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Black Scarf Rock

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 14 June 2011

Mark Williams reads from an anthology of 19th century Greek short stories. Yannios, an old fisherman, saves a boy from drowning in the shadow of the mysterious Black Scarf Rock.

Alexandros Papadiamandis (1851 - 1911) was born on the western Aegean island of Skiathos, where many of his short stories are set. He has been compared to Dostoyevsky and Hardy and, shares with them similar qualities in the great European tradition of story-telling. His reflections on, and observations of, Greek life - particularly on his native Skiathos - define the Greek experience at the turn of the last century in a way unattained by any of his (now forgotten) contemporaries.

In these stories he explores the souls of ordinary men and women as they succumb to, or struggle against, the power of evil, and try to deal with life's ambiguities. Aware of the way in which the past breathes life into the present, Papadiamandis also delves into Greek mythology, as it survived through people's belief in supernatural wonders on both land and sea.

Mark Williams is well known as one of the stars of BBC TV's The Fast Show ("Suits you, sir..!!") and for the role of Ron Weasley's father in the Harry Potter films.

Translated by Liadain Sherrard
Abridged by Roy Apps

Producer: David Blount
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.


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