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Hold your breath, Emilios Solomou, Kastaniotis Publications
A novel about the distortion of the truth and the shaping of public opinion but also about the way in which people are called to manage their eventual targeting, but also the path to redemption is the new book by the award-winning author from Cyprus Emilios Solomos which was recently released by Kastanioti publishers.
The asthmatic writing, the layered language, the emotional and psychological penetration into the causes and causes of the actions that define our lives or turn them unexpectedly, the targeted and generalized demonization of people and the main character himself who seems to be taken out of a book of Kafka or Samarakis make this work a seamless read. When he finishes reading, the reader, full of reflection, is invited to decide for himself how he should deal with these phenomena that define contemporary social decline, but also to focus his attention on self-improvement beyond social conventions and conditions of disorientation that exist all around him.
Solomou sets up a story with the philologist and writer Ioannis Kallergis as the central character. Married and in a good financial situation, he lives a life, seemingly completely settled, until everything is turned upside down as a result of a complaint about sexual harassment of his student by her father. And then begins a merciless destabilization in his life, as everyone treats him negatively. Kallergis, without any prospect of self-defense, now becomes the target of his family and professional environment, since everyone is convinced of his guilt. An outcast of a declining society, an atoning victim of its pathogenesis, he will come to feel that he is persecuted by the Nazis as a Jew. This is supported by the disinformation unleashed by the mass media, capable of precipitating by relentlessly and mercilessly deconstructing a person’s life.
The now accomplished demolition of the previous honest life will push him to voluntarily leave the scene of the absurd. On the run to his place of origin. Where he will immerse himself in a redefinition of the lost innocence in his life, in finding the real, finally, self, in self-awareness, in emotionality, in empathy. The past will emerge again as a criterion for determining the future in new, human, this time, dimensions.
The connection of the narrative with the reflection is done in an inventive way. Very nice images in the nature of that small village that will act as Siloam’s swimming pool for the redrawing of the new evolutionary path of a man who seems to have lost everything while in fact he is now beginning to find. The world, yes, through wisdom and self-awareness can be read from the beginning, and Solomon with his soft but denunciatory speech challenges the reader to redefine the nuclear essence of the coordinates of his life. Contributing to this is the experiential relationship with nature, which creates very beautiful images during the reading process.
Solomou immerses himself in the psyche of his hero, in order to extract from there the most subtle variations of his innermost thoughts, his fears and his decisions. He thus records a powerful psychograph of the inner world of a man who seems to be well settled in life, before he is left as a door of fate to the upheaval and indelible stigmatization of his life. At the same time, it illustrates in the best way the need to revive man’s relationship with nature in an ecological balance, capable of reversing the deterioration and universal alienation of human nature, due to modern culture and the lifestyle it dictates. However, it is not limited to this. He bends with compassion and love over the victim. He respects his own position, feels his despair, the fear of isolation that he fatally experiences. He listens to his breaths and silences with the same consistency that he does when he psychographs his main character.
The way in which Solomou manages the fictional fabric of his story is also important, as the narrator, friend and colleague of Kallergis comes to a new proposal for life as a project of evaluation and criterion of survival in a world that is increasingly collapsing.
A remarkable novel about the abusive dimensions of society, about the corruption dictated by the media, about the management of guilt but above all about the expectation of a new, more humane way of life.
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