I find it strange that while most people think of him as English, as that is what he became in addition to the fact that he died in England; he was in fact a born and bred American.
He was an author, essayist, critic, playwright and publisher. So he was well versed in the literary arts and as a result of this, influenced the notable Greek poets of the 1920’s. Most notably George Seferis, but as far as I’m aware, he himself (TS Eliot) never went to Greece or met any of the 1930’s generation as they called.
As he was so well connected and liked by the literary establishment, he was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1948.
Here are the details of his personal life TS Eliot
He is part of the foreigners series who are interested in Greece:
He is one of those people that Wikipedia has deemed only important enough to have an article in Greek and not in English. There is also practically nothing online about him. His son Spiridon Zampelios suffers the same fate for some unknown reason.
Yet, dig a little deeper and you find that both father and son were involved in deep linguistical debates about the use of language in prose and life. Which is why he is important enough to have his life discussed here in the above photo talking about the impact his poetry and songs have had on the theatre back in 1818. Its not the kind of thing that the average Wikipedia reader or editor is interested in. Hence the absence of data.
He is famous enough in Lefkás to have not only a street but also a square with a statue of himself named after him in Lefkás town. There is also a sign for his house but I’m yet to find it as directions are hard to come by and it’s non existent on the world’s worst tourist map as it’s so incomplete. It’s free so I can’t complain that much.
This is a picture that is on the stairs going up to the first floor of the building that houses the National Library and Post Byzantine collection of art showcasing how traditional Lefkadian art is different from most other western art because of the Heptanese (7 Ionian islands) style. He is among all of the other famous Lefkadians like Angelos Sikelianos, Lefkáda Hearn, Aristotle Valaoritis who I have already written about at length and lots of others which I will feature but they may have to be mini posts. They is only so many times one can update a post due to new information.
This is the eleventh post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.
There has been a temple to a deity of some kind for a long time. In the days of Sappho, it was Aphrodite trying to escape the rapturous attention of a mortal with the assistance of Apollo but the temple has long gone to be replaced by the chapel that is now there. If you wish to find out about that time visit Archeological museum In Lefkás Town.
The thing about Lefkás is you can’t learn a lot online, books are better but to get an actual feel for these things, you have to see them for yourself. It’s a very Lefkádian thing as they don’t really do social media even for business purposes so if you want to communicate anything you have to see them. There old fashioned and traditional which is unusual in this modern world but also kind of nice.
From the lighthouse on the promontory called Cape Dukatos or Lefkás depending on the era in question, you can see a fabulous sunset, take beautiful pictures and enjoy the view of neighbouring Ithaka and Cephalonia.
Is there any groups of famous people in your country?
These are disposable tablecloths that cover many of the tables in restaurants around here. It’s nice that you can learn about the culture of the place your staying through such a simple gesture.
This one tells a brief history of Apolokarnanina which is the area that houses Preveza airport that you fly into to visit Lefkás.Kosmas of Aetolia-Acarnania. He founded a school in Preveza which upset the Venetians who were ruling at the time leading to his death. For a Greek perspective Cosmas of Aetolia
There are also poems by Angelos Sikelianos “The first rain” which describes the beauty rain can inspire in you when you let it touch your soul and you dance in it. ”
It says above that the poet was born in Lefkás in 1884.
It says below he was born in Lefkás in 1850 and he was the national poet of Japan. His house is still there in Kithera.Lefkada Hearn There is also an Aristotle Valaoritis poem, biographical information and another poem. e
Other series include Greek poets, authors, Musicians, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.
Do you have any simple gestures like to help inform visitors to your country?
I was inspired to write this post because one of my comments previously mentioned about the connections between India and Greece which I was unaware of and the Wikipedia article he suggested was very lacking in information. I would like to thank my readers for giving this feedback and ideas to write posts that your actually interested in, rather than just stuff I’m personally interested in. Also for the fact that comments are sometimes worth exploring in greater detail later on when I have the time.
Theodore Stephanides was part of the ancient raj that was the ruling British culture of India until independence in 1947. His parents were Greek but his mother was born in Russia to a wealthy family from Chios (Greek island). He grew up in Bombay (now Chennai) and moved to Greek at 11 where he learnt his Greek.
