Between Divine and Human Justice: A Reading of Papadiamantes's 'The Murderess'

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Date
2005
Authors
Vardoulakis, Dimitris
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Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek
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Abstract
Papadiamantes’s novella "The Murderess" has been read either as a moral tale exhibiting its author’s Orthodox beliefs, or as a critique of the gender positions and class structure of Greece at the end of the nineteenth century. Despite the seeming divergence, both approaches share a common foundation, namely that the author is conceived of as the bearer of the truth of the novella. Whereas the issue of truth in narration is presupposed, it remains unexamined. I argue that a conception of “truth” in "The Murderess" is to be gleaned, first, in a series of irresolvable tensions such as inside and outside, narrator and character, and even the very fact of Hadoula’s guilt, and, second, in the site of Hadoula’s death which takes place “between divine and human justice”. The ultimate purpose of this article is to offer the conditions of possible interpretations of "The Murderess" beyond the hold of either religion or sociology.
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Keywords
Greek Research, Greece, Australia, language, literature, Dimitris Vardoulakis
Citation
Vardoulakis, Dimitris 2005. Between Divine and Human Justice: A Reading of Papadiamantes's 'The Murderess'. In E. Close, M. Tsianikas and G. Frazis (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University April 2003", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 157-178.