Translation: Nicole Le Bris
How is it possible that a young man from Corfu, 17 years old and a waiter at the Great Britain Hotel, could have known Maria Callas personally and heard her sing for him alone? Thirty years later, Alfredo, in his fifties and now owner of the hotel restaurant, tells his story to a journalist who comes to interview him on his native island. A well-known author in Greece and in France, Ménis Koumantaréas (also written Menis Koumandareas) was born in 1931 in Athens where he still lives and works today. He has already written several novels, published in Greece by Kédros, some of which have been translated into French.
Nicole Le Bris, born in 1941, is agrégée de lettres classiques, normalienne (ENS Boulevard Jourdan), and a graduate of the Ecole des Langues Orientales. From Greek she has translated two titles by Kostas Hadzopoulos, Automne (a novel written in 1917), and Deux Femmes; from Ménis Koumandaréas, three titles: Je me souviens de Maria (in a bilingual edition published by l'Asiathèque); Le Fils du concierge, and Play. From Odysseas Elytis, La Matière première du ciel, Yannis Tsarouchis (bilingual edition, éditions l'Asiathèque). In digital version (éditions Epikentro and Amazon) Il neige doucement sur Agriolefkès, by Dimitris Psychoyos. At the same time, for the past ten years or so, she has been translating from German (Switzerland) and commenting, in collaboration with Dominique Laure Miermont, on texts by Annemarie Schwarzenbach (latest releases: Toucher le coeur des hommes, éditions Payot, 2018. Les Forces de liberté, Ecrits africains, éditions Zoé).