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Alexiou Elli

Famous People in the History Of Crete - Alexiou Elli
ELLI ALEXIOU (1894 – 1988)


The author Elli Alexiou was born in Irakleion, Crete, in 1984. She studied at the University of Sorbonne, where she took on foreign languages and European literature. In 1920 she moved to Athens. She was in the education field for 42 years, 25 of which in Greece and 17 abroad.


Her name firstly appeared in “Ellinika Grammata” (Hellenic Letters) in 1931 along with the short stories collection “Skliri agones gia ti mikri zoi” (Struggles for such a short life). Later on, she wrote the novel entitled “C’ Christianiko Parthenagogeion” (C’ Christian School for Girls), which was published in Rumanian, German and Slovenian.

Some time latter, in 1938, she gave out a second short stories collection entitled “Anthropi” (People). After that, the novels “Me ti lyra” (With the Lyre), “O Hondroulis kai i Pidihti” (Little boy Chubby and little girl Skippy)-children’s literature-“Kai outo kathexis” (Etcetera, etcetera) and “Louben”, also the fairy-tales collection “Ithele na ti lene kyria” (She wanted to be called a Lady) and four volumes of novels entitled “Spondi” (Libation), “Anahoriseis kai metallages” (Departures and transformations), “Mystiria” (Mysteries) and “Prosohi synanthropoi” (Beware, you fellow-humans). She also wrote: (Rotontas kai mathenontas” (Asking and learning), “Kai yper ton zonton” (Also for the benefit of the living), “Despozousa” (The Charioteer), “Horevo kai tragoudo” (I dance and I sing), “Mia mera sto gymnasio” (A day in high school) and the collection of unpublished literary works -artists-“Ypo ehemytheia” (In confidence).

In 1966 she wrote Kazantzakis’ biography entitled “Gia na ginei megalos” (In order to achieve greatness). Through this work, despite her personal bitter feelings due to her sister’s marriage to Kazantzakis, she attempted to give us an objective and full description of Kazantzakis’ life and of his gradual gain of success in literature.

Alexiou’s work is, therefore, versatile, given with much talent, and it covers a wide field.

Apart from the above mentioned works, Elli Alexiou has translated many essays and novels from Russian and French. She has also written several reviews and articles in many magazines and papers. In 1979 “Apanta” (Collected Works) were published by Kastaniotis publications.

Elli Alexiou, having had been brought up in a literary family and having had met, since her childhood, with renowned and progressive people, adopted a leftist ideology. Her progressive ideas lead her at times and for quite a while to self-exile, but they also earned her a very distinctive place in our country’s literature.

Elli Alexiou died in September 1988.


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