Vasilis Arvanitis

A Bibliographical Note

by Pavlos Andronikos


The following versions or editions of Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης (Vasilis Arvanitis) were published during Myrivilis’ lifetime:

1st version:Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης” in three parts in the newspaper Πρωία, 10, 17, & 18 June, 1934.

2nd version:Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης” in Το γαλάζιο βιβλίο (Athens: Πυρσός, 1939), pp. 127-162.
This revised and extended version was included only in this first edition of The Blue Book, a collection of short stories by Stratis Myrivilis. It was withdrawn from subsequent editions.

The Blue Book page 127
Pages 126-7 of the 1st edition of The Blue Book

3rd version, 1st edition: Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης (Athens: Pegasos, 1943).
This is the first edition of Vasilis Arvanitis in more or less its final form.

Vasilis Arvanitis, 1943 cover
The cover of the 1943 edition of Vasilis Arvanitis
Cover design: Angelos Spyridonas

3rd version, 2nd edition: Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης Athens: n.p., 1944).

Vasilis Arvanitis, 1944 cover
The cover of the 1944 edition of Vasilis Arvanitis
Cover design: Panos Valsamakis

Τhe text of this second edition differs slightly from that of the first, but it does not differ enough for this edition to be regarded as a 4th version. A comparison of these first two editions of the novella reveals numerous differences, all slight, which suggest that Myrivilis used the opportunity of a second edition to make corrections and minor revisions to the work. This second edition should be regarded as the definitive version of the novella, since it represents the author’s last reworking of it.

The most significant amendment, because it adds information about the narrator, is the change on page 17 to the trapped bird incident:

Από τότες, τόσα χρόνια πάνε, και μέσα μου ένα κυνηγημένο περιστέρι δέρνεται να ξελεφτερωθεί και δεν το μπορεί. Τ’ ακούγω κάθε νύχτα να φτεροκοπά μέσα στη μοναξιά μου [1943: του] αβόηθητο και λέω: δε γίνεται τίποτα.

Another amendment which should perhaps be mentioned is the one which led Peter Bien in his review of my translation to detect an “error”:

Errors are rare (I caught only one in a spot check: “ripened my soul” for “ripened in my soul”).[1]

This is not in fact an error. The 2nd edition has “που ωρίμασε ο καημός την ψυχή” and not “που ωρίμασε ο καημός στην ψυχή”.

3rd version, 3rd edition: Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης (Athens: Alvin Redman Hellas, 1966).
Due to illness, Myrivilis was unable to oversee the preparation of this edition,[2] which uses the text of the first edition rather than the revised text of the second, and adds a number of errors. Unfortunately all subsequent Greek editions of Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης have been based on this corrupt edition.

Pavlos Andronikos



  1. Peter Bien, “Review of Vasilis Arvanitis translated by Pavlos Andronikos”, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Volume 2, Number 2, October 1984, pp. 254-256.

  2. G. Valetas, Review of the 1971 edition of Ο Βασίλης ο Αρβανίτης, ed. Mario Vitti (Athens: Ermis, 1971), in Aiolika Grammata 2(1972), 79-80.