ΚΟΝΟΛΙ ΝΤΕΪΒΙΝΤ-ΤΖΩΝ


ΚΟΝΟΛΙ ΝΤΕΪΒΙΝΤ-ΤΖΩΝ

Σπούδασε αρχαία ελληνική φιλολογία στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Lancaster (1974-77), μεσαιωνική και νεοελληνική φιλολογία στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης (1977-79) και έλαβε τον τίτλο του Διδάκτορος της Φιλοσοφίας από το Πανεπιστήμιο του East Anglia (1997) για τη διατριβή του με θέμα τη θεωρία και πράξη της λογοτεχνικής μετάφρασης και τα ιδιαίτερα μεταφραστικά προβλήματα στο έργο του Οδυσσέα Ελύτη. Κατέχει επίσης επαγγελματικά διπλώματα στη διδασκαλια της αγγλικής ως ξένης γλώσσας (Βασιλική Εταιρεία Τεχνών 1984) και στη μετάφραση (Ινστιτούτο Γλωσσολόγων 1992). Είναι τακτικό μέλος διαφόρων συλλόγων επαγγελματιών μεταφραστών και συγγραφέων τόσο στη Βρετανία (Ινστιτούτο Γλωσσολόγων, Ινστιτούτο Μετάφρασης και Διερμηνείας, Εταιρεία Μεταφραστών της Λογοτεχνίας) όσο και στην Ελλάδα (Εταιρεία Συγγραφέων, Ελληνική Εταιρεία Μεταφραστών Λογοτεχνίας, Πανελλήνιος Σύλλογος Επαγγελματιών Μεταφραστών).
Διετέλεσε επικεφαλής του Μεταφραστικού Τμήματος στο Βρετανικό Συμβούλιο Αθηνών (1991-1994) και έχει διδάξει τη θεωρία και πράξη της λογοτεχνικής μετάφρασης σε προπτυχιακό και μεταπτυχιακό επίπεδο σε ελληνικά πανεπιστημιακά ιδρύματα (Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο 1991-1997, Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών 1999-2000). Στο ίδιο διάστημα υπήρξε εξωτερικός εξεταστής σε Βρετανικά Πανεπιστήμια με μεταπτυχιακά μεταφραστικά προγράμματα. Επιπλέον, είχε επίτιμες ακαδημαϊκές θέσεις στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Birmingham (Honorary Research Fellow 1999-2002), στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Princeton (Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Fellow 2001) και στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης (Hellenic Foundation Visiting Fellow in Modern Greek Studies 2002).

 Πληροφορίες: 
Όνομα:  ΝΤΕΪΒΙΝΤ-ΤΖΩΝ
Επίθετο:  ΚΟΝΟΛΙ
Εργογραφία: 

Από το 1993 έχει δημοσιεύσει περίπου πενήντα επιστημονικά άρθρα με θέμα τη θεωρία και πράξη της μετάφρασης και τη νεότερη ελληνική λογοτεχνία γενικότερα, μαζί με έναν τόμο με τίτλο Μετα-Ποίηση. 6(+1) μελέτες για τη μετάφραση της ποίησης (Αθήνα: Ύψιλον/Βιβλία, 1997, 167 σελ.). Κατά το ίδιο διάστημα, έδωσε πάνω από εβδομήντα διαλέξεις, ομιλίες και σεμινάρια για τη μετάφραση και την ελληνική λογοτεχνία σε πανεπιστημιακά ιδρύματα τόσο στην Ελλάδα (Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο, Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών, Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης) όσο και στη Βρετανία (Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης, του Cambridge, του Birmingham, του Manchester, του Leeds, του East Anglia, του Surrey και του Belfast) και στη Βόρειο Αμερική (Πανεπιστήμιο του Princeton, του Harvard, του Brown, του Boston και του Montreal). Επιπλέον, έχει δώσει πολλές συνεντεύξεις στη τηλεόραση, στο ραδιόφωνο και σε εφημερίδες με διαφορα θέματα σχετικά με τη μετάφραση και την ελληνική λογοτεχνία και συμμετείχε σε αναγνώσεις ελληνικής λογοτεχνίας σε μετάφραση στην Αγγλία (Royal Festival Hall Voice Box, Barbican Centre, University of Manchester Poetry Centre, Hellenic Centre, κ.λπ.)

