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Modern mimesis: encounters between British and Greek poetry, 1922-1952

Georganta, Konstantina (2009) Modern mimesis: encounters between British and Greek poetry, 1922-1952. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the crisis in the portrayal of national spaces and national identities, insecure in the multiplicity of their cultural roots and thus diasporic and hybrid, from 1922, a year marked for its importance in the disintegration of imperial Britain and in the positioning of Greece on the threshold of its European literary Modernist inheritance, until 1952, the year of Louis MacNeice’s observations of Greece in his poetry collection Ten Burnt Offerings. The boundaries of cultures, states, religious beliefs and genders are considered in the figures of T.S. Eliot’s Mr. Eugenides, C.P. Cavafy’s Myris, Kostes Palamas’s Phemius, W. B. Yeats’s Crazy Jane and Demetrios Capetanakis’s Greek Orlando and the Greek space is explored as John Lehmann’s Mediterranean home and Louis MacNeice’s Easter gathering. The opening chapter considers the bardic performance of Yeats and Palamas’s poetic alter-egos and their respective progress towards a fusion with the feminine and a battle with the modern. Smyrna, an area of contention for British imperial and Greek irredentist claims raising questions about the stability of national states and national identities, is discussed in Chapters 2 and 3 in the way it informed the construction of identities in Eliot’s The Waste Land and Cavafy’s poetry, respectively. Chapters 4 and 5 consider the literary encounter between Capetanakis and Lehmann, a pair that advanced the dissemination of modern Greek poetry in Britain. The final chapter of the thesis examines MacNeice’s poetry and radio features inspired by Greece in an effort to explore how the imagining of Greece has developed both visually and metaphorically in the post-war years.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: modern poetry, diaspora, smyrna, national identity
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Kolocotroni, Dr. Vassiliki
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Konstantina Georganta
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1196
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2009
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2013 11:36
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1196

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