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Modern Greek Writers: Solomos, Calvos, Matesis, Palamas, Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Seferis, Elytis

Modern Greek Writers: Solomos, Calvos, Matesis, Palamas, Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Seferis, Elytis

Edmund Keeley
Peter Bien
Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 271
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  • Book Info
    Modern Greek Writers: Solomos, Calvos, Matesis, Palamas, Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Seferis, Elytis
    Book Description:

    The literary renaissance of Modern Greece is the subject of essays by ten critics and scholars on the theme, "Modern Greek Literature and it European Background." From Zissimos Lorenzatos' discussion of the nineteenth- century poet Solomos to Peter Bien's analysis of Kazantznkis' fervent demoticism, they give evidence of the creative activity that has been going on as Greek writers in all genres turn outward to Europe and inward to their own culture to form a unique modern literature.

    Originally published in 1972.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7232-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[viii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [ix]-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-22)
    Peter Bien

    WE are all intrigued, perhaps mystified, by the way various nations suddenly blossom forth artistically. Poets, painters, and musicians whom we call great are so often just the most distinguished figures of a general artistic ferment usually centered in a single city or region and very clearly having a growth, peak, and decline. Athens in the Golden Age, Florence at the time of Dante, the London of Shakespeare, the Vienna of Mozart and Beethoven, the Paris of the Impressionists, Emerson’s Boston, and the Dublin of Yeats and Joyce are diverse examples, all of which have been studied and admired throughout...

  4. 1. Solomos’ DIALOGOS : A Survey
    (pp. 23-66)
    Zissimos Lorenzatos

    ALL countries have their own distinctive standards. But in spite of this, one may draw certain parallels, and occasionally these parallels have some foundation. It seems to me that a parallel with some foundation can be drawn between the two ancient classical languages, Greek and Latin. I am not referring to these languages as they were in antiquity—that would have no connection with the purpose of this essay—but to the fate they have known with the passage of time in the respective areas where they used to be spoken and written or where they have ceased to be...

  5. 2. Calvos in Geneva
    (pp. 67-92)
    Bertrand Bouvier

    I DO NOT know of a more poignant document than this to illustrate the haughty solitude and the bitterness that marked the life of Andreas Calvos. His death certificate,¹ established in a foreign language, does not mention his faraway country and, as did his contemporaries, refuses him the title of poet.

    Calvos spent all the years of his life as a stranger on earth, whether in Italy, in England, in Switzerland, or even among his own countrymen. His Greek poetical work—two thin collections of poems published at the age of 32 and 34, the first one in Geneva, the...

  6. 3. Matesis’ VASSILIKOS : The First Drama of Ideas
    (pp. 93-108)
    Angelos Terzakis

    THE FOCUS of this essay will be a dramatic work, a play that was precocious for the Greek literature of its time and prophetic for European literature in general. I should immediately say that I shall try not to exaggerate in order to prove the validity of my point. As I hope my readers will realize, the play in question does not need any underlining. What is needed is that the barrier that keeps it from international attention be overcome, since modern Greek is read by only a few outside Greece.

    My intention is to look at the play from...

  7. 4. Palamas and World Literature
    (pp. 109-122)
    Thanasis Maskaleris

    ONE of the most illuminating ways of approaching the work of Palamas is to examine it in relation to the heritage of western Europe, to single out the writers he admired most deeply and discover their influences on his work.¹ During his long and extremely active intellectual life, Palamas came into contact with a vast literary and philosophical tradition, and he assimilated a great variety of ideas. The protean quality of his work is the result of rich and diverse influences. From the time of his youth Palamas was an inspired student of classical literatures, and their effect on his...

  8. 5. The “New” Poems of Cavafy
    (pp. 123-144)
    Edmund Keeley

    IT is not surprising that the publication of seventy-five so-called new poems by C. P. Cavafy proved to be the major literary event of 1968 in Athens, indeed one of the truly significant events of the postwar period in Greek letters.¹ Since Cavafy is now fully recognized by his countrymen as the most original Greek poet of this century, any discovery concerning him is obviously important news. What does seem a bit surprising is the particular kind of excitement that the new poems initially inspired in Greece and that they have now begun to inspire in the United States, where...

  9. 6. The Demoticism of Kazantzakis
    (pp. 145-170)
    Peter Bien

    IN choosing the subject “The Demoticism of Kazantzakis,” I hope to present Kazantzakis in a much broader way than that in which he is usually seen.¹ Most people in the English-speaking world know him only from his novels, which represent just the last sixteen years of his fifty-one-year career. And we know the novels only in translation. Even Greeks and others who read these books in the original may be unaware of Kazantzakis’ earlier career and in particular of the role that the “language question” played in that career. My object therefore is really twofold: (a) to give a sense...

  10. 7. Seferis’ Tone of Voice
    (pp. 171-190)
    Peter Levi

    WHAT interests me about Seferis is his tone of voice in his poems.¹ It is something to do with the building up of context inside a poem, and now that we have a broad mass of his poems to live with, one can see this power of context building up in whole collections and sequences of poems and from year to year, so that one can speak of something having a resonance in the whole context of the poetry of George Seferis. I think it is important and interesting that today, for a number of reasons—some of them inside...

  11. 8. Elytis’ Brecht and Hadzidakis’ Pirandello
    (pp. 191-216)
    Stavros Deligiorgis

    FOREIGNNESS in art has never been foreign to the Greeks. The ancient Greeks heard it in the chorus of the Homeric hymn to Apollo,¹ and they implied it whenever they used the term ξένον (xenon) as an honorific in anekphrasis. The fictive “educations” of numberless wise Greeks among Indians, Egyptians, and near-Easterners,² Odysseus’ listening to new songs with every new adventure away from his home,³ and the application of terms suggestive of foreignness in ancient musical theory,⁴ invite a reconsideration of those onesided histories that show a Greece that never was. It would be safer, in fact, to think...

  12. 9. Family and Alienation in Contemporary Greek Fiction
    (pp. 217-234)
    Mario Vitti

    WE are all aware that the history of Greek fiction from 1920 to the present has still not been written. The studies we have at our disposal are often valuable and helpful, but they offer only fragmented aspects of the subject rather than a full, exhaustive survey. As often as not, we are dealing with book reviews, for example those brought together in Andreas Karandonis’ Πϵζoγράϕoι καὶ πϵζo γραϕήματα τηϛ Γϵνιαϛ τoν’30 (Novelists and Novels of the Thirties),¹ a collection of articles that this well-known critic published over an extended period—articles dealing with those novelists of his own generation...

  13. 10. Survivances du romantisme dans la culture néo-hellénique
    (pp. 235-248)
    C. Th. Dimaras

    LA PÉRIODISATION dans le domaine des sciences diachroniques est, sans doute, en premier lieu une exigence de notre esprit, dans son effort pour donner un sens au déroulement de I’histoire. Toutefois, si une certaine supposition que j’ai avancée naguère à ce sujet n’est pas tout à fait sans fondement, la matière de nos etudés imposerait, elle aussi, la notion d’unités successives qui marqueraient Ieur présence dans le déroulement du temps. D’ailleurs, si, l’homme restant inchangé tant que nous en suivons les traces dans son histoire, ses manifestations se modifient, il faut bien rechercher la cause de ces changements ailleurs que...

  14. Notes on the Contributors
    (pp. 249-252)
  15. Index
    (pp. 253-261)