The Fourth Dimension

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 72%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $8.95   
  • New (3) from $32.43   
  • Used (8) from $8.95   


In the dramatic monologues that make up The Fourth Dimension—especially those based on the grim history of Mycenae and its royal protagonists—the celebrated modern Greek poet Yannis Ritsos presents a timeless poetic paradigm of the condition of Greece, past and present. The volume also contains a group of modern narratives, including the famous, and much-anthologized, "Moonlight Sonata." Ritsos, rightly, regarded the The Fourth Dimension as his finest achievement. It is now presented to English- speaking readers for the first time in its entirety.

From "Philoctetes"

All the speeches of great men, about the dead and about heroes.
Astonishing, awesome words, pursued us even in our sleep,
slipping beneath closed doors, from the banqueting hall where glasses and voices sparkled, and the veil of an unseen dancer rippled silently like a diaphanous, whirling wall between life and death. This throbbing our childhood nights, lightening the shadows of shields etched on white walls by slow moonlight.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written during the 1950s and 1960s, this volume is a prominent Greek poet's response to Euripides and other classic tragedians. Complex yet fascinating, it consists of 17 ``sustained dramatic soliloquies'' that present contemporary men and women who seem to inhabit the bodies of mythological figures: Agamemnon, Orestes, Persephone, Ajax, Electra and Phaedra. As in classic drama, each monologue begins and ends with a brief prose passage, setting the scene and recounting what happens after the speaker has exited. Detailed and vivid descriptions of people and places make the poems' mythological present seem a visionary future. Figures who died tragic deaths to fulfill legend are given new life, only to laugh at those who thought them dead. What is the past? all these speakers seem to ask, and the poet answers in the voice of Iphigenia: ``Murders, expeditions, reprisals, sunken ships, ruined regimes.'' Concise notes at the back of the volume remind us who these mythical figures are, show how they've been used in other literature and point out Ritsos's ( Selected Poems 1938-1988 ) often far-fetched groupings. While previous volumes of Ritsos's work have been rendered into English by such esteemed translators as Edmund Keely, two relatively unknown translators here take on this magnum opus and do an excellent job. (Aug.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691024653
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/17/1993
  • Series: Princeton Modern Greek Studies Series
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

The Window 3
Winter Clarity 15
Chronicle 25
Moonlight Sonata 37
Agamemnon 47
Orestes 63
The Dead House 83
The Return of Iphigenia 103
Under the Shadow of the Mountain 123
Chrysothemis 147
Persephone 175
Ismene 191
Ajax 215
Philoctetes 229
Helen 251
Phaedra 273
When the Stranger Comes 295
Notes to the Poems 313
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)