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The Third Wedding by Kóstas Takhtsís

The Third Wedding (1962)

by Kóstas Takhtsís

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The Third Wedding is the story of two Greek women and their lives from the 1920s through until the years following WW2. One is called Hecuba. The other, who narrates the novel, I forget the name of. Along the way, she marries three different men, hence the title.

The novel ranges from the countryside into Athens via various other towns and cities. It gives insight into the British and German occupations as well as the Communist uprising after the war. While all this is going on, various family spats ensue which result in family members being estranged, reconciled, tolerated and/or generally denounced as wasters. I didn’t think much of it actually and can’t quite see what it brings to the 1001 List.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by a Greek author about Greece itself. Probably nothing since Ovid’s Metamorphoses actually. And, now I think about it, in some ways there are similarities here.

There are a fair number of characters who are introduced at random and then, after hearing nothing from them for 50 pages, back in they come without so much as a nod in your direction. I just let this wash over me. And there are multi-layered stories too which often merge into one another so I found it hard to keep track of which events were relevant to which characters and periods of time.

Finally, and probably the most taxing part of the book for me, was the fact that most of the women who form the bulk of the characters of the book spend their time having arguments, disagreements, hysterics or breakdowns. It was like some almighty soap opera. No one seemed able to have a functional relationship with anyone else and this got very tired very quickly to the point where I just didn’t really want to pick it up because it involved forcing myself into the presence of people who were at each others’ throats all the time. Not what I want for a relaxing read.

Taktsis can write, of that there is no doubt. But he never made me care about what happened to the characters he created. For a novel that deals so much with conflict, both personally and politically, this was a shame and I have left it wondering why it was it never really engaged me. Ah well… ( )
  arukiyomi | Feb 27, 2015 |
nicht schlecht, aber irgendwie ist griechische Literatur nicht auf der Höhe der Zeit ( )
  joherrmann | Feb 16, 2010 |
"Taktsis's novel is one of the most enjoyable in the language; it is the hilarious, yet at times tragic, story of two women's interconnected lives, told by the heroines themselves against the background of Greek history in the first half of the twentieth century." (Peter Mackridge)
  languagehat | May 19, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0873760484, Paperback)

The German Occupation, the Civil War and life itself seen through the eyes of two Athenian women.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -0400)

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