Writers of the inter-war period: the demand for renewal

In the inter-war period and until the mid-1930s, prose output demonstrated the intention of its creators to respond, each in his own way, to the general demand for renewal. The multiple directions that emerged were associated with personal development and experiences, but also with the impact of literary trends from abroad.

Several of the writers who first published books in this period make the most of their personal memories of the Greeks' violent expulsion from Asia Minor. Their work has the ring of truth
and is characterized by sheer realism. They include Stratis Myrivilis, Ilias Venezis, Photis Kontoglou and Stratis Doukas, whose common origin, the northeastern Aegean, also gave the name 'Aeolian school' to the movement they represenetd.
The writers who supported the 'School of bourgeois realism' were looking more to the future than the past. The plots of their novels unfolded in the modern bourgeois environment and frequently commented on the recent changes in Greek society. Among these writers are Yorgos Theotokas, Angelos Terzakis, Kosmas Politis, Petros Charis, Thrassos Kastanakis and M. Karagatsis. In the same period Penelope Delta published her novels for children.

Another group of writers whose work is characterized by elements of social investigation comprises Elli Alexiou, Themos Kornaros, Menelaos Lountemis, Yorgos Zarkos and Yorgos Dendrinos. Lilika Nakou and Tatiana Stavrou could also be placed in this group. These are writers who joined the leftist movement and suffered harassment and persecution. Between these writers and the previous group stand I.M. Panagiotopoulos and Yannis Sphakianakis, who are thought to have expressed most clearly the main transition in this period of modern Greek society, that is, the transition of many from miserable village to miserable city.

Finally, the 'Modernists' are writers who were indifferent to the exact portrayal of reality and who adopted a new and more radical way of writing. The geographical focus of this group was Thessaloniki and its basic members were Nikos Gavriil Pentzikis, Yorgos Delios and Stelios Xefloudas. This group is closely related to Yannis Skaribas, while Melpo Axioti moved in the same direction as she tried to formulate modern experience through language and the perceptions of oral tradition.