Ως επαγγελματίας μεταφραστής για σχεδόν είκοσι χρόνια, έχει εκτελέσει παραγγελίες από συγγραφείς και από εκδοτικούς οίκους για τη μετάφραση πολλών έργων λογοτεχνίας (μυθιστορήματα, διηγήματα, ποιητικές συλλογές, θεατρικά έργα και σενάρια ταινιών) και έχει ασχοληθεί εξίσου με τη μετάφραση ποικίλων μη-λογοτεχνικών έργων (επιστημονικά άρθρα με θέμα τη φιλοσοφία και την ιστορία, κριτικα άρθρα για την τέχνη και την λογοτεχνία, λευκώματα, καταλόγους εκθέσεων κ.λπ.). Υπήρξε τακτικός συνεργάτης διαφόρων ελληνικών οργανισμών και φορέων. Ειδικά, συνεργάστηκε με τη Διεύθυνη Γραμμάτων του ΥΠ.ΠΟ μεταφραζοντας, μεταξύ άλλων, τα υποψήφια ελληνικά βιβλία για το ARISTEION Ευρωπαϊκό Βραβείο Λογοτεχνίας στο διάστημα 1995-2000, και με το Εθνικό Κέντρο Βιβλίου, μεταφράζοντας, μεταξύ άλλων, την εκδιδόμενη από το Κέντρο δίμηνη επιθεώρηση ελληνι-κών βιβλίων, Ithaca (τεύχη 1-11).

Ως μεταφραστής λογοτεχνίας, έχει δημοσιεύσει πάνω από δεκαπέντε βιβλία με μεταφρασμένα έργα κορυφαίων Ελλήνων ποιητών του 20ου αιώνα (Νικηφόρος Βρεττάκος, Οδυσσέας Ελυτης, Κική Δημουλά) και σύγχρονων μυθιστοριογράφων (Γιώργης Γιατρομανωλάκης, Ρέα Γαλανάκη, Αλέξης Σταμάτης). Επιπλέον, επιμελήθηκε ειδικό αφιέρωμα στην ελληνική ποίηση του έγκυρου αγγλικού λογοτεχνικού περιοδικού Agenda ("Greek Poetry: New Voices and Ancient Echoes", Vol. 46 Nos. 3-4, 1999) που περιέχει ανθολογία (250 σελίδες) αρχαίας και σύγχρονης ελληνικής ποίησης σε αγγλική μετάφραση. Έχει επίσης μεταφράσει και δημοσιέψει πολυάριθμα ποιήματα Ελλήνων ποιητών (Νικηφόρος Βρεττάκος, Νίκος Εγγονόπουλος, Νίκος Γκάτσος, Οδυσσέας Ελύτης, Μανόλης Αναγνωστάκης, Μίλτος Σαχτούρης, Τάσος Λειβαδίτης, Κική Δημουλά, Ζέφη Δαράκη, Κατερίνα Αγγελάκη-Ρουκ, Μανόλης Πρατικάκης, Αθηνά Παπαδάκη, Δημήτρης Καλοκύρης, Γιάννης Κοντός, Χριστόφορος Λιοντάκης, Αναστάσης Βιστωνίτης, Γιώργος Μαρκόπουλος, Χάρης Βλαβιανός, Στρατής Πασχάλης, Θανάσης Χατζόπουλος, Ιουλίτα Ηλιοπούλου) καθώς και πολλά διηγήματα σύγχρονων Ελλήνων συγγραφέων (Αμάντα Μιχαλοπούλου, Μισέλ Φάϊς, Σωτήρης Δημητρίου, Έρση Σωτηροπούλου κ.α.) που εκδόθηκαν σε ανθολογίες και λογοτεχνικά περιοδικά στην Αγγλία και στην Αμερική (Agenda, London Magazine, In Other Words, Modern Poetry In Translation, Leviathan, MondoGreco, The Charioteer, Modern Greek Studies Yearbook, Greece in Print, Filling Station, Asylum, Greek Letters, Poetry Greece, Hellenic Quarterly, Ithaca, κ.λπ.).

