Written by Ms. Cynthia Mathews
Marginus Morius – Stelios Chalkitis. A contemporary odyssean adventure, Marginus Morius is a novel which I have read three times so far. Why might you think, has it had this impact on me? Well, it’s actually because it is the type of book that, even though it is a work of fiction, it is infused with so much arcane knowledge that needs to be extracted by the reader like precious gems from within the bedrock of the storyline, a task which cannot be done in one reading, a fact which compelled me to write this review.
The knowledge is revealed throughout an exciting journey beginning from a small Aegean island in contemporary Greece and then moving on to Athens the capital city, to India, to Mount Athos the monastic polity, to the Vatican City, and even into extraordinary states of existence. It touches on various current affairs issues, such as corruption in crisis-stricken Greece. It takes on metaphysical issues which fuel the main character’s travels.
Odysseas is a hero reminiscent to Homer’s and is as driven in pursing his goal which is to fulfill his spiritual, mental and emotional potential despite the obstacles he faces, political, moral and religious. It transcends boundaries of gender, theology, race, space and time. Lou is Odysseas’ guide taking him through his transformation. She is the daughter of a shipping magnate. She has had a head start on her personal quest.
Their master, Verochios a monk on Mount Athos, is a wise elder who recognized their capabilities and groomed them. There are so many other equally engaging characters as well. The author manages to captivate the reader and render her or him a witness of the main character’s saga. Bible conspiracy theory could be considered a shared aspect that Marginus Morius has with Dan Brown’s international best selling mystery detective novel The Da Vinci Code. However, Marginus Morius is a much more complex and multi-faceted work, which dares to tackle life’s most troubling questions and what the beyond might entail.
The author Stelios Chalkitis, lives on the island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese in south-eastern part of the Aegean Sea. He has extensively travelled in his own never-ending search for knowledge, so I gather that he has based much of the book on these trips. This is his debut novel. His second novel Lucirus is currently being translated. He is writing a third novel at the moment. He has also produced a philosophical work Ante Tractatum. He frequently gives lectures on philosophy, focusing on metaphysics, in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.
Having been written in Greek originally, it was first published in 2012. It received accolades in Greece by academics and is a best seller. The Greek edition is actually being reprinted. It took me about two days to read its 430 pages. I was obviously enthralled and couldn’t put it down, and not only because of the plot. I must also comment on the English translation which is surprisingly quite good. I strongly recommend this book to readers of all ages, but who have achieved a certain level of maturity and open-mindedness, as it has something to offer everyone, literally. There is also room for romance. The writer’s style is rather baroque, it is imposing and plethoric. At the same time his prose borders on lyrical poetry.
«Who would dare to distill the lament of the tearing resin, or the giddiness of the blossoms that faint in the arms of the leaves? Who would stop to sense the aromatic rustling of the jasmine? Who would buy the perspiration of the dawn on the carpels of a shy cyclamen… the kiss of pollen that entices the bee, the salty panting of the seaweeds that are reunited with the open sea? Once man could perceive the messages of the earth, now he just watches TV…»
So, this is definitely a work with aesthetic value. I was quite moved by it, cried at various points, felt enlightened at others. It is a transformative book, so be ready for a mind-altering experience.
You can find the review here, Ms. Cynthia Mathews, bookbinding, in the MidwestBook Review
c/o Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie Publishers LtdSheraton House, Castle Park, Cambridge, England, CB3 0AX
Paperback: 430 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press (November 27, 2014)
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