Giorgos Seferis

Giorgos Seferis

THE LAUREATE: Giorgos Seferis was a pretty awesome guy. He was born in Smyrna in 1900, moved to Athens and then studied law in Paris. He was a Greek diplomat from 1920 to 1961. He played a large role in handling the problem of Cyprus between Greece and Turkey. In his advanced age, he was a vocal opponent of the Greek Junta government. Read more here

WHAT I’M READING: Rex Warner’s collection of translations, Poems. God, some translators are so uncreative. But hey, Daniel Day-Lewis’ dad liked it, so it can’t be all that bad!

REVIEW: Seferis reminds me a lot of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound (not in the sense of supporting fascism or abusing women or writing Cats). He uses classical material comment on the present and the human condition. But unlike Eliot and Pound, Seferis, even in translation, has a connection and sympathy with the common man, and he uses classical and medieval words, quotes and ideas to elevate their lives and make them literary.

RECOMMENDED: Absolutely. I’ll be buying his collected works as soon as I have money.

WHAT’S NEXT: Orhan Pamuk’s My Name Is Red, because the library doesn’t let you keep books forever for some reason. The jerks.

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