TALES

  "I Have a Dream": The Flame that Never Dies
Patakis, 2000
Illustration: Anna Mendrinou
ISBN: 960-16-0665-3

Synopsis:
The author, twenty-four primary school children and their teacher all have the same dream: for there to be armistice and peace on earth during the Olympic Games in Athens and for the sacred Olympic flame to travel to all those countries of the world that are being torn apart by the cruelty of war. The Goddess Athena, in person, will help make their dream possible.

Reviews:
"...And here comes Litsa Psarafti, with the help of Anna Mendrinou, and offers us a tool with which we can explain to young readers exactly what we mean to do. And what we mean to do, as I said, is to spread the true message of the Olympic Games in its greatest sense. This sense, which is the Olympic Armistice, and necessitates the use of the Olympic Flame as a great symbol that is, in effect, connected with knowledge.
           
It is thus extremely important that children are initiated in these ideas with such a tender and so correct way.
           
I hope that the children will have been informed, that they will have read many things and have entered the spirit of concepts such as volunteerism. I believe that books such as this one we are presenting today, will decisively help in making this a reality."

Evangelos Venizelos
Minister of Culture

"The children's book by awarded author Litsa Psarafti that we are presenting here today deals with a very important "dream" that of the Ancient Olympic Armistice and the attempt to revive it in our days.

In this attempt by the Greek Government and the International Centre of the Olympic Armistice, we hope that this book by Litsa Psarafti will contribute in such a way so that Greek children and teenagers will become messengers in the propagation of this Ancient - yet still timely in our days - institution for peace throughout the earth. Congratulations are thus due to Litsa Psarafti and the publishers of her book for their sensitivity and their contribution to the promotion of this great Greek and at the same time global "dream"."

Yorghos A. Papandreou
Minister of Foreign Affairs

"I Have a Dream: The Flame that Never Dies" proves the author's alertness and the readiness of her writing reflexes in the face of one of the most important current events which is about to take place: the realisation of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Rather, however that simply referring to the timely Olympic Games, the author succeeds in escaping from the ephemeral and presents diachronic messages that are appropriate at any time or era. The dream of the sacred armistice is nothing but a pretext for her to manifest her support to man everywhere, who is either a victim or a spectator of barbarous events that makes up such a significant part of our historical being. The author plunges the knife deep into the wound and metaphorically gropes, with trembling hands, the vast wounds that have been made on the bleeding body of humanity. She rallies her sturdy writing talent in order to present the wounds of history and offer a diachronic interpretation of war as a madness that brings nothing but pain and uncalculated pain. The much coveted search for peace is shown in dramatic opposition with the constantly perpetuating yet always atrocious adventure of war.

...Litsa Psarafti's message of peace, coupled with the values of the Olympic Spirit, procures an even more powerful emotive force through today's incident, where the memories of war, that are still raw, overwhelm the palimpsest of the collective memory and where, for yet one more time, we are living through a new ultra-modern war filled with dark and immeasurable consequences.

...However, Litsa Psarafti's is a form of resistance to all of those who killed the "determined marathon runner" (in the words of the poet Yorghos Seferis) as well as an optimistic expression of the possibility that the 2004 Athens Olympic Games may take place in the "victorious garden" of friendly competition and global humanity."

Gina Kalogirou
Assistant Professor, University of Athens 

"We welcome well-known author Litsa Psarafti's book in each and every way - and particularly in these days. Her latest work, very timely in terms of its subject matter, is of unceasing interest as it deals with the ancient old and pan-human desire for justice, peace and compassion that runs through its pages in a way that is original and vivid - and is adorned with Anna Mendrinou's delicate illustrations.

...Litsa Psarafti offers children yet another warm and beautiful book whose pages are filled and blended with interesting historical information, often poetic and important events that marked different people and determined their courses, as well as legends, myths, and legends from different countries (including our own, of course). This book aims to inform, provide a field for reflection, move and secure the universal love for peace."

Eleftherotypia Newspaper, 30/5/2003

"...The author, with her inventive - as always -, eloquent and strong narrative, blends the past with the present. Along with Athina, Zeus, Tiresias, twenty-four primary school children will fight for peace on earth.
Kyriakatikos Rizospastis Newspaper, 15/06/2003

...By way of flashbacks to ancient myths and different civilisations of the world, this book mentally transports the sacred Olympic Flame to each and every site of modern-day wars declaring peace, friendship and the cooperation between peoples. By reading it, whether young or old, one understand and questions the role of the author and other intellectuals in the face of contemporary cultural degradation since there generally exists a suppression or rather a reluctance to resist against and denounce acts which bring this situation.

...Every individual voice of every spiritual person, every historical reference and analysis, every accusation and proposal has the power of truth in it. In Litsa Psarafti's book all of the earth's worst imperfections and shortcomings are indirectly denounced as they are embodied in the worst imperfection of them all: war.

...Litsa Psarafti's book provides pretexts and stimulants for further reflection and discussion - weighing heavily on the responsibility of teachers, parents and readers - and the search for the truth behind the Olympic Spirit."

Charafgi Newspaper, 25/10/2003

"The author harmoniously blends the past with the present, with references to today's forces of violence and war, but also the Olympic games of ancient times, the gods and goddesses, the diviners and athletes. She also succeeds in presenting the illustrious cultural physiognomy of the peoples of the East by incorporating the stories of the 1001 Nights and the verses from Roumbagiat by Omar Kagiam in her own text.

This book breaks away from the timeliness of the Olympic Games of 2004 and, rather, promotes diachronic messages. These include the quest for peace, armistice and a universal climate of friendship, humanity and brotherhood throughout all the peoples of the earth."

Diadromes, Issue 9-10, 2003

"An amazing book that sends messages of love out to the whole world with the help of young heralds."
Super Katerina Magazine, April 2003

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