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]) that exemplify the spiritual journey of a (poetic) consciousness in crisis, suggesting an interpretive model for understanding and overcoming some of Greece’s most tragic historical events, namely the German occupation, the ensuing and concomitant Civil War and the military dictatorship of the junta.
It is thus by the very power of negation and negativity of thought that the trauma of the Civil War ceases to be a petrifying Seferian “burden of memory,” and is made fluid and adaptable instead, recovering momentum to push towards regeneration, even if this only remains a vision for the future in Anagnostakis’ poetry.
Anagnostakis’ vision of truth manifests itself in a dialectical evolution towards absolute consciousness—that is not a particular consciousness, but that of humanity which is aware of this truth about itself—through the poetic dialogue with, and transfiguration of, historical events.
In this way, a higher degree of truth is envisioned, a truth that Anagnostakis identifies as the absolute knowledge of reality or Essence, as he points out quoting Georg Lukacs: …
η Διαλεχτική διαποτίζει το σύνολο της πραγματικότητας έτσι, ώστε κάτω απ΄αυτή την αλληλοεξάρτηση η Ουσία και το Φαινόμενο, να σχετικοποιούνται πάλι: αυτό που ως Ουσία αντιπαρατίθεται στο Φαινόμενο, καθώς εμείς σκαλίζουμε βαθύτερα κάτω από την επιφάνεια των άμεσων βιωμάτων, σε μια εξονυχιστική περαιτέρω έρευνα, εμφανίζεται σαν Φαινόμενο πίσω από το οποίο μια άλλη, νέα Ουσία αναφαίνεται. Dialectics pervades the whole of reality in such a way that due to their interrelations Essence and Appearance become again indissolubly linked: when we scratch beneath the surface of direct experiences conducting an in-depth investigation, [we realise that] what as Essence is opposed to Appearance, appears as Appearance behind which another, new Essence emerges and so forth Nonetheless, Anagnostakis’ dialectics is not concerned with transcendental abstracts of reality, but with reality as a totality.
Rather than merely transcending empirical reality and taking flight into a metaphysical realm, it reflects upon and creates a multifaceted vision of the physical world similar to multiple exposure in photography.
This includes the binary oppositions of observation and introspection, particularity and universality, individuality and collectivity as well as being and non-being.
These are not treated as mechanical negations or contradictions, but are shown to be related oppositions immanent in the phenomena themselves that in their totality allow for the fullest, most comprehensive insight possible.
This is further illustrated by the close dialogue between poetry and history that is omnipresent in Anagnostakis’s poetic collections.
Anchored in and inspired by history and, in particular, the momentum of war and conflict, this poetic vision regards the attainment and fusion of historical and self-consciousness as a huge cosmic accomplishment, as it generates the all-encompassing vantage point, not of a particular consciousness, but of humanity.
This attuning of the human mind constitutes for Anagnostakis the foundation of potential improvement of the human condition, be it in the shape of social reform or revolution.
As the latter appear to the poet increasingly unattainable during his own lifetime (“Κανένας στίχος σήμερα δεν κινητοποιεί τις μάζες/Κανένας στίχος σήμερα δεν ανατρέπει καθεστώτα,” “Επίλογος,” Critics have generally emphasized Anagnostakis’ tendency towards defeatism and silence, and deep scepticism towards his medium itself, which was taken to its ultimate consequence by his disappearance from the poetic scene after 1971.