Writings from a Greek Prison: 32 Steps, or Correspondence from the House of the Dead | Left Wing Books

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Writings from a Greek Prison: 32 Steps, or Correspondence from the House of the Dead

Translated by Eleni Pappa
144 pages
$20.25 (CAD)

Writings from a Greek Prison is a literary work of biting realism. Tasos Theofilou gives testimony on the brutality of prison life, and its centrality in contemporary capitalism, through a blur of memoir, social commentary, free verse, and a glossary of the idiom used by inmates in Greek prisons.

A political prisoner in Greece from 2012 to 2017, Theofilou’s work centers on exposing the conditions of widespread exploitation and social struggle that persist in Greece as a result of the debt crisis—in prisons as well as in mainstream society. Common Notions’ new imprint, ΔΙΠΛΗ / DIPLI, taking its name from the Greek word “double,” refers to the way in which prisoners from different prisons communicate by way of the double telephone line. With this strategy, two to five prisoners in different locations call the same telephone number at an agreed upon time and the owner of that telephone number, living outside prison, connects them together. All proceeds raised through the DIPLI imprint will support political prisoners.


About the Author

Tasos Theofilou is an anarchist-communist and a former political prisoner in Greece. He is the author of six books. Through speculative fiction, noir, and graphic novels, he illuminates the conditions of exploitation and social conflict in Greece. While in prison, Theofilou also authored a book on Attica as part of the international solidarity with the U.S. prisoners’ strike on the forty-fifth anniversary of the prison uprising." Theofilou addressed the Court of Appeal on April 28, 2017 with the following statement in his plea: 

"My prosecution is part of a comprehensive effort by the Greek political personnel to introduce, implement, and enforce a Law and Order doctrine over the past two and a half decades—an effort which has intensified from 2009–2015. This is a doctrine that entwines the Ministry of Public Order and the Ministry of Justice and is imported by the Greek government as a policy package from the United States. 

I repeat once again, and conclude, that I did not commit the offenses for which I am accused. I did commit, however, the one offense that includes all others. I am an anarchist. In the class war, I chose the side of the excluded and the underprivileged, the prosecuted and the accursed, the poor, the weak, and the oppressed. 

My imprisonment is, on the one hand, the only natural consequence of that choice, and on the other hand, one more field of struggle.”