Abstract This article examines the proliferation of popular literary texts about Modern Greece in nineteenth-century British periodicals from the 1860s to the 1890s, texts that reveal the country's appeal to the Victorians, inviting them to imagine the birth and development of the new nation after the War of Independence (1821?1828). Short stories published in popular magazines, such as the New Monthly Magazine, Bow Bells and Sunday at Home, revisit the Greek Revolution and return to the popular allegory of Greece as an enslaved or endangered woman to reflect on the ?Eastern question? and British colonial politics of protectionism in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, women authors like Elizabeth Mayhew Edmonds and Isabella Fyvie Mayo, publishing in women's magazines, write stories and articles about the role of women in the Greek War of Independence, relating the feats of these historical or fictional figures to the ?woman question? and to Victorian debates on femininity and gender, as well as national and imperial politics. In the late Victorians' re-imagining of revolutionary history, Modern Greece is not enslaved to its classical past, as in traditional philhellenist representations, but must discover its modernity through its powerful nationalist agents. Revolutionary Greece re-emerges as a symbolic event through a variety of publications, which often highlight the country's cultural hybridity and construct a transnational network of literary affiliations, creating parallelisms between Greece and Britain.
The article explores the reception of 1821 in Victorian popular culture, focusing on the representation of Greek women in stories published in contemporary periodicals. The two dominant tropes of Greek womanhood that emerge in popular fiction and poetry published from the 1830s to the 1890s the captive harem slave and the intrepid warrior arouse sympathy for the enslaved women but also evoke liberal ideas on womens national and social roles. These texts foreground the position of Greek women within a nineteenth-century social context and imbue in them virtues and conflicts such as radicalism, the enfranchisement of women and middle-class domesticity that concerned Britain as much as Greece. Greek women, as represented in these stories, construct a Victorian narrative of 1821 and of the Greek nation that oscillates between familiarity and strangeness, freedom and enslavement, real and imaginary. These largely neglected texts challenge traditional definitions of philhellenism, which depended on the legacy of ancient Greece as justification for the cause of the countrys liberation, and instead construct new myths about Greece, participating in the discursive production of its national fantasy. They also provide the opportunity of reconsidering the cultural position of Modern Greece in the Victorian period beyond the division between Hellenism and Orientalism.
Athens emerges as a paradox in travel literature; it is both a site of timeless monuments and a city in constant metamorphosis. From the late seventeenth to the twenty-first century, a great number of travelogues have revealed the changing identity of Athens and the ways in which its images were circulated and interpreted through the centuries. Classical imagery became the symbol of Athens through its first detailed descriptions by early travelers, while eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholars, writers, and artists negotiated impulses to idealize, admire, or even satirize the city Athens in their secular pilgrimages. When Athens became the capital of the new nation after the GreekWar of Independence, its symbolic significance increased, suggesting not only the continuity with antiquity but also the divided position of Greece between past and present, East and West, the ideal and the real. Following its transformation into a modern metropolis, Athens continues to challenge travel writers to capture its ambiguity and explore its mythologies and traumas.
George Gissing's novel Sleeping Fires (1895) presents a late nineteenth-century Athens that is divided between its ancient and modern identities. As a reflection on the significance of Hellenism in Victorian culture, the novel narrates the random encounter between Edmund Langley, a self-exile with a classical education, and Louis Reed, a passionate and radical young man, who is revealed to be Langley's lost and unknown son. In the context of Gissing's diaries and letters recording his visit to Athens, Sleeping Fires portrays the city as an ambivalent space, both inspirational and deceptive. Gissing's juxtaposition of the ancient monuments' beauty with the bleakness of their modern surroundings emphasizes the distance between antiquity and modernity as well as Victorians' misinterpretations of Greece, revealing the period's conflicting discourses about Hellenism.
Taking as a point of departure Lord Byron’s reflections on the meaning of the ruined Parthenon, this essay traverses the long legacy of ruin-thinking in the Anglo-American imagination, and argues for its relevance to the present day. Referencing earlier and recent strands in the rich scholarship on the trope of the ruin, the authors contextualize the essays of the volume; particular emphasis is laid on the volume’s especial focus on the ruin as metaphor and as a historical materiality, as these are probed in individual chapters that discuss ruin and ruination across British and American literature, continental theory and philosophy.
This book focuses on literal and metaphorical ruins, as they are appropriated and imagined in different forms of writing. Examining British and American literature and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book begins in the era of industrial modernity with studies of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and Daphne Du Maurier. It then moves on to the significance of ruins in the twentieth century, against the backdrop of conflict, waste and destruction, analyzing authors such as Beckett and Pinter, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton and Leonard Cohen. The collection concludes with current debates on ruins, through discussions of Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht, as well as reflections on the refugee crisis that take the ruin beyond the text, offering new perspectives on its diverse legacies and conceptual resources.
