Co., a self publishing company. A 2007 post on the Bookride blog about rare books says a warehouse holding copies of Gadsby burned shortly after the book was printed, destroying "most copies of the ill fated novel". The blog post says the book was never reviewed "and only kept alive by the efforts of a few avant garde French intellos and assorted connoisseurs of the odd, weird and zany". The book's scarcity and oddness has seen original copies priced at $4,000 to $7,500 by book dealers. Wright died the same year of publication, 1939.

Browsing through the shelves of Palaiovivliothiki means that you can come across the most peculiar, odd and rare findings and it is certain that you will see books and magazines you have never seen or known that existed! Come visit and have a unique experience!

Eco - conscious book buying
6 July, 2022

If you love books, it’s sometimes hard to strike the right balance between supporting booksellers, authors and publishing houses, while also lowering your carbon impact on the planet. However, in the light of our growing climate crisis, one thing is sure, we can no longer continue to consume in the same quantities – or accept a no-holds barred approach to book production. 

Let’s start with the basics. In his book, How Bad Are Bananas  (published in 2010) Mike Berners Lee estimates that the average 250pp paperback book has a footprint of 1kg CO2e average (in the middle of a scale between using recycled paper and virgin paper, varying paginations and taking pulping into account).

E-readers have a larger footprint than physical books. Berners-Lee calculates the production carbon load of creating a reader at approximately 50kg. This is before electricity, and IT usage are taken into account. The factor of the short life span of technological devices and e-readers only really makes this unpleasant truth even worse.

It's fair to say that used books are even better for the environment than new ones. As a matter of fact, buying secondhand books is the most eco-conscious way to acquire books (after swapping with family and friends, and library borrowing)

To keep within the Paris Climate Agreement and limit the global temperature to a rise of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, individuals will need to cut their ENTIRE annual carbon emissions to 2.3 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030, a decrease of 50%.

Needless to say we have to turn to more ethical ways of buying books and secondhand bookstores are by far the best option. We can no longer turn a blind eye to overproduction of new books nor are we justified hoarding free books that publishers send out for promotion because, guess what? Nobody loves an influencer who doesn't love the Earth.

In conclusion, buying used books is the only way to read a lot, create our own cherished book collection and care for the environment. We shop in secondhand bookstores and make ethical buys a way of life.

Read responsibly

This May Is Full Of Gifts
2 May, 2022

Follow us on Instagram and win 100,00 euros worth of books!

10 Old, Greek Easter Traditions
27 March, 2022

Wherever in Greece you travel to spend Easter Holiday, you are sure to witness customs and traditions that go back a very long time!

Google Customer Reviews
28 February, 2022

We are extremely proud of the reviews our bookstore is getting on Google!

 Our physical shop may be around for over 40 years but our website and our online presence are not even one year old so it is extremely satisfying for us to see that our hard work and our efforts do not go unnoticed! We are deeply touched by every kind review and we feel ready to undertake the responsibility of keeping our customers happy and our bookstore a place that lives up to their expectations. We love books, we know books and we are commited to spreading our knowledge and love to booklovers everywhere!

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

Read our customers' reviews on our Google page and we will appreciate it if you leave one too!

Google Page Old Books Karamouzas

Reading Goals: Do they help?
28 December, 2021

Setting a reading goal at the beginning of a new year is a common practice among booklovers, especially those who are active members of book communities which thrive nowadays both on social media and the internet. But deciding on a number of books can be unrealistic as well as stressful. There are lots of people who actually count the books they read trying to reach the specific number they set and as a result they share their progress with every single book they read. It is not uncommon to see book presentations or reviews numbered 15/60 meaning that it is the 15th book out of a reading goal of 60.

There are quite many things that are wrong in this reading approach. First of all, it creates unnecessary competitiveness among members of book communities. In fact, competition is so fierce that it is rather unsuitable for a habit that is supposed to be noble and self-impoving. Moreover, reading becomes stressful and boring as the constant worry to reach a goal deprives it of the pleasure and knowledge it gives. It's a surefire way to turn an hour of happiness into a chore. Last but not least, unrealistic reading goals can make us miserable once we realize that we cannot reach them. Reading is supposed to be fun and there is absolutely no reason to make it a disappointment especially now when we all live in difficult and precarious times.

We should also ask ourselves whether reading goals actually help us read more or not. I have always found that when I read in a relaxed and casual way I end up reading more and better books. Because I choose them according to my mood and the things that interest me in any given moment and consequently I get more out of reading. No rush, no stress, just joy!

