Bloomsday in Athens; Keeley joins Academy

Bloomsday, named for Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce’s «Ulysses» and celebrated in Ireland on June 16, is coming to Athens on Monday. Eighty years after the publication of «Ulysses,» the Greek Society of Writers, the National Book Center and the Irish Embassy are jointly holding a conference on the work of Joyce, on June 17 at the Stoa tou Vivliou (5 Stoa Pesmazoglou). Following readings from the writer’s work, Greek academics and writers will discuss Joyce and the limits of modernism, the reception of Joyce in Greece and Joyce in translation. There will be rare film footage of the author taken in Paris in 1939, a video of some scenes from «Ulysses» performed by Irish actors, and an exhibition of books and photographs connected with Joyce. The celebration will end appropriately with Irish music and refreshments. Edmund Keeley Edmund Keeley, the American writer, critic and translator of modern Greek poetry, was formally inducted as a Corresponding Member of the Athens Academy at a ceremony on Tuesday. Before delivering the lecture traditionally given by incoming Academy members, Keeley paid tribute to Greece and to the people who had helped him in his long association with Greek literature: Mary, his wife of 50 years, Professor Constantine Trypanis, and critic Giorgos Savvidis. «Whatever little I have tried to offer this country,» he said, «is indeed small return for what Greece has given me by means of its people, its poetry, its landscape and its way of life.» His lecture, «Cavafy’s Legacy in America,» traced the growing recognition of the Alexandrian poet since W.H. Auden first cited Cavafy as an important influence on his own work in 1961. Illustrating the lecture with poems written in English by various authors in the style of Cavafy, Keeley commented on the irony that these poems have now been collected by Nasos Vayenas and translated into Greek. And he noted the ongoing importance of translation as a «bridge between literatures.» Corresponding members of the Athens Academy have no duties, but they do have access to the Academy’s library, and Keeley told Kathmerini English Edition that he was keen to see the library’s holdings.

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