Since 1961, when Vassilis Vassilikos’s novella The Plant was first published, the three works known collectively as Trilogy (The Plant, The Well, and The Angel) have been translated into dozens of languages. A milestone in Modern Greek Literature, Trilogy is a modernist long-seller spanning almost fifty years of modern Greece. Half a century after the first edition of this bold, political work of fiction, Topos Books is proud to present the definitive literary edition of theTrilogy, including critical reviews offering context for this masterpiece, extensive bibliography, photographs, and a detailed timeline of the work’s publication, in Greek and in translation.
In The Plant, nature takes its revenge on the hapless residents of an apartment building who acquiesce to its destruction. In The Well, the earth takes its revenge on those who disregard it by promoting the delusion of technology. In The Angel, life exacts its revenge on those who invest on the promise of another life, whether that “other” life is metaphysical or a life invested on socialist visions.
The Plant is a manifesto worthy of the boldest environmental statements; The Well is a prophetic parody of the post-industrial age with echoes of Dante’s Purgatory; The Angel is a daring denouncement of the capitalist world as a fraud. This trilogy represents the peak of Vassilis Vassilikos’s literary oeuvre. Together with Z, it made his name in France and the rest of Europe. First published in 1961, The Plant, The Well, The Angel was soon translated into several languages and won lasting acclaim.
Writing under the influence of the militant literature that swept Europe after the Second World War, the author attacks many aspects of the social establishment. He uses a new technique to create a sense of fluidity around characters and situations that appeal to contemporary readers. There is an atmosphere of the absurd, which reflects the turbulent time in which the three texts are set, and which has similarities with our world today. The Trilogy deliberately takes a sidelong look at everyday life, which assumes unexpected dimensions in its pages.
These three novellas, which have set Greek literature on a new track, have lost nothing of their initial savour and freshness. In similar vein with Stratis Tsirkas’s trilogy of the Drifting Cities and Aris Alexandrou’s novel The Box,Vassilis Vassilikos’s Trilogyis one of the most important literary works of the post-war period.
Also released in a limited numbered collectors’edition in clothbound hardcover format numbered and signed by the author.
See also praise for Trilogy at the time of its first release in English as well as a fantastic essay on Trilogy written by the poet James Merrill, at the Reader’s Guide.
And here a video of Vassilis Vassilikos reading excerpts from the Trilogy.
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