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A painter, aesthete and folklorist, Giulio Caimi (1897-1982) was endowed early on with the traits of one who would remain obscure. Hard of hearing, formerly prosperous and a stranger to flesh, he was flung into a world where contemplation served no one. His malaise in the face of runaway modernism was interpreted, by uncritical modernists, as old-fashioned localism; his ecumenically popular way of approaching tradition annulled the normative pretensions of the Greco-centrists of the inter-war years; finally, his cabalistic mysticism and his spontaneous anarchism marginalized him in relation to both the aims of the introverted Jewish community and the dogmatic Left. Bringing together biographical details from the life of Giulio Caimi, fragments of his socially outcast oeuvre and a diary (which essentially reapportions time), Michel Fais aspires to talk about the strict art of living. The Honey and the Ashes of God is a novel which does not fear combining the documented and the fabricated, which does not strive to serve any kind of fictional unity or fragmentation, which does not hesitate to sink into the ashes of a tranquil wretchedness in order to taste the honey of a critical age and a narrative adventure.
Michel Fais was born in Komotini, Thrace in 1957. He studied Economics at the University of Athens. His novel «The Autobiography of a Book» (1994) was translated into French (Hatier, 1996) and Romanian (Omonia, 2007). His collection of short stories «From the Same Glass and Other Stories» (1999, Patakis Publishers 2011) received the State Short Story Award in 2000. His story «Aegypius Monachus» (2001, Patakis Publishers 2013) completed an informal trilogy. His short stories have been translated, for magazines and anthologies, into English, German, Czech and Bulgarian. In 1996 he published «The Retrospective Gaze» (Patakis), where 44 writers and artists commented on photographs of tombs. He collaborated with Theo Angelopoulos on the screenplay of his latest film trilogy. His work on the painter Giulio Caimi is contained in «Greek Landscapes» (1993), «Giulio Caimi, a Man Suppressed. Recollections and Criticism. Selected Articles (1928-1976). Paintings» (1994), «Santaga or the Six Rules of Painting», «Rodakis’ House on Aegina», «The Ill-fated Marriage» (1997). He is also the central character of his novel «The Honey and Ashes of God» (Patakis, 2002). His previous novel, Purple Laughter, was published by Patakis in October 2010.