Αναρτήθηκε από: Petros Haritatos | 05/07/2016

Η θεωρία του Φέρμορ για Ρωμιούς και Έλληνες

Το κείμενο που ακολουθεί αφορά τις σκέψεις του Patrick Leigh Fermor για τη «διπλή ταυτότητα» της κοινωνίας μας, όπου οι «Ρωμιοί» και οι «Ελληνες» αποτελούν ‘δυο ψυχές στο ίδιο στήθος’. Ο Φέρμορ γνώριζε την Ελλάδα όσο λίγοι. Γεννημένος το 1915, διέσχισε τη χώρα με πεζοπορίες, πολέμησε τους Γερμανούς στα βουνά, αγάπησε τον τόπο μας και τους ανθρώπους, και έγραψε δύο σημαντικά βιβλία: ‘Μάνη’ και ‘Ρούμελη’. Τα αποσπάσματα που ακολουθούν είναι από το τρίτο κεφάλαιο τού ‘Ρούμελη’, που έχει ως τίτλο ‘The Helleno-Romaic Dilemma’.

«Ο σκοπός μου εδώ, γράφει ο Φέρμορ, είναι να παρουσιάσω μια δική μου θεωρία που την ονομάζω το Ελληνο-Ρωμαικό Δίλημμα. Στη βάση της θεωρίας είναι η παραδοχή ότι στον κάθε Γραικό (Greek) κατοικούν δυο αντίθετα πρόσωπα. Άλλοτε το ένα έχει το πάνω χέρι, άλλοτε το άλλο, και πού και που εναρμονίζονται.
Φυσικά πρόκειται για το ‘Ρωμιό’ και τον ‘Έλληνα’, ενώ, χάριν αυτής της θεωρίας, παραμορφώνω τον όρο ‘Έλληνας’ ώστε να σημαίνει το ακριβώς αντίθετο του ‘Ρωμιός’. Όλοι οι Γραικοί (Greeks) είναι ένα κράμα και των δυό, που συγκρούονται και αλληλοσυμπληρώνονται. Όμως εδώ μάς ενδιαφέρει η αντίθεσή τους, όχι η πιθανή τους σύνθεση, ώστε ο υποθετικός μας Γραικός να αναφωνεί, όπως ο Γκαίτε: ‘δυο ψυχές κατοικούν στο στήθος μου’. (…) Ο ευκολότερος τρόπος να δείξω το Ελληνο-Ρωμαϊκό Δίλημμα είναι συγκρίνοντας δυο παράλληλες ομάδες με τα χαρακτηριστικά, τις σχέσεις και τα σύμβολα της κάθε πλευράς. Ορισμένα, για λόγους έμφασης, είναι επίτηδες ελαφρά και επιπόλαια. Διαβάστε τα.»

THE ROMIOS THE HELLENE
1 Practice Theory
2 The Concrete The Abstract
3 The real The ideal
4 Private ambition Wider aspiration
5 Argument Rhetoric
6 Concentration Diffusion
7 Instinct Principle and logic
8 Improvisation System
9 Empiricism Dogma
10 Love for the recent past Love for the remote past
10a Admiration for Western material progress, distrust of Western theories Admiration for European civilization, rooted in ancient Greek liberal ideas. Some distrust of Western materialism
11 Retention of Romaic customs Adoption of Western customs, abhorrence of Romaic orientalism
12 Distrust of the law. Readiness to bypass it by manoeuvre, favouritism or by any of the bad old short-cuts Respect for the law. Hesitation, on principle, to bypass it by the means opposite
13 Self-reproach about Greece’s material limitations Self-reproach about Greece’s Romaic blemishes
13a Respect for learning as a means to advancement Respect for learning for its own sake
13b Belief in quick returns Reliance on the long view
14 Reliance on inherited precedent and proverb Search for analogy in the ancient world
15 Seeing the outside world as a field to be exploited Travel in search of knowledge or legitimate commerce
16 Evaluation of things in terms of money Admission of other values
17 Reluctance to admit ignorance Admission that there are things beyond his range of knowledge
18 Compulsive labelling of every thing, whether accurate or not Compulsion to define, explain and classify

.

