The Dying and Deathless Musician in Modern Greek Culture: Nikos Xylouris and Manos Loizos
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The aim of this paper is to explore the way that the image of popular musicians in Greece is informed, modified and transformed by death. The image of the dying musician has become established in Greek tradition and is a common motif in both oral and literary sources where the death of the musician is invariably presented as both a personal and national loss. Indeed, it can be argued, that it is at the point of death that the musician truly “belongs” to “the people”. In the case of Nikos Xylouris and Manos Loizos, both musicians were loved and esteemed by friends, colleagues and the general populace alike. Their respective deaths were documented in great detail. Despite the abundance of information, however, the posthumous images which evolved drew on generic, mythic images of the dying and deathless musician already in existence in the culture. My focus is on exploring this process.