International Cavafy Summer School 2018, Cavafy and Antiquity

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, Transposing Cavafy into hip-hop

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, What if Cavafy verses were a comic-book?

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, What if Cavafy verses were a comic-book?

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, What if Cavafy verses were a comic-book?

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, Creating objects inspired by Cavafy’s poetry

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, Visual Installation inspired by Cavafy

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, Cavafy through the camera lens

C.P. Cavafy goes to school, Visual Installation inspired by Cavafy


Education – Research
To Art
Desires and sensations

The Cycle of Open Lessons of the Cavafy Archive is going to be held for the fourth time in 2018. This time, Art in its multiple forms becomes the core theme of the lectures as we are going to explore Cavafy’s own poetic craft, the poet’s own discourse about art, the forms artists take in his poetry and the role of the arts and their reception in his work. The aim of the lessons is to highlight interrelated thematic motifs, techniques, images and ideas in the Cavafian oeuvre. In this context, the analysis of selected poems spans other texts of the poet, as well as the work of other Greek and non-Greek artists.

Friday 16 February 2018, 19.00-21.00
C.P. Cavafy: The poetics of the half-glimpsed
This lecture sets out to familiarize participants with core features of Cavafy's poetry including its cerebral, introspective nature and its use of memory and history.
It takes the 'half-glimpsed' as the starting point for its explorations, a concept the poet claims to have introduced into art in his well-known poem I brought to Art (1921).

Drawing on Cavafy's poetic and theoretical works, the lecture will seek to identify the historical and cultural conditions in which the 'half-glimpsed'—a concept which encapsulates the quintessence of the Alexandrian poet's aesthetic and ethics—came into being. It will be argued that this concept stems from the definition of poetry as contemplation and its examination as an inner life typified by fleeting and partial impressions. It is for this very reason that the concept of the 'half-glimpsed' is intimately connected with Cavafy's epigrammatic, subdued tone, and the sombre, meditative tone of his verses which, imbued with a gentle irony and a melancholy historicity, can verge on the prosaic.

We will also be discussing Cavafy's debts to poetic theory, both ancient and modern, and to the cultural climate of the era in which the aesthetic codes of Cavafian poetry were moulded.
Above all else, however, the lecture will showcase the concept of the 'half-glimpsed' as a product of a more holistic philosophical and ethical stance towards life and the role poetry should play in it.

Dimitris Polychronakis, Associate Professor, Division of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, University Of Crete

Friday 30 March 2018, 19.00-21.00
The coaxial poetics of C.P. Cavafy and Marcel Proust
This lecture looks at the coaxial relations linking the Poetics arising from the dynamic introduced by the literary innovations found in the works of C.P. Cavafy (1863–1933) and Marcel Proust (1871–1922). Following the mapping of the characteristics common to the pre-history of both literary ventures, the lecture will focus on one hand on Cavafy's cycle of poems featuring Apollonius of Tyana and then on the final section of Proust's In search of Lost Time (Time Regained). This comparative analysis will complement the examination carried out in C.P. Cavafy's essay published under the title Philosophical Scrutiny (= Prose works (1882;-1931), ed. Michalis Pieris, Athens, 22010, pp. 256–260) and of the three late essays by Marcel Proust: On Flaubert's ‘style’ (1920), A Propos de Baudelaire (1921), and For a friend: notes on style, which prefaced Paul Morand's Tender Shoots (1921).

Panagiotis S. Poulos, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics, Department of Theory and History of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts

Friday 27 April 2018, 19.00-21.00
Poems about poets in the work of C.P. Cavafy

The artist is often foregrounded in Cavafy's poetry, allowing the reader to trace the route of the creative process. This lecture will focus on the image of the poet, seeking to highlight its salient features and to shed light on aspects of Cavafy's poetics.

Dr. Nina Palaiou, Hellenic Open University

Friday 18 May 2018, 19.00-21.00
Artists, craftsmen, amateurs: shades of cavafian irony cast on imaginary colleagu
A perusal of Cavafy's poems about artists reveals that the poet maintained a relatively stable stance: though he starts out undermining them by hinting at the quantitative nature of their work, he ultimately reinstates his artists by recognizing the authenticity of their inspiration or desire. The poems to be studied are: Sculptor of Tyana, That's the man , Craftsman of Wine Bowls, The First Step, and Picture of a 23-Year-Old Painted by His Friend of the Same Age, an Amateur.

Angela Kastrinaki
, Professor of Modern Greek Philology, Division of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology University of Crete

Friday 25 May 2018, 19.00-21.00
The anti-economy of jouissance: Eroticism and art in the work of C.P. Cavafy

Drawing on the concept of the anti-economy of jouissance proposed by Panagiotis Roilos in C.P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy (2009), the lecture will focus on the ways in which Cavafy's approach to desire and poetry subverted hegemonic principles of the capitalist economy and dominant discourses.

Panagiotis Roilos
, George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Friday 15 June 2018, 19.00-21.00
(the lesson will be held in english)
Let me submit to Art: the pictorial poetic of C.P. Cavafy

Cavafy's relationship with the visual arts played a crucial role in moulding his poetic idiom. His early encounters with painters and sculptors during his time in England would lay the foundations for his close relationship with artists, including his brother Aristeidis and his friend Periklis Anastasiadis, and inspire him to pursue an understanding of art more profound than that enjoyed by a simple art-lover. His engagement with the poet-critics of the French Salon would add impetus to the gradual formation of his pictorial poetic, an aesthetic the poet would develop further in his imaginary portraits. The lecture sets out to investigate the significance of what Cavafy brought to art by first exploring what art brought to the poet.

Peter Jeffreys, Associate Professor of English Literature, University of Suffolk

Attendance is free. Tickets must be reserved at

Location: Onassis Library (56, Amalia ave.)
Number of audience in each session: 80
Curation: Erasmia Stavropoulou, Professor Emerita of Modern Greek Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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