CM: Pantelis Prevelakis (1909-1986) was a Cretan writer and scholar of the visual arts. He wrote poetry, plays, and essays, studies, but is mainly known as one of the most important representatives of the literary generation of the 1930s.
Born on 18 February 1909 in Rethymno of Crete, Greece, he lived there until he was 17 years old. In 1926 he moved to Athens and enrolled at the University of Athens. In 1928 he transcribed to the School of Philosophy and in 1930 left to study in Paris. There he attended the School of Literature at the Sorbonne and the Institute of Art and Archeology. § After his return to Greece in 1932 he worked on his doctoral dissertation, which was submitted in 1935 at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Parallel to that he claimed the seat of the History of Art at the that University and on the same year was elected to the office of History of Modern Art, but his appointment was not approved on political grounds. § In 1937 he was appointed at the Directorate of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Education, in 1938 he began teaching at the Drama School of the National Theater and in 1939 was elected professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
During the Second World War his application twice to serve as a volunteer was rejected. Nevertheless he expressed resistance in his own way: by fighting to rescue the exhibits of museums and by stopping the publication of his works. § After the War he continued with academic teaching and intellectual and cultural activity. During the seven years of the Junta he refused the various positions and the distinctions awarded to him by the dictatorial government and offered his new works outside the trade (Neos Erotokritos, Antistrofi Metrisi).
His best known works translated in English is Chronicle of a City (1937), The Cretan (1948-1950) and The Sun of Death (1959). In 1977 he was awarded with the Prize of Letters of the Academy of Athens and the same year was elected academic. § Pantelis Prevelakis died on 15 March 1986 in Athens.
[Megakles Rogakos 12/2005]
CASSIMATI, MARILENA Z. Kostas Grammatopoulos 1995 National Gallery, Athens