Λογοτεχνικές μεταφράσεις (ελληνικα > αγγλικά) που έχουν εκδοθεί ως βιβλία


1. Angelos Terzakis, The Greek Epic 1940-41 (historical narrative), Athens 1990, 178p.
2. Nikiforos Vrettakos, The Philosophy of Flowers (poetry), Athens: Artigraf 1990, 46p.
3. Nikiforos Vrettakos, Gifts in Abeyance: Last Poems 1981-91, Minnesota: Nostos 1992, 86p. ISBN: 0-932963-07-2
4. Odysseus Elytis, The Oxopetra Elegies (poetry), Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers 1996, 85p. ISBN: 3-7186-5881-X
5. Kiki Dimoula, Lethe's Adolescence (poetry), Minnesota: Nostos 1996, 90p. ISBN: 0-932963-08-0
6. Thanassis Hatzopoulos, As if present (poetry), Chalkida: Diametros Publications 1997, 47p. ISBN: 960-7746-04-X
7. Odysseus Elytis, Journal of An Unseen April (poetry), Athens: Ypsilon/Books 1998, 119p. ISBN: 960-7949-05-6
8. Haris Vlavianos, Adieu (poetry), Birmingham: Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, The University of Birmingham 1998, 118p. ISBN: 070-441-886-X
9. Yoryis Yatromanolakis, Eroticon (novel), Cambridge: Dedalus 1999, 195p. ISBN: 1-873982-88-7
10. Odysseus Elytis, Carte Blanche. Selected Writings (literary essays), Amsterdam: Harwood Aca-demic Publishers 1999, 98p. ISBN: 90-5755-100-4
11. Alexis Stamatis, The Seventh Elephant (novel), London: Arcadia Books 2000, 199p. ISBN: 1-900850-21-4
12. Pavlos Matesis, Roar! (Theatrical work) in Contemporary Greek Theatre volume 2, London: Arca-dia Books 2002, 258p. ISBN: 1-900850-53-2
13. Rhea Galanaki, Eleni or Nobody (novel), Illinois: Hydra Books (due 2003), 200p. ISBN: 0-8101-1885-8
14. The Dedalus Book of Greek Fantasy (short-stories), Cambridge: Dedalus (2004).
15. Yannis Kondos, The Nowhere Athlete (poetry), Todmorden, Arc Publications (due 2003).
16. Alexis Stamatis, Bar Flaubert (novel), London: Arcadia Books (due 2003).

Επιλεγμένα επιστημονικά άρθρα (στα ελληνικά)


