Joseph O’Neill and Me : A Common Ground

Who would have thought that Joseph O’Neill and I share common ground? When some years ago, I read his best seller book “Netherland” which I found superb – every sentence was a quote – I visualised him as an Irish  golden boy, Cambridge graduate,  high flyer lawyer in New York and the cherry on top, global bestselleristas.


When I met him at the presentation of his new book “the Dog”  my first thought was “here we are, my cousin Kostas from Greece has changed identity”. His black hair, an Irish characteristic as well but in combination with his average height  and his gestures  were more from my own part of the world than that of Anglo Saxons.

With the combination of what he said to the audience and the small talk I had with him I realised our similarities are more than what I was expecting. His mother is from the Black Sea region (Turkey), the same with my mother’s family and both of us we had moved around the globe so much – sometimes  perhaps we had overlapped somewhere between Athens, London, Bath, Dresden, Dublin, New York, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Astana…  that we feel totally displaced and we enjoy it thoroughly! His last book “the Dog” is about Dubai the land of expats- the quintessential displaced people.

And in his own words – the interview he gave at Paris Review: “I’ve moved around so much and lived in so many different places that I don’t really belong to a particular place, and so I have little option but to seek out dramatic situations that I might have a chance of understanding. Hence Dubai: Dubai is an expat center…Before Netherland, I didn’t know how to approach that sense of chronic displacement. It took me a while to realize it was a huge story, the sense of not belonging, as you put it—of pretty much never being in a position to say, These people and I are the same. You could write a thousand novels about it and it wouldn’t get old, because it’s such an essential part of what it is to be human—that idea of where, if anywhere, you fit in, in the so-called scheme of things. And how does the world work? A lot of novels might inform you about how a character gets on with his Auntie, but they won’t necessarily tell you where the characters stand in relation to the world. I’m interested in putting characters in places where the world order is changing, and changing in a particular way. The word globalization grunts into view, here, along with post-nationalism, another brute.”


O’Neill as all the writers have an issue with publishing their books and sometimes it’s just perfect luck. He says about his book “Netherland” : “Then my luck changed. It could change again. That’s the way it is. My job is to keep writing.”

And our job is  to keep reading- isn’t it?

The Greeks are inspired : Το μπουλούκι των εμπνευσμένων

Φαίνεται ότι μερικοί ‘Ελληνες διάβασαν και εμπνεύστηκαν από το άρθρο του κ. Nίκου Δήμου στο lifo σχετικά με το θαύμα του Ντουμπάι και έσφιξαν τα ζωνάρια και τα δόντια μαζί και αποφάσισαν να εκδράμουν στα Εμιράτα ώστε να δούν με μάτια εξ’ιδίων τα αξιοθέατα του Ντουμπάι-Αμπού Ντάμπι και να πάρουν ιδέες.Πώς κατάφεραν δηλαδή αυτοί από το τίποτα (μόνο 2.3 εκ. βαρέλια πετρέλαιο την ημέρα)να δημιουργήσουν τέτοιο κυκεώνα από αξιοθέατα !! Και εμείς.. ??
Ο φακός της Πηνελόπης, όπως βλέπετε παρακάτω, τους έπιασε εν δράση. Μην ξεχνάτε “bloggers never sleep”!

Το μπουλούκι οδεύει προς το αξιοθέατο “Carrefour” στο Μαρίνα Μολ του Αμπού Ντάμπι.

Το πούλμαν απ’έξω από το Μολ περιμένει το μπουλούκι των “Εμπνευσμένων” για τον υπόλοιπο γύρο στα αξιοθέατα. Σε αυτούς τους δύσκολους καιρούς, όσα πιο πολλά βλέπει κανείς τόσο πιο σωστές αποφάσεις παίρνει.

Καθώς γύριζα πίσω, ολίγον τι αποσβολωμένη, η κόρη μου για να με καθησυχάσει μου είπε “μαμά, κοίτα και ένα πούλμαν Γιαπωνέζων τουριστών, δεν είναι μόνο οι Έλληνες…”. Ευτυχώς δηλαδή, ησυχάσα.

The Brave New World of the ‘Goodbye’ land

“What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 2
When the individual feels, the community reels.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 6

A short story in pictures
Once upon a time the ‘Goodbye’ citizens got bored with their forever summer land
and they decided to create a micro-climate inside their land in order to have the same experience as the citizens in the winter land

so they created cold and snow and they made snow hills 
in order to enjoy winter activities  such as skiing ,  making  ice sculptures
 playing with huge snow balls
ski9and having a proper christmas tree as  their fellow citizens in the winter land

“Our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel-and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 16


Merry Christmas to everyone !!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα σε όλους σας  !!