Nanos Valaoritis My Afterlife Guaranteed

ISBN 13: 9780872862487

My Afterlife Guaranteed

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9780872862487: My Afterlife Guaranteed
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Full of wit and wonder, these prose poems, meditations, and narratives open onto rare and unexpected vistas of history and myth, language, and the art of writing.

". . .one of the most distinguished and enigmatic of modern Greek poets, full of Platonic wisdom. His originality of temperament is a most singluar thing. . . .[his] new book is splendid." Lawrence Durrell

"The purpose of the book is twofold: first, to revise certain aspects of nationalist modernism, and secondly, to radicalize Greek modernism by undermining continuity and tradition. . . . Valaoritis's revision primarily concerns the continuity and validity of tradition as expressed in the "myth of Greekness."" —Panayiotis Bosnakis, Journal of Modern Greek Studies

Nanos Valaoritis was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1921, of Greek parents. He has lived in Athens, Paris, and the United States. One of Greece's most distinguished contemporary writers, he is the author of novels, plays, and poetry, and was twice awarded the Greek national poetry prize.


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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

Review:

Any reader expecting a wealth of images deriving from a mythic Hellenistic past, or political overtones from the present, will find a contorted resonance in these short narratives. Cavafy (to whom "The jaguars" is dedicated), Elytis, and Ritsos are dim precursors. Valaoritis has more in common with the Kafka of Parables and Paradoxes and the Beat generation of San Francisco, where he lives and teaches. This is an unsettling collection, not only because the author intends to dislocate. There is a mixture of poems written in Greek and translated into English by three different translators. Additionally, two are translated by the author, and twentytwo are written in English. While there are no obvious stylistic clashes, the slight ruptures of interpretation are disquieting. "Penthesileia," the shortest piece, is also the loveliest. Its lyrical tone is amplified in "The Way Things Go." But '!Where Does the Spirit of Our Poetry Reside?" crystallizes the quandary of this geographically unsettled poet. "This tunnel is also connected to ancient Greece ... Could it all be a masquerade?" The poet Valaoritis dons masks, is not at home in any locus or etbos except the play of his intellect, the audacity of his imagination. -- From Independent Publisher

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Valaoritis, Nanos
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