Despina Karamouza

The Christmas Solution
7 December, 2021

Find our unique Gift Cards and get rid of the trouble to choose books for other people!

The Accessories Of A Booklover
23 October, 2021

There are a lot of bookish accessories that make reading more fun! We made a list for you!



*Book Covers

*Book Stands

*Reading Lights

*Book Holders

*Magnifying Reading Glass

*Ecological Tote Bags

Make sure to check our Gift Shop for vintage, handmade bookmarks! Then grab your tote bag and visit our bookstore!

Palaiovivliothiki and Thessaloniki International Fair
16 September, 2021

Take a look at our awarded window display which won first prize in 2013 a competition regarding window displays dedicated to Thessaloniki International Fair! Among other things we displayed the book - catalogue of the very first TIF which took place in 1926!

Then, in 2016, ninety years after the first TIF, we ourelves took part with our own stand, thus giving thousands of visitors the opportunity to admire the rare and precious catalogue. 

We hope thai in 2026 we will be there again! Meanwhile, the catalogue is not kept in the bookstore but in another place with all our old and rare books.

Jo Nesbo on his favorite Harry Hole novels
30 July, 2021

In this video the successful Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo reveals his own favorite Harry Hole novels in terms of writing pleasure. Three books which have also contributed to the evolution of his writing style.

Which is your favorite Harry Holle book? Leave a comment!

Find thousands of literature books, crime novels and Scandinavian crime literature in Palaiovivliothiki Karamouzas! Together with Jo Nesbo's best selling Harry Hole adventures in low prices.The biggest second hand and antique bookstore! 

Why choose second hand books?
9 July, 2021

They have a lot of names ( second hand books, used books, thrift books, cheap books, preloved books, stock books ) and there are many reasons why we should prefer them!

The second hand philosophy is not new. It is an attitude towards life closely related to human personality traits. Romantic disposition, curiosity, a need to connect the past with the present and the excitement one gets from discovering little treasures while shopping in a second hand bookstore. 

And there is more! The knowledge that bying second hand books helps our culture and civilization as well as the environment is profoundly rewarding. Not to mention that it saves us money and gives us the opportunity to read more books.

There is another reason for shopping in Palaiovivliothiki - Old Books Karamouzas. You can find new books, in pristine condition at very low prices! That is because not all our books are used in the classic sense of the word. The majority of them comes from other bookstores and publishing houses that have gone out of business, so they are not really used. There are, of course, books we have acquired from households after careful selection as far as their condition is concerned. 

Some times, inside the same store, second hand books have other properties and characteristics and as a result, different names. We call them old books, rare books, collectible books, hard to find books, antique books! We take pride in being the biggest modern second hand and antique bookstore in Greece since we can satisfy every desire!

Bookshop Tour
15 June, 2021

Hey booklovers!

We love bookstores and we give you a tour to introduce you to some unique ones around the globe. Whether they sell second hand books or not, they are true gems which deserve a visit!

Check our Instagram account and discover all the fascinating bookstores of the world in our Highlight called #bookshoptour. We created this hashtag in order to promote beautiful independent bookstores around the world and give you the chance to know them!

We ackowledge and support the difficult task that our fellow booksellers have taken on. We urge you to do the same! Bookstores around the world need your support! Visit our instagram account and take the tour of our highlight. It will be an amazing experience!

Five surprising facts about books!
30 May, 2021

1) Liking the smell of books is a recognized thing, there’s even a word for it! If one of the first things you do when you get a new book is smell the pages, you’re not alone. The act of smelling books is called “bibliosmia”, it’s actually pretty common.

2) There is a chemical reaction behind the smell of old books. Some people particularly love the smell of old books.“Old book smell” is produced by the breakdown of two chemical components in paper, cellulose and lignin. The byproducts of this process are toluene and ethylbenzene (which produce a sweet odor), vanillin (which produces a vanilla odor), benzaldehyde and furfural (which produce an almond odor), and 2-ethylhexanol which produces a flowery odor.

3) 'Old book smell' can be used for historical dating. Much like with carbon-dating, scientists can analyze the chemicals responsible for “old book smell” to determine the age of a book.  The process is called “material degradomics”.

4) In the Harvard Library, there are three books suspected to be bound in human skin. One of Harvard Library’s books, Des destinées de l’ame, is 99.9% certain to have been bound in human skin. It has been sitting in Harvard’s Houghton Library since the 1930s.The practice of binding books in human skin was not at all uncommon in the 15th century, and was done to commemorate the dead, among other reasons.

