On fire, light, and volcanoes : tracing a 'Forgotten Ethics' in Elytis and Camus

Title: On fire, light, and volcanoes : tracing a 'Forgotten Ethics' in Elytis and Camus
Source document: Neograeca Bohemica. 2016, vol. 16, iss. [1], pp. [9]-30
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Type: Article
License: Not specified license

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My paper documents the textual dialogue between Elytis and Camus and analyses their common literary, philosophical, and ethical preoccupations. Although they shared a number of literary motifs and interests, including the space of the Mediterranean and the modernist attraction to ancient Hellenic philosophical traditions, I argue that they approached these interests from fundamentally different perspectives: while Camus' knowledge of ancient Greek thought was based on second-hand scholastic interpretations, Elytis' reading of ancient philosophical texts provided him with an original, intimate understanding of their literary and discursive qualities. I have also included original archival material which shows that Elytis was in an immediate literary dialogue with Camus during his writing of The Axion Esti.
I wish to thank cordially the Greek State Scholarship Foundation for a postdoctoral research grant at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, during which this article was written, and my supervisor, Professor Christina Dounia, for her generous guidance, help and support. Part of my archival research in Athens was conducted thanks to the Segal Travel Grant by the Department of Classics at Harvard University. I also wish to thank my old alma mater, the Department of Medieval and Modern Greek Studies at the Aristotle University of Th essaloniki, as well as the Archives of the Gennadius Library in Athens, for granting me access to Elytis' archival material. Warm thanks go to Julia Dubnoff for proofreading the text. My deep appreciation, as always, goes to Ioulita Iliopoulou for her continuous support and contribution to my research.