CULTURE

The complete works of Cavafy are now available in Russian

MOSCOW – The world of C.P. Cavafy has just opened up to Russian lovers of poetry thanks to a new book of his verse in translation. This exciting journey has been made possible with the publication of a beautifully crafted edition, «Constantine Cavafy: Complete Poems,» published by OGI. Cavafy’s entire poetic oeuvre lies within the book’s 500 pages. The project would have been a nonstarter had it not been for the dedication of Sonia Ilinskaya. Besides editing the book, as well as translating a large number of the poems into Russian, Ilinskaya is credited with introducing the Alexandrian poet to the broader Russian public. Ilianskaya began her work on Cavafy in 1967, when she wrote about the poet in the magazine Foreign Literature. She subsequently worked on anthologies and volumes that were published in the 1980s and in 2000. Ilinskaya’s work on Cavafy was noticed by Russian poet and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky, who subsequently translated 19 of the Cavafy poems included in the recent edition. The publication of the new volume was carried out with the support of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the «Elliniki Vivliothiki» (Greek Library) series. It has been published as part of the activities of the Faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, under the scientific editorship of the department head, Professor Dimitris Gialamas. Coming up in the Greek Library series are editions on Giorgos Seferis and Costas Tachtsis as well as an anthology of Greek surrealist poets.