Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 880s

889: The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis by Vassilis Vassilikos


Vassilikos, Vassilis. The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004. Approx. 350 pp. ISBN 978-1-60980-212-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 880: Literatures of Hellenic and Classical Greek languages
  • 889: Modern Greek literature
  • 889.3: Modern Greek fiction
  • 889.33: 1900 – 1999
  • 889.334: 1945 – 1999

Known for his landmark 1967 novel Z, Vassilis Vassilikos is one of Greece’s foremost literary talents. The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis functions on many different levels. It is a meditation on the act of research and writing; it is an autobiography written about someone else; it creates a person out of the literary ether from someone who is real. Ostensibly, the book covers the travails of the narrator trying to find out the truth about the fictional writer Glafkos Thrassakis. Thrassakis is supposed to have been killed at the hands of New Guinea cannibals, but this story quickly falls apart. After discovering new manuscripts, he gains different picture of his elusive prey, but never fully captures him.

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883: The Iliad by Homer (trans. Powell)


883.01: Homer. The Iliad. Translated by Barry B. Powell. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 570 pp. ISBN 978-0-1993-2610-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 880: Classical and modern Greek literatures
  • 883: Classical Greek epic poetry and fiction
  • 883.01: Ancient period

Among the first extant works of mankind is Homer’s Iliad. Dating back almost 2,800 years and comprising over 15,000 lines, it stands as a testament to the human imagination. It is a recounting of the famous Trojan war but really only takes place during a few weeks at the end of the war. Through flashbacks and stories within the story, we get the entire magnitude of the struggle. Agamemnon rails against Achilles, Paris duels with Menelaus, Troy is sacked, and the death of Achilles, while untold, is still a tragic affair. Being an epic poem, it has everything under the sun packed into it lines—love, war, trickery, gods, life, and death.

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880: Greek Classics by Mary Ellen Snodgrass

880.8: Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Greek Classics. Lincoln, NE: Cliffs Notes, Inc., 1988. 389 pp. ISBN 0-8220-0566-2.

Dewey Construction:

  • 800: Literature
  • 880: Literatures of classical Greek and Hellenic languages
  • 880.8: Collections of classical Greek literature

I wish I had a more profound and glorious book to review for my 100th post, but since I have a pattern going here, it’s just a hum-drum collection of classical Greek literature. Seven more to go before I have officially read one book in every Dewey division.

You may have noticed that I did the same thing here that I did with 870, i.e., read a condensed version of classical literature of a certain culture. That’s because the only to get a pure 880 is to find a collection classical Greek literature, most of which are several volumes long. I don’t have that kind of time (or that kind of patience). Back in the day, men of stature and learning would study volumes of works by the great Greek and Roman authors, hoping to incorporate some of their past lessons into their lives. And I expect to do some of the same, but that’ll have to wait until I get deeper into this division.

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