A legend in his home country of Greece but virtually unknown abroad, The Commune is the final work of Marios Chakkas, composed in the months preceding his early death in 1972. Born under the Fascist regime and reared as a socialist revolutionary, The Commune is Chakkas' reckoning with the uncertainty of the past and the madness of the present as the military junta secures its position and the spirit of the socialist insurrection fades. Returning from political exile, Chakkas confronts the decay and ruin of his Athenian neighborhood as he recounts childhood gunfights in the streets, churches filled with asbestos, vanished comrades, and violent squabbles over memorials for executed partisans in his singular voice which swerves from scorching poetic indignation to gallows humor to metaphysical meditation.
Chloe Tsolakoglou is a Greek-American writer who grew up in Athens, Greece. A PhD Student in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, her work has been published in or is forthcoming by Denver Quarterly’s FIVES, The Adroit Journal, Cream City Review, and elsewhere.
Translated by Chloe Tsolakoglou