5The longest-ever book title consists of over 3,700 words. Written by Vityala Yethindra and released on 20 March 2019, the title of The Historical Development of the Heart… is made up of  26,000 characters! It is so long mainly because the author decided to enlist all the different species the book mentions, as well as ask over 50 different questions the book provides answers to, and include both in the title. 

Booklovers And Social Media #2
25 April, 2021

Booklovers And Social Media #2

Booklovers And Social Media #1
7 February, 2021

Booklovers And Social Media #1

Surviving 2021 with the help of books!
6 January, 2021

Books that can help us through 2021

How Many Books Do We Have At Home?
30 December, 2020

Γράφει η Νατάσα Καραμουζά.

Το διάβασμα είναι όπως η τροφή και το νερό. Το πνεύμα που δεν διαβάζει χάνει βάρος, όπως ένα σώμα που δεν τρώει , έγραψε ο μεγάλος Γάλλος συγγραφέας Βίκτωρ Ουγκό. Πόσο όμως διαβάζουμε και πως η βιβλιοθήκη του σπιτιού μας επηρεάζει την ανάπτυξή μας ως παιδιά και ως ενήλικες ;

Σε έρευνα που δημοσιεύθηκε, επιστήμονες του Australian National University και του University of Nevada μελέτησαν τις επιπτώσεις που έχει ο αριθμός των βιβλίων που υπάρχουν στο σπίτι όπου μεγαλώνει ένα παιδί στη μετέπειτα ανάπτυξή του. Βρήκαν, λοιπόν, ότι υπάρχει μεγάλη συσχέτιση ανάμεσα στα δύο. Διαπίστωσαν ότι ένας ενήλικος που μεγάλωσε σε σπίτι με περισσότερα από 80 βιβλία και τελείωσε το γυμνάσιο έχει περίπου τις ίδιες ικανότητες γραφής και ανάγνωσης, κατανόησης κειμένου και χρήσης αριθμών με έναν ενήλικο που μεγάλωσε σε σπίτι με λιγότερα βιβλία και έχει πτυχίο πανεπιστημίου. Κι από ό,τι αποδεικνύεται, όσο περισσότερα βιβλία υπάρχουν στο σπίτι (μέχρι ένα όριο – πάνω από τα 350 δεν μοιάζει να υπάρχει επιπλέον επίπτωση) τόσο εξυπνότερα και καλύτερα καταρτισμένα βγαίνουν τα παιδιά. Οι ερευνητές πήραν στοιχεία από 31 χώρες για να φτάσουν στα συμπεράσματά τους, καταγράφοντας για παράδειγμα ότι το μέσο σπιτικό στην Τσεχία έχει 186 βιβλία, ότι το 14% των Νορβηγών έχει πάνω από 500 βιβλία στο σπίτι και ότι το 60% των σπιτιών στην Τουρκία έχει «περίπου 5» βιβλία.

Στην Ελλάδα ο μέσος όρος των βιβλίων που έχουμε στο σπίτι είναι, λέει, 62. Το 60% των σπιτιών έχει λιγότερα από 20. Μόνο 2% έχουν περισσότερα από 500.

Πολλοί επικαλούνται το κόστος για να δικαιολογήσουν την έλλειψη βιβλίων στα σπίτια τους. Στην εποχή μας, όμως, υπάρχει η δυνατότητα να επιλέξουμε φθηνά, μεταχειρισμένα βιβλία και να γεμίσουμε τη βιβλιοθήκη μας!

Ας βάλουμε λοιπόν βιβλία στο σπίτι μας, ας μυήσουμε τα παιδιά μας από μικρά στο διάβασμα κι ας επωφεληθούμε όλοι από τη μαγεία της ανάγνωσης !

'Τα Σταφύλια της Oργής' του John Steinbeck
19 October, 2020

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Καθόλου τυχαία η επιλογή του συγκεκριμένου βιβλίου, αφού διανύουμε ένα θλιβερό Σεπτέμβρη στην Ελλάδα όπου και η οργή ξεχειλίζει και τα σταφύλια είναι άφθονα. Στην πραγματικότητα δε μας χωρίζουν και πολλά απ’ το συγκλονιστικό μυθιστόρημα του John Steinbeck (1902-1968) «Tα Σταφύλια της Οργής», το οποίο, τοποθετημένο τη δεκαετία του ’30-εποχή της Μεγάλης  Ύφεσης- περιγράφει με αδυσώπητο ρεαλισμό τη σκληρή μοίρα της οικογένειας Joad. Διωγμένοι απ’ τον τόπο τους λόγω της παρατεταμένης ξηρασίας που είχε ως αποτέλεσμα το πρωτοφανές φαινόμενο dust bowl – το έδαφος να παρασύρεται από τον άνεμο κι εκατομμύρια στρέμματα να γίνονται κυριολεκτικά σκόνη- παίρνουν το δρόμο της μετανάστευσης μαζί με χιλιάδες «Okies», οικογένειες απ’ την Οκλαχόμα και άλλες γειτονικές πολιτείες, προς την εύφορη Καλιφόρνια ακολουθώντας την περίφημη και πολυτραγουδισμένη Route 66. Όταν μετά από ανείπωτα δεινά και κακουχίες φτάνουν στη «Γη της Επαγγελίας» η Καλιφόρνια τους απογοητεύει και τα σταφύλια της αποδεικνύονται μάλλον «ξινά».

