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George Seferis: Classical Memory, History and the Archive
Foyalty 225

George Seferis: Classical Memory, History and the Archive (Hardback)

£75.00
Awaiting publication

Synopsis

How does public memory fit into Seferis' schema to justify Greece's vernacular claims to the classical past? What underlies the theory and practice of documenting private memory in his poetics, life writings and archives in view of modernist reformulations of ancient prototypes? In Seferis' work, the Classics are treated as an authoritative and timeless corpus of texts from which to articulate his age's anxieties over recovering the past from both a collective and subjective perspective.



This study reframes the question of a national culture's connection to the past, with particular focus on public memory. It argues that Seferis was an advocate of a paradoxical, if not antithetical, form of "vernacular classicism." In Seferis' schema, values seemingly intrinsic to classical texts are identified with aspects of Greek oral popular tradition to validate modern Greece's claims to that past. His project demonstrates the incompatibilities of identifications between past and present; between high and low.



This volume addresses what is to be remembered, by whom and how in Seferis' conceptualizations of memory, history and the archive. The study sets Seferis' thought against the backdrop of the theory and praxis of memory by major ancient and modern philosophers and theorists, such as Plato, Bergson, Ricoeur, Foucault, and Derrida.

Martha Klironomos is Professor of Modern Greek Studies and English Literature at San Francisco State University, USA, and the Director of the Center for Modern Greek Studies. Her publication and research areas include the poetry of the two Nobel Prize-winning authors George Seferis and Odysseas Elytis, British and American 20th century travel writing to Greece and contemporary Greek American literature.

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