Events in honor of C.P. Cavafy at the Gennadius Library a great success, with Claire Bloom in person

Among the cascade of cultural events of all sorts clamoring for attention, one stands out, the series of events held at the Gennadius Library in honor of C.P. Cavafy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the poet’s death. They culminated in a presentation given by Oxford University Press on May 8, which ended with superb readings from Cavafy’s work, in Greek by actor Costas Kastanas and in English by stage and screen star Claire Bloom. British Ambassador Simon Gass opened the evening with an enthusiastic speech. Dr Peter Mackridge spoke about OUP’s classics series in which Evangelos Sachperoglou’s translations of Cavafy’s poems will keep company «with Homer, Sophocles and Lucian.» The translator shared some of the challenges of translating Cavafy. The readings were a delight. Bloom, whom most of the audience saw in person for the first time that night, enchanted the audience with her natural charm and her sensitive inspired renditions. One of the first to congratulate her was Michael Cacoyannis, who directed her in «The Trojan Women» many years ago at the Spoleto Festival. Bloom’s admirers kept her at the reception that followed at the British School till well after midnight. The actress spent the next day in Athens visiting the sights of the Greek capital before leaving for her idyllic retreat on the island of Poros.