1. "Η Εκκρεμής Δωρεά του Νικηφόρου Βρεττάκου", Αιολικά Γράμματα 134 (Μάιος-Ιούνιος 1993), σελ. 29-32.
2. "Μεταφράζοντας Πρισματική Ποίηση: Οδυσσέας Ελύτης και Τα Ελεγεία της Οξώπετρας", Εντευκτήριο 23-24 (1993), σελ. 115-128.
3. "Οδυσσέας Ελύτης σε αγγλική μετάφραση: Αξιον Εστί το τίμημα;", Πόρφυρας 69 (Απρίλιος-Ιούνιος 1994), σελ. 119-131.
4. "Ελληνες υπερρεαλιστές ποιητές σε αγγλική μετάφραση: προβλήματα, παράμετροι και δυνατότητες", Πόρφυρας 71-72 (Οκτώβριος '94 - Μάρτιος '95), σελ. 7-20.
5. "Τα Ελεγεία της Οξώπετρας: μια στιγμούλα", Θέματα Λογοτεχνίας 1 (Νοέμβ.'95 - Φεβ.'96), σελ. 171-186. Επίσης στον τόμο Οδυσσέας Ελύτης, Ο ποιητής και οι ελληνικές πολιτισμικές αξίες, Αθήνα: εκδ. Γκοβόστη, 2000, σελ. 393-414.
6. "Από Μπολιβάρ σε Bolivar: ή μεταφράζοντας ένα ελληνικό ποίημα", στο Γ. Γιατρομανωλάκη (ε-πιμ.) Νίκος Εγγονόπουλος: Ωραίος σαν Έλληνας. Εννέα Μελέτες, Αθήνα, Ιδρυμα Γουλανδρή-Χορν, 1996, σελ. 115-142.
7. "Οδυσσέας Ελύτης: Μεταγλωσσική Ποίηση και Σκοτεινά Ρήματα", Θέματα Λογοτεχνίας 3 (Ιούλιος-Οκτώβρης 1996), σελ. 31-41.
8. "Η Μετάφραση της Ποίησης: Προλεγόμενα μιας Συζήτησης", Μετάφραση '96 (Σεπτέμβριος 1996), σελ. 28-37.
9. "Οδυσσέας Ελύτης, William Blake και Οι Γάμοι τ' Ουρανού και της Κόλασης", Ποίηση 9 (΄Ανοιξη-Καλοκαίρι 1997), σελ. 226-237.
10. "Η Μοίρα της Ελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας στην Αγγλική της Μετάφραση: Μια Συνοπτική Θεώρηση", Μετάφραση '97 (Σεπτέμβριος 1997), σελ. 160-164.
11. "Ο μεταφρασμένος, μη-μεταφράσιμος και αμετάφραστος Εγγονόπουλος", Διαβάζω 381 (Ιανουά-ριος 1998), σελ. 151-156
12. "Από Καβάφη σε Cavafy. Το αγγλο-αμερικανικό πρόσωπο του Κ.Π. Καβάφη", Διαβάζω 389 (Ο-κτώβριος 1998), σελ. 135-143.
13. "Λογοτεχνική μετάφραση: Σε τι χρησιμεύει η θεωρία;", Η Γλώσσα της λογοτεχνίας και η γλώσσα της μετάφρασης, Θεσσαλονίκη: Κέντρο της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, 1998, σελ. 13-23.
14. "Η οδύσσεια μιας μετάφρασης και η μετάφραση μιας οδύσσειας", Πόρφυρας 92 (Οκτ.-Νοέμβρ. 1999), σελ. 138-144.
15. "Περί του αμετάφραστου της Σολωμικής ποίησης", Πόρφυρας 95-96 (Ιούλιος-Σεπτέμβριος 2000), σελ. 121-132.
16. "Η μετάφραση της ποίησης: Η κριτική κρινόμενη", Ποίηση 16 (Φθινόπωρο-Χειμώνας 2000), σελ. 185-199.
17. "Αξιον Εστί το μεταφραστικό εγχείρημα" στον τόμο Δεκαέξι κείμενα για το ’ξιον Εστί, Αθήνα: Ίκαρος, 2001, σελ. 150-167.
18. "Περί ποιητικής έκφρασης, ο Ελύτης Εν Λευκώ", στον τόμο Ο Ελύτης στην Εκπαίδευση. Ζητήματα ποιητικής - Διδακτικές προσεγγίσεις, Αθήνα: εκδ. της Σχολής Ι. Μ. Παναγιωτόπουλου, 2001, σελ. 39-49.
19. "Η μεταγραφή ελληνικών κύριων ονομάτων στην αγγλική γλώσσα", Μέντορας. Περιοδικό επιστημονικών και εκπαιδευτικών ερευνών 4 (Δεκέμβριος 2001), σελ. 95-110.
20. "Ακόμα δέκα χρόνια μοναξιάς: η πολιτική προώθησης του ελληνικού βιβλίου στο εξωτερικό (1991-2001)", στο Σπυροπούλου Α. - Τσιμπούκη Θ. (επιμ.) Σύγχρονη Ελληνική Πεζογραφία: Διεθνείς Προσανατολισμοί και Διασταυρώσεις, Αθήνα: Αλεξάνδρεια 2002, σελ. 253-284.


