XLVIII Международная филологическая научная конференция

Ancient Greek mythology in the mirror of C. P. Cavafy’s poetry

Dionysios Gerasimos Maroulis

Греческий институт
16:20 - 16:45

Ключевые слова, аннотация

Myth and literature, interpretation, intertextuality, literary tendencies.


Mythology has always been a great resource for the literature, even since the ancient times. Among the myth and the perceiver is always the writer who acts as an interpreter of the myth and gives his own version of it. Ancient myths become tools in order the writers to express their connection with the past, to teach, to offer aesthetic touch or to get in a dialogue with other  literary works (intertextuality). In this paper we deal with the presence of Greek mythological elements in the work of the poet C. P. Cavafy trying to discover the way he works on myths, his relations to the ancient resources (Homer, tragic poets etc.) and to the literary tendencies of his time (Parnassism, Romantism, Symbolism etc.). His relationship to myth is dynamic and evolutionary rather than static and is not limited to a single period of his work. His interest in mythology is not at all just archaeological but is rather a structural component of his poetics. He does not overburden his poems with a myriad of mythological elements that might  have made their sense difficult. He chooses clear elements that serve his poetic idea and are not just decorative. In connection with this, it is also interesting that Cavafy in several poems overturns the mythological code, the traditionally established, in order the mythological elements to serve his own inspiration as he does in the poem  Ithaca. He uses the myth in a critical way to portray ideas of his poetic on issues of constant concern (death, fate, power, gods, youth) which reappear in a number of different poems in each of which these ideas are illuminated in a different way. In general, the exploration of Cavafy's relationship with ancient Greek mythology leads to a deeper understanding of his overall poetic work.