Το μυθιστόρημα του Steinbeck πρωτοεκδόθηκε το 1939 και ο Αμερικανός συγγραφέας κέρδισε και το National Book Award και το Pulitzer, ενώ ειδική μνεία έγινε στο συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο όταν του απονεμήθηκε το Nobel Λογοτεχνίας το 1962. Παρ’ όλες τις αντιδράσεις που προκάλεσε η επιλογή του Steinbeck απ’ τη σουηδική επιτροπή, το βιβλίο διδάσκεται στα σχολεία και πανεπιστήμια της Αμερικής για τις ιστορικές αναφορές του σε μια από τις πιο δύσκολες περιόδους της Αμερικανικής ιστορίας. Γυρίστηκε επίσης ταινία από τον John Ford με πρωταγωνιστή το Henry Fonda και βρίσκεται στο νούμερο 7 του καταλόγου της «Le Monde» με τα 100 βιβλία του αιώνα. Ευτυχώς κυκλοφορεί ευρέως και στη Ελλάδα… με κυρίαρχη την εξαιρετική μετάφραση του Κοσμά Πολίτη.

Ο Steinbeck είναι ταυτόχρονα απλός και βαθύς, λεπτομερής και αφαιρετικός, ευκολοδιάβαστος και συγκλονιστικός και παρά τη σπάνια αισθητική του, την εκλεκτική χρήση της γλώσσας και την τολμηρή και γλαφυρή αφήγησή του καταφέρνει να είναι τόσο λαϊκός ώστε ν’ απευθύνεται σ’ ένα ευρύτατο, παγκόσμιο και διαχρονικό κοινό… γιατί παντού στον κόσμο οι φτωχοί έχουν την ίδια μοίρα και τα «Σταφύλια της Οργής» -στην ουσία βιβλίο πολιτικό- δείχνει το άσχημο πρόσωπο του καπιταλισμού, το ξεκλήρισμα των μικρών ιδιοκτητών γης από τις τράπεζες και την απάνθρωπη εκμετάλλευση των εργατών απ’ τους μεγάλους γαιοκτήμονες.

Δε χρειάζεται να είναι κανείς μάντης για να προβλέψει ότι αυτό το μυθιστόρημα θα είναι για πάντα επίκαιρο, χρειάζεται όμως να το διαβάσει κανείς, για ν’ αφυπνιστεί και να βγει απ’ το λήθαργο, να συγκινηθεί απ’ την αδικία και να συγκλονιστεί απ’ τη διαπίστωση ότι… «δεν μπορείς να φοβίσεις με κανέναν τρόπο κάποιον του οποίου τα παιδιά πεινάνε. Έχει ήδη γνωρίσει το μεγαλύτερο φόβο».

*Βρείτε μια μεγάλη ποικιλία από μεταχειρισμένα βιβλία του Τζον Στάϊνμπεκ στην Παλαιοβιβλιοθήκη της Θεσσαλονίκης! Το μεγαλύτερο και πιο οργανωμένο παλαιοβιβλιοπωλείο της Ελλάδας τώρα και στο διαδίκτυο!

'Επικίνδυνη Συμπόνια' του Stefan Zweig
12 October, 2020

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Μπορεί ο οίκτος να γίνει επικίνδυνος; Κινδυνεύουμε αλήθεια απ’ την πολύ συμπόνια ή μήπως είναι άλλα τα συναισθήματα που, μεταμφιεσμένα σε συμπόνια, έχουν τη δύναμη να μας αποτελειώσουν;

Την απάντηση έχει ο Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) στο αριστουργηματικό βιβλίο ‘Επικίνδυνη Συμπόνια’, που ενώ γράφτηκε πριν από το Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, εκτυλίσσεται πριν απ’ τον Πρώτο και περιγράφει σπαρακτικά τη βασανιστική προδοσία της τιμής και του έρωτα με φόντο τη διάλυση της Αυστρο - Ουγγρικής Αυτοκρατορίας. Ο Zweig, συγγραφέας μεγάλου διαμετρήματος, εκμεταλλεύεται με μαεστρία μια ανθρώπινη στιγμιαία γκάφα για ν’ ανοίξει την πόρτα της σκοτεινής ανθρώπινης φύσης και να σκιαγραφήσει ένα πορτραίτο συναισθηματικού εκβιασμού κι ενοχών.