Διεύθυνση: 

Morano Madonnucia 52
Gualdo  Tadino
Umbria
ΙΤΑΛΙΑ


Έτος γέννησης:  1954
Τόπος γέννησης:  Σέφιλντ, Αγγλία
Τίτλος αποσπάσματος:  ΚΕΙΜΕΝΑ
Κείμενο αποσπάσματος: 

GRUNINGEN ELEGY

In memory of Friedrich von Hardenberg
Rhineland forests suspended within me long ago
And again now coming as from a hunting horn
Blazons and family trees that twelve years old unwittingly
I discovered
Es war der erste einzige Traum
my Sofchen it's you I mean
As if I saw you still strolling down
tree-lined ways
Or at times so carefully holding to the light
A sliver of blue rock its grain plain to see
whereupon
Iridescent all the hours of the year begin with a whirr
To swirl about your head (My eyes
Constantly fixed on the centre's shining point)
So that it becomes and is again today
The nineteenth of March, seventeen hundred and ninety seven


This the first feat. And the second: to sever you from
the numbers of night

9: on horseback comes the one to put the angel in your breast
to sleep
10: with myriads of tiny lilac cups the climber covers
doors and windows
11: the sky heavy, sunk lower even than the chimney stacks
12: your bed tilts to one end
13: fate brings the third wave
14: and without you, Spring sends forth its fruits
underground
15: how the waters chase beneath the grass!
16: hear, hear the beauty! See, see something more!
17: through the rent in your soul, the tomb seems now
more fair
18: here soon the more powerful black wind of Isis'
hair
19: so big the sky and the earth so small for two
people alone

Tiny golden wings offspring of your breath still
Come and go above the stone and at night play moon
But he who like a sculptor of sounds composes music from
far-off constellations
Works night and day. And what grey dohs what violet sols rise
Into the air. So that even the rocks more priests revere
such wailing
And the trees more birds syllables of indecipherable beauty
Confess: love is not as we know it nor even as
the sages contend
But a second life inviolable through eternity.


Come Spring. Accomplice that you are. Regard:
What deep green now covers her shoulders
And how he stares at her! How, after struggling to emerge
From the flower beds a mauve daze sweeps them slightly
higher than the ground
In the midst of May this much the Gods wanted
And more that I know not. Yet if the course of things
was unfortunate
Thereafter the lesson was great. For
When twelve years old I came to know you for me you became
Rhineland forests river valleys carriages cavaliers courtyards
with fountains and gables


The daily first page of the after-death.

THE OBSCURE VERB

I am of another language, sadly, and of the Secret Sun so
Those unaware of celestial matters know me not. Imperceptible
As an angel at a tomb I trumpet forth white fabrics
That flap in the air and then again in-fold
Revealing something my sated beasts, perhaps, till finally
There remains a sea-bird an orphan over the waves


As happened. Yet for years now in mid-air I've grown tired
And I've need of earth though this remains shut and sealed
Latches on doors bells barely heard; nothing. Ah
Speak to me you believable things! Girls who appeared from time
to time
Out of my breast and you old farmsteads
Forgotten taps left running in slumbering
gardens
Speak to me! I've need of earth
Though this remains shut and sealed


So, accustomed as I am to shortening i's and
lengthening o's
Now I'm fashioning a verb; like a burglar his pass-key
A verb ending in -ate or -age or -ise
One to obscure your one side until
Your other side appears. A verb with few vowels yet
Numerous consonants deep-rusted d's or c's or t's
Purchased at bargain prices from Hades' stores
Since from such places it's easier
To emerge like Darius' ghost terrifying
the living and dead


Here let heavy music be heard. And lightened let the mountains
Move. Time to test the key. So saying I:
d e c r a s t i c a t e
A strange fierceness appears masquerading as spring
With sharp rocks and pointed shrubs everywhere
Next plains riddled with Zeus and Hermes
Finally a sea mute like Asia
All shredded seaweed and Circe's eyelashes


So, what we called "celestial" is not; "love" not;
"eternal" not. Not
One thing accords with its name. Nearest to
slaughter
Grow dahlias. And the tardy hunter with ethereal
game
Returns. And it's always -alas- too soon. Ah
We never suspected how undermined by divineness
The world is; what perpetual rose's gold it needs to balance
The void that we leave, hostages all of a different duration
That our minds' shadow conceals. So be it


Friend you who hear, do you hear in the citrons' fragrance
The distant bells? Do you know the garden's corners where
The evening breeze entrusts its new-born? Did you ever
Dream of a vast summer that you might cross
No more encountering Furies? No. That's why I decrasticate
For the heavy bolts creaking give way and the great portals
open
To the Secret Sun's light for an instant, that our nature
the third may be revealed
There's more. I won't go on. No one accepts what's free
In an evil wind you're lost or peace follows


This much in my language. And more by others in others. Though
Truth is given only for death.

