One hundred and twelve years since Papadiamantis ‘ death (January 2, 1911), the National Library adds to its papadiamantic archive one of the few surviving copies of the photograph taken of him, in 1906, by Pavlos Nirvanas in the tank. The photograph was narrated by Nirvana himself in CA. Panathenaea (Vol. IC, October 15, 1906). I quote a small passage:

“Suddenly he got up and saw the engine.

What is it? he asked with concern. Medical tools;

– No, no.

– Is it a Kodak, as they say?;

I found an opportunity to intercept his consent, to ask him for it as a favor. He seemed bent, he wanted to be complimentary to me.

– Friendship conquered the … zorbaliki, he told me with a childish smile.

I had already stood before him and dragged the little spring two or three times. He did not change his position, the characteristic ascetic position, with his arms clasped in front. With head bowed, eyes reigning, peaceful under half-closed eyelids. A gentleness inconceivable was poured into his face by the light of the two days. Not a few seconds had passed and he seemed in a hurry, anxious to finish.

– Nous excitons la curiosité du public … he told me in fluent French.

It was the first time that Papadiamantis spoke French.

The” common ” of the little cafe seemed to guess nothing.”

Basil IV. Kyriazopoulos (“the photos of Papadiamantis”, CA. Diagonal, TX. 14, May-August 1976, p. 105-109) showed that indeed Nirvana that day took, for safety’s sake, two or three photographs, as evidenced by the slight differences between the surviving copies. No one can know how many prints Nirvana made of the negative and who their recipients were. The specific copy that comes to the NLG was given, for sure, by Nirvana himself to his friend the poet Lambros Porphyras, who gave it to his first cousin Dimitris Pikionis (their mothers were sisters). Pikionis ‘ daughter and granddaughter, Agni Pikionis and Dora Rokos-Pikionis, today donate the photograph to the National Library, in memory of Dimitris and Alexandra Pikionis.

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