Ο νεαρός, ταπεινής καταγωγής, υπολοχαγός Hofmiller καλεσμένος στη χοροεσπερίδα ενός πλούσιου και ισχυρού Ούγγρου αριστοκράτη θεωρεί καθήκον του να χορέψει με την κόρη του οικοδεσπότη αλλά η νεαρή Edith είναι καθηλωμένη λόγω παράλυσης κι ο υπολοχαγός κατακλύζεται από οίκτο για την άτυχη κοπέλα. Μέχρι να καταλάβει ο Hofmiller σε τι μπελάδες θα τον βάλει η λεπτή ηδονή του οίκτου, όμοια με συναισθηματικό δηλητήριο, η εύθραυστη και συνάμα μακιαβελική Edith, που στην αρχή παίρνει τον οίκτο για έρωτα, τον κρατάει κοντά της εκμεταλλευόμενη το πρόβλημά της. Τελικά η ζωή και ο οίκτος θα φανούν οι πιο δυνατοί παίκτες στην ιστορία που δεν έχει καλό τέλος, μια και τα χρήματα του πατέρα της δε φέρνουν τη γιατρειά και την ευτυχία, ενώ ο Hofmiller παγιδεύεται για πάντα στη δειλία του. Γιατί το μεγαλύτερο κακό στον κόσμο δε γίνεται από τη βαρβαρότητα αλλά από την αδυναμία, αυτόν το μισό οίκτο που δε φτάνει μέχρι την τελική θυσία.

Το μοναδικό μυθιστόρημα του πολυταξιδεμένου αυστριακού διηγηματογράφου, θεατρικού συγγραφέα, μεταφραστή, δημοσιογράφου και βιογράφου Zweig έχει μεταφραστεί σε πολλές γλώσσες και με πολλούς τίτλους. Στην Ελλάδα πρωτοκυκλοφόρησε το 1945 από τις Εκδόσεις των Φίλων με τον τίτλο ‘Ανυπόμονη Καρδιά, αργότερα απ’ τον Γκοβόστη με τίτλο ‘Επικίνδυνη Συμπόνια’ και πολύ πρόσφατα απ’ τις εκδόσεις Άγρα που επέλεξαν να το επαναφέρουν στην αγορά μέσω της πρώτης αλλά εξαιρετικής κι αγέραστης μετάφρασης της Μιμίκας Κρανάκη με τίτλο ‘Επικίνδυνος Οίκτος’.

Μ’ όποιον τίτλο κι αν διαβάσετε αυτήν την υπέροχη σκιαγραφία χαρακτήρων που παρακμάζουν και καταρρέουν μαζί με την Ευρώπη των δύο πολέμων, θα διαπιστώσετε ότι υπάρχουν δύο ειδών  συμπόνιες… η μια αδύναμη κι αισθηματική, δεν είναι στην πραγματικότητα παρά η ανυπομονησία της καρδιάς να διώξει, όσο πιο γρήγορα γίνεται, τη θλίψη που νιώθει μπροστά στη δυστυχία των άλλων. Αυτή δεν είναι αληθινή συμπόνια αλλά μια ενστικτώδης υπεράσπιση της ψυχής από τον ξένο πόνο. Η άλλη, η μόνη που αξίζει, δεν είναι αισθηματική, μα δημιουργική συμπόνια που ξέρει τι θέλει, κι είναι αποφασισμένη να υποστεί τα πάντα… ως τα έσχατα όρια της ανθρώπινης αντοχής κι ακόμα πιο πέρα. Απλά, ο ήρωας του Zweig διαλέγει την επικίνδυνη συμπόνια και μαθαίνει ότι κανένα έγκλημα δεν ξεχνιέται όσο βρίσκεται στη συνείδησή μας.

*Βρείτε μια μεγάλη ποικιλία από μεταχειρισμένα βιβλία του Στέφαν Τσβάιχ στην Παλαιοβιβλιοθήκη της Θεσσαλονίκης! Το μεγαλύτερο και πιο οργανωμένο παλαιοβιβλιοπωλείο της Ελλάδας τώρα και στο διαδίκτυο!