Georgios Vizyinos

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Georgios Vizyinos (alternative spelling Vizyenos) was a Greek prose writer and poet, one of the most significant figures of Greek literature.

Vizyinos was born Georgios Syrmas in Vizyi, Eastern Thrace, on March 8, 1849. He was sent at a young age by his parents to Constantinople to become a clothesmaker but instead chose to study first religion and later literature.

In 1873, he published his first collection of poems "Ποιητικά πρωτόλεια". The following year, Vizyinos published his epic poem "Codrus". His third collection was originally entitled "Ares-Mares-Koukounares" but later re-titled "Breezes of the Bosphorus". All three works received awards for poetry.

In 1883, Vizyinos started writing in prose. In a span of merely fifteen months (1883 - 1884) he wrote and published five short novels in the magazine Hestia, thus opening the way for a new literary form and at the same time demonstrating unique thematic, narrative and structural inventiveness. The short stories "Who was my Brother’s Murderer?", "The only Voyage of his Life", "The Consequences of an Old Story" and "Moskov-Selim" deal with the controversial subject of relations and the terms of coexistence among Greeks, Slavs and Turks in the Balkans, as well as the dialogue between the Greeks of Greece and the Greeks of the Ottoman Empire and the Diaspora, and also between Europe and modern and ancient Hellenism. The symbolic function of language and the self-referring function of literature are reflected mainly in the short stories "Between Piraeus and Naples" and "The only Voyage of his Life".

Vizyinos was forced to work as a high school teacher following the death of his chief mentor, Georgios Zarifis in 1884.

In 1892, he was stricken with mental illness and was admitted to Dromokaitios asylum, near Athens. He died there four years later on April 15, 1896.

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