In conversation with Prof. Gonda Van Steen, with the generous technical support of Dr George Giannakopoulos, King’s College London, and with special thanks to Dr Marios Psaras, Cultural Counsellor, CHC
An interview about This Way Back, a Cyprus-focused memoir published by Joanna Eleftheriou on 1 October 2020, here presented as part of the Cyprus@60 Online Festival, organised by the Cyprus High Commission, UK – Cultural Section.
We are delighted to invite you to a Virtual Panel Discussion organised in collaboration with British School at Athens and Aiora Press on Friday 2 October at 6pm (UK) / 8pm (Greece).
David Ricks (King’s College London)
Karen Emmerich (Princeton)
Lambrini Kouzeli (journalist and translator)
Joshua Barley (translator)
Abstract: a panel discussion exploring how translators manage the reader’s historical awareness in relation to modern Greek fiction and how these works can be made relevant for a contemporary audience.
Our friends at the British School at Athens are already preparing for 2021, the bicentennial of the start of the Greek War of Independence. They’ve launched #21poemsinto21, 21 modern Greek poems read by twenty-first-century philhellenes.
Prof. Gonda Van Steen, director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at KCL, read Kostas Karyotakis’ ‘Delphic Festival’ (featured above). The whole series is available on the BSA website.
‘Towards an English Translation of Andreas Karkavitsas’ The Archaeologist (1904)’
Johanna Hanink (Brown University) is working on a translation of Andreas Karkavitsas’ 1904 novella ‘The Archaeologist’, to be published in 2021 with Penguin Classics. This will be the first Penguin Classic edition of a work by a Modern Greek prose author. The novella, written in the same year that Alexandros Papadiamandis’ ‘The Murderess was published'(1903), is an allegory for the tensions, neuroses, and challenges of the still-young Greek nation state. It tells the story of Aristodemus and Dimitrakis Eumorphopoulos, descendants of the illustrious Eumorphopoulos line (read: the ancient Greeks), who are struggling to regain their family’s glory after the downfall of the Khan family (read: the Ottomans) that has subjected them for centuries. The brothers, however, disagree about the best path forward: Aristodemus, the “archaeologist,” believes that they must look to the past—to their family’s ancient language and artifacts—while Dimitrakis insists on embracing the present.
The novella touches on several key themes in Modern Greek history: the “language question,” the putative “Romaic” versus “Hellenic” binary, the pitfalls of foreign philhellenism, the burdens of αρχαιολατρία and προγονοπληξία, the significance and symbolism of the material past, and the complications of defining a Greek national identity. It is, to be sure, a disturbingly nationalist tract, but it is also an important witness to many literary, cultural, and historical developments in the Greek nation state.