In Act 2 Scene 2 of Richard II, Bushy advises the Queen against ‘looking awry’ upon the King’s departure, comparing her gaze first to a perspective glass and then to a perspective picture that appears distorted unless viewed at an angle. I rely on this metaphor of anamorphosis to examine two recent productions of Richard II in Athens, both of which ‘distort’ the text and situate it in a bleak context. Viewed from the angle of the current political discontent, the 2014 and 2016 adaptations, directed by Elli Papakonstantinou and Efi Birba respectively, assume distinct meaning for the Athenian audience.
Troilus and Cressida: A Critical Reader offers an accessible and thought-provoking guide to this complex problem play, surveying its key themes and evolving critical preoccupations. Considering its generic ambiguity and experimentalism, it also provides a uniquely detailed and up-to-date history of the play's stage performance from Dryden's rewriting up to Mark Ravenhill and Elizabeth LeCompte's controversial 2012 production for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Wooster Group.Moving through to four new critical essays, the guide opens up fresh perspectives on the play's iconoclastic nature and its key themes, ranging from issues of gender and sexuality to Elizabethan politics, from the uses of antiquity to questions of cultural translation, with particular attention paid on Troilus' “Greekness”.
Christopher Marlowe's The Massacre at Paris, a play which probably dates from 1592 but has reached posterity in a mangled form, enacts the incorporation of religious and state politics in the theatre. Through a sequence of short scenes characterized by senseless brutality and black humor, Marlowe revisits one of the darkest episodes of French history, the Saint Bartholomew‘s Day Massacre, which took place on the 24th and 25thAugust 1572. Dramatizing the slaughter of thousands of Protestants by Catholics, the play not only reflects on the significance of massacre as a political term for an increasingly absolutist Renaissance Europe but also translates the violence of massacre into aesthetic form. Itself alien within the body of Marlowe’s dramatic works, The Massacre at Paris has rarely been performed after its Elizabethan successful performances at the Rose; this is not surprising given the state of the extant text and its dismissal by many critics as crude anti-Catholic propaganda. Yet, the Massacre's corrupt and incomplete form, political ambiguities and emphasis on theatrical violence have inspired two contemporary artists, the French director Guillaume Delaveau and the Austrian composer Wolfgang Mitterer, to rethink and revive it. Both Delaveau's Massacre à Paris, first performed at Toulouse in 2007 and Mitterer's experimental opera Massacre, composed in 2003 and performed in 2008 and 2010 in France, refer to recent wars and atrocities and rejoice in the irony of the play. This paper seeks to investigate the play's ability to convey political thought and provoke contemporary audiences by reading it together with Delaveau and Mitterer's adaptations.The challenge of reworking the Massacre for our age involves the question of the theatre's potential to expose the audience to the horror of history.
This book examines the letters, diaries, and published accounts of English and Scottish travelers to Greece in the seventeenth century, a time of growing interest in ancient texts and the Ottoman Empire. Through these early encounters, this book analyzes the travelers’ construction of Greece in the early modern Mediterranean world and shows how travel became a means of collecting and disseminating knowledge about ancient sites. Focusing on the mobility and exchange of people, artifacts, texts, and opinions between the two countries, it argues that the presence of Britons in Greece and of Greeks in England aroused interest not only in Hellenic antiquity, but also in Greece’s contemporary geopolitical role. Exploring myth, perception, and trope with clarity and precision, this book offers new insight into the connections between Greece, the Ottoman Empire, and the West.
This book combines legal as well as political and theoretical questions in a variety of contexts, ranging from legal issues in the early modern period to critical explorations of law/s, justice and textuality in contemporary literature and culture. The essays in this volume offer critical perspectives on the role of literature and theory in relation to the law and explore otherness and justice in early modern, Victorian and contemporary texts, postmodern theory, colonial and postcolonial contexts and popular culture. Examining how legal and literary narratives construct, repress, legitimise, but also enable the Other, this volume offers new insights into forms of alterity, marginality and exclusion and articulates the imperative need to reconfigure issues of justice as always intertwined with the Other.
Women Writing Greece explores images of modern Greece by women who experienced the country as travellers, writers, and scholars, or who journeyed there through the imagination. The essays assembled here consider women's travel narratives, memoirs and novels, ranging from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century, focusing on the role of gender in travel and cross-cultural mediation and challenging stereotypical views of 'the Greek journey', traditionally seen as an antiquarian or Byronic pursuit. This collection aims to cast new light on women's participation in the discourses of Hellenism and Orientalism, examining their ideological rendering of Greece as at once a luminous land and a site crossed by contradictory cultural memories. Arranged chronologically, the essays discuss encounters with Greece by, among others, Lady Elizabeth Craven, Lady Hester Stanhope, Lady Montagu, Lady Morgan, Mary Shelley, Felicia Skene, Emily Pfeiffer, Eva Palmer, Jane Ellen Harrison, Virginia Woolf, Ethel Smyth, Christa Wolf, Penelope Storace and Gillian Bouras, and analyse them through a variety of critical, historical, contextual and theoretical frames.
