Stratis Myrivilis

myrivilis

Stratis Myrivilis (1890–1969), is one of the most influential Greek prose writers of the 20th century in Greece. He wrote mostly fiction, novels, novellas, and short stories, and worked for a variety of newspapers and other publications.

Myrivilis was born on the island Lesbos in 1892, in the village of Sykamnia. He studied law in Athens, but stopped his studies to volunteer in the First Balkan War in 1912, and subsequently served in the army for ten years. He was wounded twice. Following the Balkan Wars, he returned home to a Lesbos freed from Turkish rule, and made a name for himself as a columnist and writer of poetry and fiction.

In World War I, Myrivilis served on the Macedonian front and xin the Asia Minor Campaign. After the Campaign's catastrophic end, he returned to Lesbos in 1922, disillusioned, and physically and mentally exhausted. He became a staunch pacifist, and contributed a large body of work to Greek anti-war literature.

Life in the Tomb established him as a master craftsman of Greek prose, and the work itself is regarded as a turning point in the development of Greek prose fiction.

He moved to Athens in 1930, to work in broadcast journalism. In 1936, he was made General Programme Director for the Greek National Broadcasting Institute, a post which he held until 1951. During the German occupation, he resigned after a final broadcast in which he reminded the Greek people of their noble resistance to the Italian invasion of Greece, and called on them to continue resisting with dignity and unity. He returned to his post at the end of the war.

He was a member of the Academy of Athens, which nominated him for a Nobel Prize in 1960. After the Second World War, he was elected President of the National Society of Greek Writers. In Greece, he is hailed as the most important writer of the 20th century.