THE ROMIOS THE HELLENE
19 Looking on Greece as outside Europe Looking on Greece as a part of Europe
20 Seeing Europe as the region of alien ‘Franks’ Europe the region of fellow-Europeans
20a Reaching agreement by bargaining Settlement by negotiation
21 Belief in the sacredness and indestructibility of Romiosyne Belief in the destiny of Hellas
22 Strong regional loyalty, distrust of people from different provinces, e.g. Crete v. Mani Centripetal tendency towards Athens. Contempt for provincial rivalries and limitations
23 Certainty of every Romios of his own suitability for the office of Prime Minister Decent self-confidence
24 Shrewdness, impaired by (a) credulity and (b) needless suspicion Circumspect acumen
25 Tendency to resolve political difficulties by revolution Belief in constitutional method, with revolution only as a last resort
26
27
28
Lack of scruple to gain personal ends

Fatalism

Quick wits

The soul of honour

Philosophic doubt

Lively intelligence

29 Marriage wholly determined by dowries and parental bargaining Milder version of the same, modified by romantic and aesthetic factors
30 Blind tribal allegiance to a political party, based on regional bias or personal allegiance to a figurehead Strong political partisanship with a greater chance of its being based on private deliberation
31 A passion for newspapers, especially the political sections A passion for newspapers, especially the political sections
32 Unquestioning belief in the printed, as opposed to the written or spoken, word. This is corrected intermittently, by the remark: ‘Nothing but lies in the newspapers.’ The attitudes are often reconciled by the paradoxical ability to believe two contradicting statements simultaneously A stricter approach, and a reduced capacity for the reconciliation of opposites
33 Abhorrence of a naked fact, and haste to clothe, amplify and elaborate: ‘The mythopoetic faculty’ Comparative absence of this bias
34 Daemonic capacity for exertion under stimulus of enthusiasm, interest, patriotism, friendship, ambition The same, tempered by 7, 8, 9
35 Tendency to flag if stimulus and urgency are removed. Dread of boredom The same, corrected or mitigated by 7, 8, 9
36 Procrastination due to 34, and lack of sense of time. Dislike of routine Climatic influences, corrected or mitigated by 7, 8, 9
37 Trust in improvisation (8) and the tendency to allow things to fall into decay through feeling of impermanency of human affairs Belief in maintenance and upkeep, due to greater hope for establishment and security
38 Sensitiveness to insult, which leads to rash, violent and self-destructive acts, or enduring and implacable feud Same sensitiveness, but reaction less violent and calling for milder sanctions
39 Despair and melancholia (stenachoria) if things go wrong. May be mitigated in time by fatalism, proverbs and a saving resilience Same tendencies considerably reduced, corrected by comforts of philosophy
40 Fondness for leventeia, i.e. the dash and fire of youth, a cheerful temperament, courage, speed, quick reactions, good looks, skill in singing, dancing, marksmanship, capacity for wine drinking and fun, often accompanied by meraklidiliki, its sartorial expression An acknowledgement of the characteristic with a distinctly more restrained and sober approach

.

THE ROMIOS THE HELLENE
41 Importance of philotimo, `honour-love’, i.e. honourable conduct between humans, in chaos of Romiosyne, and, above all, private amour propre, like the Spanish pundonor, or personal dignity. It is wounds to this ‘he touched my philotimo’ which must often lead to 37 Honour regarded as a precious legacy from the ancient Greeks
42 Bessa: a word of Albanian origin, meaning the inviolability of an oath, especially in guerrilla warfare. The opposite of treachery Probably the same as above
43 Settling the world’s problems over endless cups of Turkish coffee in cafes Settling the world’s problems over endless cups of Turkish coffee in cafes
44 Fondness for cards, backgammon, etc. The same
45 Sobriety and frugality relieved by dionysiac interludes Interludes likely to be less dionysiac
46 Addiction to amane songs, i.e. wailing, nasal rather melancholy melopees in oriental minor mode Violent abhorrence of amane as alien and barbaric survivals
47 Urban addiction to rebetika songs and dances: i.e. Athenian low-life, fatalistic, near-apache hard luck stories, accompanied by special stringed instruments. Supposed to have originated in hashish dens. Complex solitary dances, perhaps from Asia Minor. The choreographic expression of the songs Distaste, based roughly on the same reasons as the foregoing. Tendency towards Western music
48 Rustic devotion to mountain, island and country dances (usually a chain of dancers led by a solo performer) Toleration of these as ‘wholesome’ and as part of heroic tradition and folklore and for their possible descent from the ancient Pyrrhic dance
49 Rustic devotion to klephtika or Klepht songs: long, fierce and semi oriental in style, celebrating mountain warriors’ feats of arms Toleration of the same in theory if not in practice, as humble mementoes of Hellenism’s triumph over barbarian occupation: ‘Wholesome’ : unlike amane and rebetika
50 Outward disapproval, but secret sympathy, in the distant past, for brigandage and piracy; survivals of a lively and anarchic life Understandable condemnation of these as stumbling blocks to government and the functioning of a European state: ‘Romaikes doulies’ at their worst

.