«… Εγώ όμως είδα ο ίδιος το έργο των χεριών ενός ζωγράφου, τα μάτια μου καταγοητεύτηκαν από το θέαμα και πραγματικά θαύμασα τη δεξιοτεχνία αυτού του ανθρώπου. Σκέφτηκα, λοιπόν, ότι μόνο ένας εχθρός του ωραίου θα μπορούσε να καλύψει με τη σιωπή ένα τέτοιο καλλιτέχνημα και να αρκεστεί μόνο στο θαυμασμό του δημιουργήματος. Γι αυτό κι εγώ του χαρίζω την ομιλία και το παρουσιάζω, όσο μου είναι δυνατό, μπροστά στα μάτια όσων δεν το έχουν δει… »Με αυτά τα λόγια, ο Κωνσταντίνος Μανασσής (12ος αιώνας) εισάγει την εκτενή περιγραφή ενός ψηφιδωτού στα αυτοκρατορικά ανάκτορα της Κωνσταντινούπολης, σκιαγραφώντας ταυτόχρονα την ιδιάζουσα σχέση που διέπει την εικόνα και τον λόγο εντός του λογοτεχνικού έργου. Η παρούσα ανθολογία στόχο έχει να παρουσιάσει μέσα από έξι βυζαντινές εκφράσεις, δηλαδή, περιγραφές έργων τέχνης, τον τρόπο με τον οποίο οι λογοτέχνες στο Βυζάντιο συνδιαλέγονται και συναγωνίζονται με τις εικαστικές τέχνες ή, πάλι, αποτυπώνουν ανθρώπους και τοπία ωσάν αυτά να ήταν έργα τέχνης.Τα έξι κείμενα –τρία πεζά και τρία ποιητικά– προέρχονται από τη μεσοβυζαντινή και την υστεροβυζαντινή περίοδο (10ος -15ος αιώνας). Πρόκειται για ζωντανά λογοτεχνικά έργα που αντανακλούν συγκεκριμένες πολιτισμικές και αισθητικές ανάγκες της βυζαντινής κοινωνίας. Κανένα από τα έξι κείμενα δεν έχει μεταφραστεί στα νέα ελληνικά.
Το βιβλίο, πέρα από ένα εισαγωγικό δοκίμιο για την έκφραση στην αρχαία και τη βυζαντινή λογοτεχνία, περιλαμβάνει σύντομη εισαγωγή για κάθε συγγραφέα, το κείμενο στο πρωτότυπο αντικριστά με την απόδοσή του, όπως επίσης και ένα παράρτημα με αναλυτικά σχολιασμένη βιβλιογραφία.
Η ανθολογία αυτή συγκεντρώνει για πρώτη φορά εντυπώσεις Βρετανίδων περιηγητριών από την Ελλάδα, αρχίζοντας από τις επιστολές της λαίδης Μόνταγκιου, της πιο διάσημης περιηγήτριας και θαυμάστριας της Ανατολής του 18ου αιώνα, και τελειώνοντας με τα ημερολόγια της Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ, που επισκέφτηκε δύο φορές τη χώρα μας. Οι περιηγητικές πραγματείες, οι επιστολές και τα ημερολόγια που επιλέγονται αποκαλύπτουν όχι μόνο τον σημαντικό ρόλο που έπαιξε η Ελλάδα στον βρετανικό πολιτισμό αλλά και τη σημασία του φύλου, τόσο στον περιηγητισμό όσο και στην αναπαράσταση ενός "άλλου" πολιτισμού. Τα κείμενα των περιηγητριών αμφισβητούν τα στερεότυπα του ελληνικού ταξιδιού, που διαμορφώθηκαν σύμφωνα με τα πρότυπα των αρχαιοφίλων (και αρχαιοθήρων) του 18ου αιώνα ή μέσα από το ρομαντικό βλέμμα του λόρδου Βύρωνα και των επιγόνων του· συμπίπτουν επίσης χρονικά με την ιστορική περίοδο της αυτογνωσίας, τη διαμόρφωση της εθνικής και πολιτισμικής ταυτότητας του νέου έθνους-κράτους. [...] "Η Αθήνα" γράφει η Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ "σημαίνει πολύ περισσότερα πράγματα από την Ακρόπολη και το συνετότερο σχέδιο είναι να διαχωρίσεις τους ζωντανούς από τους νεκρούς, το παλιό από το νέο, έτσι ώστε η μια εικόνα να μην ενοχλεί την άλλη". Χωρίς να εγκαταλείπουν την αναζήτηση του παρελθόντος, οι περιηγήτριες αυτής της ανθολογίας δείχνουν να αφοσιώνονται στην απεικόνιση ενός "νοθευμένου" μεν αλλά απτού παρόντος, σε μια Ελλάδα που δεν είναι ξεπεσμένη, αλλά ζωντανή.