"The Oxopetra Elegies, Odysseus Elytis"


15.
Introduction to Erotic Prosody


If you consider yourself sufficiently amorous and fervent yet take delight in prosody and rhythm, do as the Ancient Greeks (and Romans likewise), who, being truly amorous and most musical, gave stress and rhythm to all their deeds and acts of coition, aware that by nature an ordinate movement is more congenial than an inordinate one.
The most rapid rhythm is the trochee, for which reason it is adjudged of greater impropriety than the rest. Wherefore, if you are mounted upon your lady (paramour or spouse) and are in haste, stoke her in trochee mode, viz. first long then short (-u). Once you have mastered the simple trochaic foot from the fore, reverse your Poetess and come at her from the rear with double trochees, viz. strike twice long and twice short simultaneously. When the double feet are smooth, form your verses longer still in trochaic tetrameter and hold the rhythm steady with no regard for hiatus or caesura.
The iamb is most like to speech and commonplace. Wherefore, if you dispose of time and leisure, stoke your lady in iambic mode, viz. commence with a short and end with a long (u-), no matter whether your composition is metrical or stress-timed. Thus, when you have fashioned numerous iambs and your couch is ringing most musically, bring yourself to the accustomed metre of the dramatists and stress everything staccato in iambic trimeters. If your preference is for dialogic coitus, viz. opposite and face to face, keep your trimeters acatalectic. In cases of many actors, during a tragic contest, take pains neither to ignore the zeugmata or enjambments or the basic diaereses.
Know that the dactylic hexameter is the verse of epic, heroic and also didactic poetry. If therefore you wish to commence the teaching of verse, begin with the dactyl, viz. show your fair pupil a long syllable in the first beat and two short ones in the following (-uu). Take not as your example the verse "Sing, goddess, of the wrath of Peleus' son Achilles", which presents difficulty on account of the shortened hiatus, but show her the verse "Tell me, Muse, of the man of many turns, who travelled many ways", which is more regular and reveals many things indeed. That the metre may be varied, do not overlook the diaereses, particularly the bucolic, and avoid wholly dactylic or spondaic verses.
If it pleases you to copulate in a standing position, the best metre by far is the anapaest, which begins with two short feet and ends with a long one of equal duration (uu-). Verses composed in anapaests are lengthy and grave, yet soon cause fatigue. Hence, commence anapaestic stoking during your entrance, holding your dancing partner by the buttocks, and on completion of two rounds, return to iambs or trochees.
For such as are fond of the rhythmic but not of full prosody, the most fitting rhythms are the paean or else the Kretan melody. Yet as is remarked by those versed in such matters, this rhythm should be combined with the rest, else it becomes heavy and wanes. Thus, after having lubricated and attuned yourself thoroughly and unfailingly, commence your stoking with the first paean, viz. with one long syllable and three successive short ones (-uuu). Thereafter, when you have had your fill of a variety of rhythms and metres, end by discharging your seed with the fourth paean, viz. strike three successive short syllables and an extended long one (uuu-).

"Eroticon, Yoryis Yatromanolakis"


