[MGSA-L] Greece designates 2013 Year of Constantine Cavafy

June Samaras june.samaras at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 17:48:39 PST 2013


Culture: Greece designates 2013 Year of Constantine Cavafy

On 150th anniversary of birth of the great poet from Alexandria
04 JANUARY, 10:10

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS - The Greek culture ministry has designated 2013 as
the Year of Constantine Cavafy to mark the 150the anniversary of the
world-renowned poet's birth.

Born within the then thriving Greek community in Alexandria of Egypt,
Cavafy (April 29, 1863 - April 29, 1933) was one of the most
influential literary figures produced by Greece in the early 20th
century and instrumental in establishing modern Greek poetry on the
international scene, where he is still being studied and translated
into many languages well into the 21st century.

Fifty new titles and 21 translations, 10 of them into English, were
added to the Cavafy bibliography between 2001-2010, poet Dimitri
Daskalopoulos wrote in a special insert on Cavafy in To Vima weekly.

Characterized by strong symbolism, Cavafy's poetry is always current.
''Every time I read about the crisis in Greece and in Europe, about
the fragility of European culture, I think of Cavafy. These were the
themes that interested him: cultures being born and being lost,'' Bard
College Professor Daniel Mendelsohn, who has translated Cavafy's
entire oeuvre into English, commented on the pages of the magazine.

Cavafy also inspired musicians, with 50 Greek composers and 30
international ones using his words as the basis of 350 compositions in
20 languages, as University of Michigan Professor Vassilis
Lambropoulos and Vienna pianist and professor, Pantelis Polychronidis,
pointed out.

''Cavafy does not need anniversaries to be remembered,'' Palermo
University Greek Literature Professor Renata Lavagnini wrote. ''In the
80 years since his death, his words have proven their ability to adapt
to lives different from the poet's own.

The direct, familiar tone in which he speaks to the reader explains
why his public is so vast.'' Also on the poet's anniversary, the
Onassis Foundation beat out stiff competition from universities around
the world to buy out the entire Cavafy archive, guaranteeing it will
remain in Greece.

''This acquisition is of national importance, not just because the
documentation will stay in Greece, but also because we will use it to
teach new generations about the poet,'' Onassis Foundation President
Antonis Papadimitriou explained on the pages of To Vima.

''The archive has a kind of magnetic pull, because it brought to light
documentation that had gone missing,'' Lavagnini wrote.

''Among other things it includes poems, literary and philological
texts, personal objects, and the archive of Alexandria Art magazine,
which the poet edited. The international literary community will honor
the year of Cavafy by publishing a double issue of French magazine
Europe.'' (ANSAmed).

June Samaras
2020 Old Station Rd
Canada L5M 2V1
Tel : 905-542-1877
E-mail : june.samaras at gmail.com

More information about the MGSA-L mailing list