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Image; Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933)  
New Perspectives on Cavafy

A colloquium commemorating the 70th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy's death and the 140th anniversary of his birth.

Saturday 22 November 2003
Garden Room and 'Pearson Lecture Theatre', UCL


Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) and his work were the focus of a one day conference held at University College London on Saturday 22 November 2003.

C.P. Cavafy lived most of his life in Alexandria, a member of the then thriving Greek community of Egypt. One of the most celebrated writers to have written in modern Greek, his poems have fascinated readers throughout the 20th century and have been constantly translated into numerous languages.

Cavafy the erotic, the sensual, the multicultural, the ironic, multidimensional poet, has been a major influence on writers of the calibre of Marguerite Yourcenar, W.H. Auden, Joseph Brodski, E.M. Forster down to Gore Vidal and 2003's Nobel Laureate J.M.Coetzee, who borrowed the title of a Cavafy poem for one of his novels (Waiting for the Barbarians).

With this event, we presented the multiplicity of approaches that Cavafy's oeuvre still attracts. Academics from different disciplines and countries with an interest in the poet's work came together to discuss the writings (and rewritings) of this Alexandrian famously described by Forster as 'a Greek gentleman in a straw hat, standing absolutely motionless at a slight angle to the universe'.

This was the first time an academic event on Modern Greek Literature was hosted at UCL and it was generously supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, UK, the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, The Dean's Fund (UCL), and Easyjet.

Speakers included

Professor Vassilis Lambropoulos (Michigan). 'Agonistic Appearance on the Stage of History'.

Professor Christopher Robinson (Oxford). 'Cavafy's Sexual Sensibility: Reading Cavafy through Mark Doty and Cathal Ó Searcaigh'.

Professor Howard Caygill (Goldsmiths). 'Repetition and Retrospection in Cavafy's Erotic Lyrics'.

Professor Gregory Woods (Nottingham Trent). 'Cavafy and Greek Love'.

Dr. George Syrimis (Yale). 'Desire in C. P. Cavafy and the Many Faces of Myres'.

There was also a discussion with Cavafy's most recent French translator Dominique Grandmont and the Greek poet and critic Dionyses Kapsales, as well as a screening of Constantine Giannaris's award winning black and white documentary on the life of the poet, Trojans (1989), followed by a discussion with the director.

The full programme is available here [Word format].

For more information, please contact Dr. Dimitris Papanikolaou at d.papanikolaou@ucl.ac.uk

link: Alexander Onassis Foundation link: Greece in Britian 2003 link: Hellenic Foundation for Culture, UK

This page last modified 26 September, 2012 by by UCL Mellon admin.

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