THE ROMIOS THE HELLENE
51 Fondness, among the old, for smoking narghiles Disapproval, for obvious reasons
52 Addiction to the komboloi: amber beads strung together like a rosary, and clicked rhythmically as a nerve-settler, like chain-smoking Faint disapproval, even if addicted
53 Fondness of a small, raffish minority (urban low life rebetika world, see 47) for occasional hashish smoking, as accompaniment to singing and dancing Proper abhorrence of this oriental survival
54 Belief in miraculous properties of certain icons Enlightened disbelief
55 Resort, among isolated rustic communities, to magical remedies administered by old women. Retention of many pagan superstitions, practices and beliefs Scorn of obscurantism, even though magical practices and superstitions are of ancient descent. Trust in medical science
56 Indifference to ethical and mystical content of religion, but semi-pagan attachment to the Orthodox Church as the unifying guardian of Romiosyne in times of trouble Comparative indifference to ethical and mystical content of religion, but tolerance of Orthodox Church as symbol of Hellenism
57 Strict observance of religious fasts and feast days and instinctive, tribal retentions of many of the external signs of Orthodoxy A tendency to disregard these, except at holidays of Christmas and Easter
58 Patriotism based on 1821 (Romiosyne), and inspired, in wartime, by the memory of the Klephts Patriotism based on 1821 (Hellenism), and inspired, in wartime, by the heroes of the ancient world
59 War seen in terms of guerrilla Military science
60 Rule of thumb Text book
61 In general, impulsive readiness for anything that is not vetoed by some hallowed taboo More restraint and a more cerebral approach to the problems of life
62 Homesickness for Byzantine Empire Nostalgia for the age of Pericles
63 Demotic Katharevousa
64 The Dome of St Sophia The columns of the Parthenon

.

Στη συνέχεια ο Φέρμορ παρατηρεί πως οι κάποιες ιδιότητες καλύπτουν και τις δυο πλευρές του πίνακα:

«Attributes which are common to both sides

Should one add up the attributes of each column and mould them into people, two lop-sided freaks would emerge. Fortunately neither exist; each is a function of the other. Only enclosed in the arena of a single breast do they come to life. They are permanently, more or less, at loggerheads, and there is a wide range of contingencies for friction in which the actions of their host depend on which of them wins. After each of these bouts, he might paraphrase Gibbon: ‘I sighed as a Romios, I obeyed as a Hellene’ – or the other way round.

It seems wrong to write of this conflict without mentioning some of the attributes which are common to both sides. It would leave the picture badly out of focus.

Emotional feeling for Greece is the country’s deepest conviction. Affronts, threats and the danger of invasion are the things that not only fling the Romios and the Hellene into each other’s arms -several things can do this – but reconcile all the internal differences of the country. Courage, self-sacrifice and endurance reach heroic heights. When the emergency passes, cohesion too dissolves, and political rivalries rage as fiercely as ever (no wonder the verb stasiazo, `I am in a state of faction’, was one of the earliest verbs one had to learn at school); parties abound and factions flourish but such is the individuality of the Greeks that the country is really made up of eight million one-man splinter-groups reluctantly forced into a series of temporary coalitions.

Other traits leap to the mind: self-reliance; the belief that effort and cleverness, backed by luck, can accomplish anything; intelligence, rapid thought, alertness, curiosity; thirst for fame; restlessness and extreme subjectivity; a passion for news; eloquence, the knack for expressing thought in words; the impulse to express thought in action; energy and enterprise; enthusiasm and disillusion; a deep- seated feeling of confidence and of absolute equality not only with other Greeks; but with the whole human race, and of superiority to many; lack of class-consciousness or snobbery; strong family feeling; impatience with political opposition, corrected by tolerance of human shortcomings and fallibility; an easy-going moral code modified by rigid and puritanical notions of family honour; sensitiveness, especially to irony or affronts to personal dignity; quick temper, which can interfere with this; hatred of solitude and scorn for privacy, the need to sharpen the mind by conversation. Opinion is shaped by newspapers and by talk, seldom by private reading or un-utilitarian study; abstract philosophy and metaphysics are absent from Greek life. Talk is an addiction and it is conducted with invention, great narrative gifts, the knack of repartee, the spirit of contradiction, the questioning of authority, mockery, self- mockery, satire and humour. Love of pleasure emerges in the pan hellenic passion for sitting up late eating and drinking and singing whenever the slightest excuse crops up.