DRAFT FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO THE AEGEAN WORLD

BEFORE THE RIDGE OF SERIFOS, as the sun rises, the guns of all the great world theories fall silent. The mind is overcome by a few waves and some rocks; absurd perhaps but nevertheless sufficient to reveal man in his true dimensions. And what else could possibly be of more use to him in life? If he likes starting out in the wrong way, it's because he refuses to listen. In his absence, for thousands of years now, the Aegean has been saying again and again in the voice of its plashing along an endless length of coast: this is you! And it is repeated by the shape of the fig leaf against the sky; it is grasped by the pomegranate that clenches its fist until it bursts; it is chanted by the cicadas until they become transparent. Death may seem more or less right, by which I mean more or less of an irreparable loss, depending on how you accept it. Force and number have always prevented us from accepting the one true justice, which is an "exact moment", or the one true morality, which is but a continual reduction to the most elemental form of our being.
It is impossible for us to calculate the enormous gulf separating a Cycladic figurine from a pebble with the same ease that we can calculate entire aeons of light-years. And it is precisely this that constitutes our Achilles' heel, which is why in desperation we try to compete with knowledge. However, the Gods' portion, if it exists at all outside religions, is without doubt a form of bounty. A seagull with outstretched wings over a limitless expanse of azure. We pretend to ourselves that we can blot it out, that we have the means. But then what? The day after we disappear forever, it still goes on. Two unknowns that are out of reach but that could shed light in an instant; such a shame!
Is it true then that light leaps from the darkest shade of black? Love comes to confirm it in another way. When two naked bodies converse, something from the untold part of their tale - the unbearable part - is erased. The kiss, which has not evolved in the slightest since the dawn of time, happens to be the most novel and unhackneyed thing that we possess. Some tale of love with divine dimensions must surely have preceded the tectonic tremors and the displacement of the waters when the Greek archipelago was created. The irrationality that we find in myths is sometimes redressed by nature itself. Only then do we reflect that, in spite of everything, it is we who created them, perhaps even against our will. There still remains something for us to discover: this light, these clusters of islands, what are they? Are we dreaming?

JOURNEYING IN HIS MIND'S EYE to Patmos and Anatolia, Holderlin perceived the golden vision from the distant reaches of Swabia much more clearly than the modern passenger in a jet at a height of 11,000 feet. Not just a few turtles on the surface of the water, aber

Es rauschen aber um Asias Tore
Hinziehend da und dort
In ungewisser Meeresebene
Der schattenlosen Strassen genug,
Doch kennt die Inseln der Schiffer.

The divine touch is what did not escape him. Magic has its own ways. It knows when to open a doorway even in the walls of science so that we may breathe. Such a door may prove to be a whole encyclopaedia; all we have to do is open it: the water level has only to rise or to fall by fifty or a hundred metres and the most wondrous, most vibrant achievement of matter will be enacted before our very eyes, and will, of course, also have its analogies - provided we are receptive enough - in the spirit.
A transformation of Picassian power in its lines and masses divides one island into two, joins another three into one, creates new clusters, causes old ones to disappear. Channels and isthmuses emerge, ridges with fresh red and green traces of marine life stretch out in the sun; in short, all that a living organism has to offer (together with the turmoil of its emotions) transferred by analogy to the physical world. The other side of things leads further as we shall see.
The thought of the Ionians, the first lyrical voice in poetry, the subservience of marble to man's caress, the triangle of mountains introduced into architecture, Socrates, Jesus, everything, or almost everything, came from the School of this sea. How are we to explain it? If we think as millionaires do, the phenomenon is of little concern and the world certainly too big for us to discuss such matters. Yet I am afraid that the moon created by electronic technology will - whether we like it or not - always be inferior to the moon of Sappho, the beams of which, striking us as they do from the depths of one of Lesbos' olive groves, enable us to come closer to ourselves, to the things we love - {ioou o?o {anaoae, as the poetess put it. A simple phrase perhaps, but one that has taken on the force of a natural law in this region and has survived in the souls of the islanders, finding expression in innumerable ways, and primarily by way of the instinctive and unconscious gesture that knows how to identify what is useful with what is beautiful, and, at the same time, what is beautiful with what is moral, in the most radical sense of these terms.
The parallel and simultaneous elevation of everything humble to a divine magnitude, and the bringing down of the divine to what is tangible and commonplace without the slightest trace of legerdemain called for strong resistance to the Christian superego created from the alluvium left by the superstitions of the middle ages.
Among the finds from archaeological excavations that we present-day Europeans neglected to collect and study are certain concepts which were buried in the same soil along with the products of their art. Humility, for example, which discarded the pungent and pure fragrance of aromatic herbs to become permeated by incense, was unreservedly bequeathed to us and remained within us more as the touch of a slave's bare feet on stone slabs than as the pride of a footprint gathering wisdom in the sand. Nevertheless, in this corner of the earth, an invisible hand has always managed to point towards what is correct (I might even venture to say towards what is healthy) with the stubborn insistence of a compass needle pointing North. The inconceivable operation at every moment of this invisible mechanism, whose parts are as distant as the sun and as deep as the veins in the earth, or the currents of the deep sea that are in complete and harmonious correspondence, can be verified provided one dissociates it notionally from what we call immediacy. At least, to the extent that our - alas - limited intellectual abilities will allow. Unless, at such moments, the so-called poetic view (which is not a straightforward analysis, but consists of a shift from the rational to the transcendent and the search for analogies between feelings and actions) again acquires the significance it had originally.
We must not forget that only in this way did Pythagoras reach the point of declaring that the square is fire, the cube earth, the octahedron the winds and the dodecahedron the entire cosmos.

