Kassandra and the Censors: Greek Poetry Since 1967

Cornell University Press, 1998 - 305 pages
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In this pioneering study of contemporary Greek poetry, Karen Van Dyck investigates modernist and postmodernist poetics at the edge of Europe. She traces the influential role of Greek women writers back to the sexual politics of censorship under the dictatorship (1967-1974).

Reading the effects of censorship--in cartoons, the dictator's speeches, the poetry of the Nobel Laureate George Seferis, and the younger generation of poets--she shows how women poets use strategies which, although initiated in response to the regime's press law, prove useful in articulating a feminist critique. In poetry collections by Rhea Galanaki, Jenny Mastoraki and Maria Laina, among others, she analyzes how the censors'tactics for stabilizing signification are redeployed to disrupt fixed meanings and gender roles.

As much a literary analysis of culture as a cultural analysis of literature, her book explores how censorship, consumerism, and feminism influence contemporary Greek women's poetry as well as how the resistance to clarity in this poetry trains readers to rethink these cultural practices. Only with greater attention to the cultural and formal specificity of writing, Van Dyck argues, is it possible to theorize the lessons of censorship and women's writing.

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Table des matières

Power Language and the Discourses of the Dictatorship
Poetry Politics and the Generation of the 1970s
Womens Writing and the Sexual Politics of Censorship
Rhea Galanakis The Cake and the Deferred Delivery
Jenny Mastorakis Tales of the Deep and the Purloined Letter
Maria Lainas Hers and the Unreciprocated Look
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À propos de l'auteur (1998)

Karen Van Dyck directed Hellenic Studies in the Classics Department at Columbia (1988-2016) and has also been an active member of the Institute for Research on Women, Sexuality and Gender (IRWSG), the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS), the European Institute and the Istanbul Global Center. She is the author of Kassandra and the Censors, The Rehearsal of Misunderstanding, The Scattered Papers of Penelope, and Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry that won the London Hellenic Prize (2016). Her essays, translations and poetry have appeared in LARB, the Guardian, World Literature Today, and Tender.

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