Penelope Delta’s Fairy Tale and the Secrets of the Macedonian Struggle

Spyros Karavas (Mytilene).

Spyros Karavas’ article analyzes the novel written by Penelope Delta The Secrets of the Swamp (1937) resurrecting the Greek armed struggle in Macedonia in the first decade of 20 th century. In focus of the research are emotions by which the novelist tried to exert influence on her child and teenager readers who were her target. The article reveals Penelope Delta’s deliberate forgeries served as the basis for Greek national mythology concerning Macedonia. Spyros Karavas demonstrates how the famous Greek female author mixed historical events and fiction in order to stir up hatred and to propagate a complex of superiority in the souls of her young readers. His analysis is orientated to the means exploited by Penelope Delta to build up dichotomous conception opposing ‘civilized Greeks’ to ‘barbarian Bulgarians’, thanks to this conception the writer justified treacheries, murders and crimes committed by fear, guilty conscience or just for money. Special attention is paid to the relation among literature, national propaganda and historiography that jointly construct an idealized image of the Greek struggle in Macedonia but at the same time they testify to the social and mental state of Greek society in 20 th century.