FROM THE POLYPODS on the Cretan vases or the flying fish in the recently discovered frescoes from Santorini; from the bare breasts of the Minoan women or the tridents in the mosaics on Delos; from the expanse of sea between two columns of a temple or the geometrical setting of a flute-player in Parian marble, there rises like a light east north-easterly wind a feeling that, inversely, we might call "holy", which, without the slightest difficulty and as if nothing was amiss, comes to settle on the whitewash of remote churches, on the dark faces of Orthodox saints, on the arched passageways of the houses in Sifnos or Amorgos, on the blue and yellow of the humblest fishing boat. The enumeration may seem arbitrary, perhaps tiresome. It is, however, to some extent deliberately contrived so as to reveal something that takes place much more mysteriously in the souls of a community, where the forces of nature, restrained as they are on all sides by excess (the major scourge of our civilisation), always have the last word, by which I mean that they enable us to understand in what way time may be subjected.
A sun of assimilated love but forever fierce? Not enough! In essence this is nothing but one aspect of the phenomenon. The other aspect, which appears to us as a direct reflection of the same feeling that comes from works of art on the works of life, actions and reactions to those daily events that we might term "human behaviour" or "conduct", is even more impressive, as it is indiscernible. It is this "conversely" that, by taking it to its other extreme, you see.

Enfin o bonheur, o raison, j' ecartai du ciel l' azur,
qui est du noir, et je vecus, etincelle d' or de la lumiere
nature.

Once when I wrote that diving into the sea with eyes open I had the sensation that I was bringing my skin into contact with that whiteness of memory that pursued me from some passage in Plato, it was regarded as being incomprehensible. Yet it is in the most pure-blooded Greek language that the helmsman finds the equilibrium in his vessel, in precisely the same way that Ictinus found it in the Parthenon. It is in this that, for example, the actions of a great statesman approach the pureness of the most noble form of marble. It is in this that the most sublime erotic sensation approaches the bitter taste of a black grape, which might give cause to believe that poets play with words, whereas in reality, if you think carefully about it, they are more serious than is permitted by a conversation before an unlit screen, with no horizon.
The Aegean has no screen; it never acquired one. It is led, whether by matter or spirit is of no importance, to what is essential. What is everything - for whatever the incomprehensible presumably represents - is transparency: the possibility of seeing through the first and the second and the third and the umpteenth level of one single reality, the one-dimensional and at the same time polyphonic point of their metaphorical significance.
So you see how you come to encounter morality even on the path that you take to avoid it. And perhaps then, its tap on your shoulder will appear even more persuasive.
A person waking with the dawn and gazing at a tiny mauve harbour, wishing that he'd never learned to read and write - how marvellous! He goes down to the rocks to untie the boat. Presently, one of the mountain's ridges begins to redden. Soon the Kouros will appear and behind it the outlines of the other islands, the unladen fishing smack, a tiny church of the Prophet Elijah. Then, everything will vanish leaving a swarthy clear face with large eyes: the fisherman with his basket, your present-day neighbour, yet at the same time, the eternal Fisherman of treasures - and of men.

" Carte Blanche, Selected Writings, Odysseus Elytis"


Διακρίσεις: 

Μεταφράσεις του έχουν βραβευτεί στην Αγγλία (The Yeats Club Sixth Open Poetry Competition for Translations 1989), στην Αμερική (The Elizabeth Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize for 1996) και στην Ελλάδα (Βραβείο της Ελληνικής Εταιρείας Μεταφραστών Λογοτεχνίας για την καλύτερη μετάφραση από τα ελληνικά 1996 και Τιμητική Διάκριση του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού 1999).


E-mail:  connolly@en.auth.gr