[ I have never lived in the country ]Notes on poetics and ethics
I have never lived in the country. I haven’t even visited the country for short whiles, as others have done. Nevertheless, I wrote a poem in which I praise the countryside, where I write that my verses are a tribute to the countryside. The poem is insignificant. It is indeed the most insincere construction; a true fallacy.
            But, it crosses my mind – is that true insincerity? Does not art always lie? Or, rather, is it not that when art lies the most, it is then that it creates the most? When I wrote these verses, was it not an artistic achievement? (The fact that the verses were imperfect is not perhaps due to the lack of sincerity; for how very often one fails, even armed with the sincerest of impressions.) At the time when I wrote the verses, did I not possess an artificial sincerity? Did I not fantasize in such a way as if I had lived in the country indeed?

5 July 1902

Translated by Manuel Savidis

- Original Greek Text