Open Papers is the primary statement on his art by Odysseas Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a sweeping exploration of the mind and mythic imagination of one of the most original, visionary, and compelling poets of this century.
Excerpt from “First Things First”
… I’d like, in presenting these texts, to confess at once: I am not a critic or a prose writer. Psychological analysis does nothing for me, my powers of observation are largely absent, and every attempt at description bores me to death. I have no way to exhaust a subject except to live it… writing. Which means I dive in a long way before clarifying what I want to say, I let myself drift, here and there, preferring the darkest corners, trying to see or, if not, at least to touch and recognize.
“Open Papers chronicles the life of poetry in modern Greece while identifying the allegiances and passionate particulars of one of the supreme poets of an age. It opens a world that is palpably within this one.” —Sam Hamill, from the introduction
“If, through the decades, Elytis did take political and artistic risks, this clear articulation shows that his art was not guided by luck or risk alone but by a real belief in modernism.” —Publishers Weekly
“Open Papers is… a sweeping exploration of the mind and the mystic imagination of one of the most original, visionary, and compelling poets of this century.” —Translation Review