On the Unhappiness of Being Greek
Translated by: Herkül MillasBuy
With 32 editions since it was first published in 1975, On the Unhappiness of Being Greek has been one of Greece’s long-lasting and always controversial books. It is finally in Turkish after English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian and Chinese.
In the words of author Nikos Dimu, “Those who enjoy this book are probably not Greek. For a Greek, this book is painful. He may smile or even laugh at some of the aphorisms, but in the end he will feel miserable as he puts the book aside. The book is a picture of the fundamental problem of his existence: his passion for the many and the impossibility of accepting the little. Contradictions are a threat to identity… The glorious past and the poor present are torn between eastern understanding and European ambition… Greek is miserable. This book is not a collection of aphorisms that satirize the faults of the Greeks, but It is a loving confession dedicated to Greece, which is suspended between the past and the present…”
Hercul Millas, who translated this text written in the form of aphorisms, with a satirical style, an outspoken language, but with hope, into Turkish, and who knows both sides of the Aegean very well, also makes the following valuable contribution to the author’s words: “I hope those who read this book would not do so to find evidence for their prejudices. What I expect from the attentive reader is to the look at Greeks’ faults as if they were looking into a mirror.”