The greatest female figures in Greek mythology
Brave, mischievous, intelligent, accomplices, beautiful, lustful, powerful and helpless women deserve their own platform. ELENI PHILIPPOU talks to the woman who gave them one
It’s not often that the same book can make you laugh, frustrate you, and wish your Greek history lessons were so entertaining. Artemis Evagorou’s latest book, Genaitzies, does all of this by re-sharing the stories of the most famous, desired, and forgotten women of Greek mythology in a way only Artemis knows.
Now, almost nine months after the release of her book Genaitzies (which means women in the Cypriot dialect) in January 2021, and it has been circulating and has been read by many, the time has come for Artemis to officially present the book to the public, at the Nicosia Multicultural Center on Friday.
The first time I stumbled upon one of Artemis’ books was when a friend gave me the book Pnase Oulla Enna Pan Kala, which roughly translates to Don’t worry, everything will be fine. It’s a hilarious self-help book with activities and exercises to help with those dark days. What captivated me the most was his comic writing in the Greek-Cypriot dialect, using phrases and expressions rarely seen on paper. It was surprising, refreshing and I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t help but tell people about it. Then his book Genaitzies came out.
Although she now has three books to her credit, writing hasn’t always been Artemis’ plan. She worked at the Cyprus Tourism Organization for a while before moving to Laiki Bank Cultural Center to run their educational programs and research their historical books. It was then that she first immersed herself in Cypriot culture, art and ethnography which would later inspire her first steps in publishing a book.
“I have always had a thing on Cypriot culture and identity, ”said Artemis,“ but until then I didn’t have a clear idea of all the little treasures and mysteries that I might discover through rare historical archives. I fell madly in love with Cyprus and that was the exact moment the seed was planted for book number one, Cyprus: Final Tastynation. It would be years before I could muster the courage and actually write it.
Artemis moved on to another job, but the feeling that Cyprus was often a poorly represented tourist product remained. She wanted more information about the island to be preserved and appreciated and with her talent for writing – which she shared on her blog – she decided to write her first book. A book full of recipes but not a cookbook, rather a book of stories with Cypriot tales about kings, harems, mermaids, mixing Cypriot culture, beliefs and superstitions.
So far all three of her books are written in Cypriot dialect, full of humor and with such an honest voice you can almost hear Artemis speaking to you directly. I can almost hear him read them aloud to me. Many have been drawn to its fun, BS-free language, but Artemis doesn’t want to be defined by it.
“I think my thoughts flow better through the Cypriot dialect,” she said. “The sarcastic and comedic writing is another aspect of what I see as part of my voice. But I wouldn’t want to shut myself up in this prose as if it were a promise, a contract. I might want to try something completely different in the future. But for now, yes, this is the style that I found to be able to express myself better.
She also brings this style to her latest book Genaitzies, an almost historical tale of the greatest female figures in Greek mythology, their lives, their ailments and their passions. The idea of writing about the history of these women came to Artemis as she read The Odyssey to her children as a bedtime story, and she came across information she had never noticed before. .
“And after that, of course I went online to find out what that might mean. And the black hole of the Internet opened up and swallowed me up. What I love about the internet is that it is not only an endless door for kitten videos and porn, but also a place where you can find ancient treasures written by Homer, Euripides, Aeschylus. and Ovid. And so began the saga of the Genaitzies. The saga of Hélène de Troy, Cassandra, Oenone, Ariane, Clytemnestre (oh, how I love you) and Iphigénie: courageous, mischievous, intelligent, accomplices, beautiful, lustful, powerful and powerless women who deserved their own platform. form, their own book. “
But the book is not only about these women and their loves, their problems and their tragic endings. It is also a reminder that humanity is in an endless loop. “Women were then treated as disposables, replaceable, replaceable and consumable, and thousands of years later we have the same problems, the same treatment, the same debates.
Now, with Covid measures proving to be slightly more flexible in hosting events, a book presentation can finally take place for Genaitzies. On Friday September 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Nicosia, Artemis will be joined by two charismatic personalities to share their interpretation of the book and their point of view on the subjects it raises. Well-known writer, archaeologist and historian Anna Marangou is one of the speakers and Antonis Petrides, Associate Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Open University of Cyprus is the other. Of course, Artemis will also speak at the event, but only because she says she can’t avoid him.
It’s time to get acquainted with these ancient Greek women and somehow rethink women in society, even in today’s seemingly modern world. All in less than 70 pages.
Presentation of the book Genaitzies
Artemis Evagorou presents her latest book Genaitzies. Guest speakers: Anna Marangou and associate professor Antonis Petrides. September 17. Multicultural Center of Nicosia, Nicosia. 7:30 p.m. To free