He was a poet translating Kostis Palamas from Greek to English after World War One when he was a gunner. He later studied medicine and started the first Xray machine in Corfu as shown on the Durells.
He was lifelong friends with both Gerald Durrell and Lawrence Durrell assisting with the completion of their novels, My family and other animals as well the Greek Islands.
He also wrote his own books on radiology, Corfu and botany.
Other series include Greek poets, Painters, Authors, Musicians, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.
Now he is an interesting fellow for not only was he a Greek surrealist and this is not something you would usually associate with Greece; he was also the first Greek psychoanalyst. This is in addition to his more well known poetic side or his linguistic side which we will find out more about later on. The reason for him being slightly different to the average Greek was that he was born in Romania but soon moved back to Greece. He would travel far and wide throughout his life resulting in him documenting his life in exhaustive photographic detail as will also discover later on.
In order to became the first and most prominent psychoanalyst, he first starts studying philosophy in Athens in the 1920’s as a gentleman of his pedigree would do having failed to go into the family shipping business. I think the world is a much better place for him not becoming Onassis. Before he finishes his degree he moves to Paris and becomes interested in psychoanalysis. Through this he is introduced to Andre Breton the leading figure in that circle. This allows him to learn French in addition to his Swiss French gained from time spent in Lausanne after his parents divorced in and visits to Geneva. He wrote his books on psychoanalysis in French as a result of this. He continues to participate in this area throughout his life but stops actively practising in 1950. He also didn’t talk about this area of his life to others.
In the 1930’s he is one of the poets that radically changes the way Greek poetry is conceptualised along with the powerhouse that is George Seferis.
Being a literary critic as well a poet and author can mean that society views you as a troublemaker and if they can’t silence you then they will make sure that your work is jolly hard to to get hold of and you really have to search to find it in your language. He was a rather subversive member of society which the majority of people didn’t agree with. Along with studying psychoanalytics, Russian and French, he wrote rather saucy poetry and novels. This has meant his work has been subject to the usual censorship of non promotion as he doesn’t fit in with the ideals of society. This is a review of his poetry and life from a fellow blogger that I found explaining that yet again he is another poet whose work doesn’t exist much outside of Greece or in English. Andreas Emberikos.
He develops a friendship with Odysseus Elytis and they are invited by the Greco-Soviet society to travel to USSR as it is then known along with Yorgos Theotokas. The reasoning for this was that Andreas’s mother was half Russian and he himself fell in love with Tolstoy in his youth. He also spoke Russian and was widely read in the language. He visited Russia as a child every summer until 1914 when war broke out.
He was a prolific photographer as well with an archive of over 30,000 negatives being made by himself during his lifetime. These were however mostly for his personal use as he only exhibited them once in 1955 in the Ilissos Gallery in Athens. A retrospective exhibition happened in 2001 to commemorate his lives work at the Technopolis Art Centre in Athens. There was also another more recent photographic exhibition held in Athens to mark Greek Independance day in 2018.
He is a poet who has lived in various places in his life like Greece, the UK, France and the United States. This has given him the ability to absorb the qualities of that country’s poetry and to popularise them in all of the other countries he has lived in. He currently lives in Athens. It’s unusual for me to be writing about a poet that is still alive but as you can tell he is quite elderly.
He is said to be one of the best poets of the Hellenic diaspora (community of Greeks outside of Greece) since Constantine Cavafy. He is also linked to George Seferis because of the well known book of their correspondence. Not only that, he assisted with translating the poem King Asini which I mention in my earlier post into English for publication abroad.
Once again we come across a Valaoritis and he was the great grandson of Aristotle Valaoritis who I have written about in great detail. This Valaoritis was a poet and once again we come across a man who studied law but this time in Athens. This is a common theme for men of this era to study law but they don’t always complete their degrees like this one did.
Just like Angelos Sikelianos he met his American wife in Paris in the 1920’s. That really must have been quite a heady place at that time with the surrealists, Andre Breton and Pablo Picasso also being present at the same time.