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GREEK DNA

 

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957)

 

The ultimate Greek author

The most important contemporary Greek literary, whose works have been translated more than any other.

 

Born in Turkish-occupied Crete and died in Freiburg, Germany.  He was a novelist, poet, philosopher, journalist, playwright, and politician. A Doctor of law at the Athens Law School and Doctor of philosophy in the Philosophy school in Paris. He wrote essays, eleven novels (Report to Greco, Captain Michalis, Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas, The Last Temptation, Christ Recrucified and others), of which the last three were made into internationally acclaimed films, poetry (The Odyssey, Tertsines), philosophical works (Salvatores Dei, Symposium), twelve plays, nine scripts and twelve translations (Dante, Homer, Nietzsche, Goethe, Darwin, Bergson, Machiavelli and others).

He was a Minister (1945-1946) and was nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

He travelled and lived in many places in Greece, Europe and the East, to Siberia, Japan and China. The fruit of his labours on those journeys is his series of journals Travelling.

He lived a rich and brave life, an uphill road with four important milestones: Christ, Buddha, Lenin, Odysseus.

His books and fascinating characters travel us with masterful writing through history, ideas, passions, traditions, and philosophical theories. They speak about destination, strength, struggle, reconciliation and the unification of man with the divine; just like the way he lived his life: with passion, truth and reverence for life, nature, Greece, the universe.

On his gravestone in Crete, is engraved: I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free.

 

 

 

 

Panayiotis Tetsis

 

1925 - 2016

The visual artist and Academic who never ceased painting his birthplace, the island of Hydra, thus illustrating with his works one of the most important chapters of postwar Greek art.

On the last day of last February, Panayiotis Tetsis could not receive the “Visual Arts Award Yannis Moralis” himself, a distinction which was established this year by the Greek state on the occasion of the 100th anniversary since the birth of another great Greek painter, Moralis, and will be awarded biannually to outstanding personalities of the visual arts. “Health reasons did not allow me to attend this great honor. It is a pity.” said Tetsis in a message which was read at the award ceremony by his son. Prominent personalities were there to talk about his work. “If we draw a parallel, Panayiotis Tetsis is in the field of painting what Odysseus Elytis is in the field of poetry,” said the President of the Greek Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos. “Really, who can imagine the history of modern Greek painting without the presence of Tetsis?” wondered the Director of the National Gallery, Marina Lambraki-Plaka. “Modern Greek painting as a whole would be impoverished instantly of its highest tones and especially of this infectious pulse, this irresistible verve, the therapeutic sensation of vital euphoria and mental health that the works by Hydra’s creator exude.” A few days later, Panayiotis Tetsis passed away. “We are all affected by works of art,” he had said during an interview about a year ago. “People have been making art for five thousand years; none of us is self-luminous. We grew up in Greece and we have been brought up with the concepts of the quintessential and the ideal since infancy. Not only of Greek art but also of the Mediterranean environment and the Middle East, of the great civilizations.”


CAPTION:
Panayiotis Tetsis in his studio at the beginning of last summer. We thank the photographer Nikiforos (www.colorstories.gr) for the courtesy of the portrait.

 

CREDIT:

Nikiforos / Portrait Documentaries.

 

 

 

George Papanicolaou

 

1883–1962

 The doctor who discovered that it was possible to detect cervical cancer and developed the Pap smear, saving innumerable women’s lives

The number of women whose lives have been saved since the 1940s, thanks to a simple Pap smear would justify a Nobel Prize in medicine for the doctor who developed the test. George Papanicolaou (known as Dr. Pap in the united States) was born in 1883 in the Greek seaport city of Kymi and graduated from the medical School of the university of Athens, but was not satisfied with the prospect of just practicing medicine. His interest in biological sciences led him to Germany for a PhD, before deciding to cross the Atlantic in 1913, along with his wife. After a stint as an assistant in the Department of Pathology at the new York hospital, he managed to find employment as a research biologist in the Department of Anatomy at Cornell university medical College, where he spent the next 47 years. During his tenure there, he established the Papanicolaou Cytology Laboratory, where he conducted his ground-breaking cancer research. Invented by and named after him, the Pap test became a standard cancer screening test for all women and greatly reduced the death rate of cervical cancer patients worldwide. In 1961 Dr. Papanicolaou moved to florida to develop the Papanicolaou Cancer research Institute at the university of miami, but died of a heart attack a few months later.

 

 

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