[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Lecture: November 24, 2014

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Mon Nov 17 11:26:58 PST 2014


Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies


Tragedy's Solace:
Seferis, 'Hellenicity' and the Greek Civil War

Vayos Liapis

Open University of Cyprus

Institute for Advanced Study

In December 1945, in the midst of the Greek Civil War (1944-1949), George Seferis writes 'Blind,' a poem deploying the ethos and the language of Greek tragedy, especially Aeschylean tragedy, to mythologize current events. We will use this poem as a springboard to explore how the mythologizing process in Seferis both triggers and conditions the reader's reaction: s/he is invited to interpret contemporary history through patterns of meaning that derive from the most monumental classical myths and tragic texts. At the same time, by invoking Greek antiquity, the poem zooms out to provide a wide view, thereby detaching current events from their immediate context and re-inscribing them in the much larger framework of human history, thought, and culture, especially in their manifestations in the classical era. As a universally accessible medium, myth can impose shape on the chaos of developing events and it can offer the comfort of an underlying structure behind what appears as disorder and unpredictability. At an era of fragmentation and incommunicability, myth provides a common denominator, a commonly appreciable paradigm that can help create and convey meaning.

Vayos Liapis is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at the Open University of Cyprus and currently an Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Historical Studies). A graduate of the University of Athens (B.A., 1994) and the University of Glasgow (Ph.D., 1997), he has taught at the Universities of Cyprus, Montreal, and Patras. He has published on classical and postclassical Greek tragedy, archaic Greek lyric, Hellenistic poetry, Greek wisdom literature, textual criticism, and the reception of Greek tragedy in modern Greek literature. His latest book is A Commentary on the Rhesus Attributed to Euripides (Oxford, 2012). He is currently working on a new commentary on Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes and on a monograph on the interaction between monetization and emerging forms of thought in early Greece.

Monday, November 24, 2014

4:30 p.m.

Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

Supported by Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund

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