“But let us not forget the words of the immortal Makriyannis: ‘Man is both for good and evil’.
Along with good intentions and hope, fatigue lies secretly in wait within us, along with the temptation to forget, to watch out for the easy way.
Even the greatest misfortune turns to monotony when enough time goes by. The pain, unbearable at the start, the indignation, the determined demand for rights that have been trampled down may then give way to a mood of melancholic perseverance that bores secretly within. This is not far distant from habit, from acclimation to misfortune, a condition worse than the misfortune itself.”
– from “Vignettes”
Tetralogy of the Times is a powerful document capturing the mood of the Cypriot people, in Chekhovian sensibility, from the years of their British colonial status to their present predicament. As the author points out, “The shocking events of 1955-1959 in Cyprus moved me – as they moved other writers, too – to attempt to express the events and the climate of that era. Of course, I did so in my own way and from my own spiritual and sentimental vantage point”. The first section of the Tetralogy, “Times Immovable”, portrays the period before 1955 when Cyprus was a British colony. It is followed by “Times of Difficulty”, which canvasses the struggle of the Cypriot people for independence. “The skimpy independence of 1960”, to use the author’s words, was achieved as a result of the Zurich and London agreements, which established the Republic of Cyprus. The first years of independent Cyprus are captured in the third collection of stories called “Times of Affluence”. It brings the story to 1974 when the coup d’etat against Archbishop Makarios took place, an incident which gave Turkey the opportunity and excuse to invade Cyprus. The Turkish invasion and its consequences – political, social and moral – are dealt with in the fourth section, “Times of Suffering”. Tetralogy of the Times is an impressive saga chronicled through successful storytelling of an island and its people.