This book explores diverse but complementary cross-disciplinary approaches to the poetics, intertexts, and impact of the work of C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis), one of the most influential twentieth-century European poets. Written by leading international scholars from a number of disciplines (critical theory, gender studies, comparative literature, English studies, Greek studies, anthropology, classics), the essays of this volume situate Cavafy’s poetry within the broader contexts of modernism and aestheticism, and investigate its complex and innovative responses to European literary traditions (from Greek antiquity to modernity) as well as the multifaceted impact of Cavafy and his writings on other major figures of world literature.
Contributors: Eve Sedgwick, Helen Vendler, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Albert Henrichs, Richard Dellamora, Kathleen Coleman, Mark Doty, James Faubion, Diana Haas.
Jacket image: The Smoker by Ioannis Roilos, reproduced by permission of the painter.
Konstantinos P. Kavafis--known to the English-reading world as C. P. Cavafy--has been internationally recognized as an important poet and attracted the admiration of eminent literary figures such as E. M. Forster, F. T. Marinetti, W. H. Auden, George Seferis, and James Merrill. Cavafy's idiosyncratic poetry remains one of the most influential and perplexing voices of European modernism.
Focusing on Cavafy's intriguing work, this book navigates new territories in critical theory and offers an interdisciplinary study of the construction of (homo)erotic desire in poetry in terms of metonymic discourse and anti-economic libidinal modalities. Panagiotis Roilos shows that problematizations of art production, market economy, and trafficability of erôs in diverse late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European sociocultural and political contexts were re-articulated in Cavafy's poetry in new subversive ways that promoted an "unorthodox" discursive and libidinal anti-economy of jouissance.