The Greeks are famous for their financial acumen. Their knack of spinning the air into gold is mercifully unpolluted by its accompanying blemish: meanness is scorned and almost non-existent; they prize and practise generosity whether or not they can afford it, and the laws of hospitality are as deeply rooted as the most sacred feelings of patriotism or Orthodox pietas. I think the Greeks have a much sharper awareness than Western Europeans of the flux of events and the instability of human affairs. In spite of interludes of Romaic sloth and procrastination, they feel compelled to take time by the forelock, exploit favourable currents and wrest fortune from unpromising circumstances; a tendency which can lead to bold and sudden undertakings and sometimes to opportunism. They have the keener sense, which poor and barren countries instil, of the existence of disaster and tragedy. But, though they may see many things in tragic and melodramatic terms, stoicism and humour are at hand to deflate them. Humour, indeed, runs through their whole story in a saving lifeline. Similarly the self-imposed code of philotimo, or private honour – a whole apparatus of ancestral scruples – mitigates anarchic impulses and sets a codifying bridle on Romaic short-cuts and personal solutions. To contravene these laws marks the offender with a more shameful and indelible brand than any sanction that the law can inflict.

Two items close this long list. The first is the conviction that a stranger feels here that he is surrounded by people of ancient and civilized descent. This feeling grows in force the lower one plunges in the economic scale; not because it is absent in bourgeois circles-far from it; but primitive surroundings place it in higher relief. The last of these Greece-wide attributes is an orientation towards virtue. This may be rooted in the qualities which the ancients prized or in the Christian ethic. Perhaps natural and physical influences are responsible. Chthonian demons drove the ancients to acts of darkness and horror; rage and violence sometimes harry their descendants. But the luminosity which surrounds them does much to exorcize the principle of wickedness and confute the dogma of original sin. In a world where the law’s retribution is looked on as bad luck and life after death holds neither hope nor terror, the existence of this quality is especially remarkable. The bent towards virtue may waver, but it exerts as powerful an influence on the Greek subconscious mind as the north on a compass needle.

* * * *

These sweeping remarks abound with contradictions, and so they should. It is also clear that the lists of Romaic and Hellenic characteristics represent different strata as well as opposed principles. The Romaic list enumerates humbler traits. The Hellenic idiosyncrasy affects every degree of the Greek ladder but spreads more amply as the rungs mount and the Romaic heritage thins out. The Dilemma is not only a struggle between the Old and the New, but between the East against the West as well.

The result of the tug-of-war is easy to predict. The old is breaking up, ancient customs are dying in scores, landmarks are vanishing, everything is changing with bewildering speed.»

(…)  «And yet…

And yet, stubborn, unregenerate and irreducible, the pro-Romaic bias lingers. It can be condemned as backward and selfish and dismissed as obsolete; but it thrives as robustly as a field of tares planted by years of wandering and too deep-rooted to uproot. Those distant ranges and archipelagos instilled me with the conviction or the illusion of approach to the truest and most interesting secrets of Greece. Every region has contributed to this: the great temples and ruins and the famous summer islands which are the common experience of all visitors; but also Macedonia, the Pindus, the Rhodope mountains of Thrace, the midwinter cordilleras by the Albanian border, the rocky hamlets of the Zagora, jagged Epirus, the Thessalian foothills, the hinterland of Roumeli, the Peloponnesian watersheds, roadless Tzakonia, the ultimate wilderness of the Mani and a whole solar-system of islands. They are not only the background for dilettante wanderings in summer and spring, but for winter too, when life, tormented by wind and rain or hushed by snow, shrinks from its autumnal expanse to huddled lamplit circles in huts and caves: at moments it is a world of wintry chaos, exhilarated by advances and victories and racked by defeat, occupation and discord.

These regions are not empty landscapes but the mineral backcloth – stage, stage-wings and proscenium – of a theatre flung up for the Greeks themselves: diminished when the cast withdraws, validated by their entry. Piranesi and Lear place figures about their scenery for scale or decoration or local colour or corroborative detail. It is not so here. Each pair of eyes and each voice is anarchically distinct. Isolated against horizontal and zigzag, magnified by a lens of light, sharpened by the sun’s behaviour, fragmented above blazing thorns or transfigured by lightning, every face in turn is the protagonist of its own drama.»

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