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Literature Between Languages and Its Lessons for Translation

Van Dyck, Karen

As I considered a lecture topic that would honor the translator and ambassador of Greek letters Kirnon Friar, I found myself pondering the collection of translations I was editing of Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke's poetry. Friar was Anghelaki-Rooke's first translator into English and a great supporter of hers, especially during the difficult years of censorship under the Colonels (1967-1974). Her poetry fit into the last category: Greek literature that isn't about America, but that somehow registers the pressure of English. Editing her work I was struck by how easily her Greek translated into English. At times it seemed as if her poetry had been thought-out in English. In honor of Friar I want to address the relation between Greek and English in Greek poetry, in particular the case of Anghelaki-Rooke. How might her poetry, situated at the edge of Greek and always in conversation with English, help us see the possibilities that multilingual literature has to offer translation?

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Attica Tradition Educational Foundation
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Text of the Eleventh Kimon Friar Lecture in Neo-Hellenic Arts & Letters.

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