Greece’s history – The Biggest Burden?
Thirty-seven years ago, Nikos Dimou, who is now 76, wrote a book of aphorisms titled “The Misery of Being Greek,” which was published in 1975. In the book, he wrote that a Greek does “everything he can to widen the divide between desire and reality.”
For this interview, he invited SPIEGEL to his apartment in Athens’ leafy embassy district. The air smelled of jasmine, a sprinkler watered the lawn outside and Dimou’s three-legged cat, Azurro, was asleep on the sofa. Dimou, who studied in Munich, served the reporters coffee and cake, despite his recent frustration with SPIEGEL. Like many people in Greece, he was hurt by the magazine’s recent cover about the Greek crisis, which bore the headline “Acropolis Adieu!”
SPIEGEL: Mr. Dimou, you have studied the Greek soul more thoroughly than almost anyone. One could say you’ve practically dissected it. How is the Greek soul doing right now?
Dimou: The prevailing feeling is one of uncertainty. Greeks no longer feel confident, which partly has to do with their history. They have certainly suffered a great deal. But uncertainty also leads to aggression. We Greeks love conspiracy theories — they help to explain and substantiate our uncertainties. That’s why we don’t only think with our heads and our reason, but also with our emotions. You must remember, even in the ancient world, learned Egyptians referred to the Greeks as “children.” But this immaturity also has a kind of beauty to it.
Full must read interview here.