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parsed(2013-01-08) - pubdate: 2013-01-08
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pub date: 1357624800
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Diaries of Exile

January 8, 2013 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781935744580
$15.00
Reader Reward Price: $13.50 info
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Description

"Without Ritsos' eloquence, Greeks would have forgotten how to name all those things that are there before their eyes."-Pantelis Prevelakis This long poem is a nuanced and moving account of the poet's time in exile, in which everyday events hide much that is threatening, oppressive, and spiritually vacuous. Lyrical and idyllic, these re-creations of Greek mythology justify Yannis Ritsos' reputation as one of the most honored in modern Greece. Plagued by tuberculosis, family misfortunes, and persecution for his Communist views, Yannis Ritsos (1909-1990) spent many years in sanatoriums, prisons, and in political exile while producing over one hundred volumes of poems, dramas, and translations.

About this Author

YANNIS RITSOS (1909 - 1990) Plagued by turberculosis, family misfortunes, and repeated persecution for his Communist views, Ritsos spent many years in sanatoriums, prisons, or in political exile while producing dozen of volumes of lyrics, dramas and translations. Despite all his misfortunes, Ritsos eventually achieved a personal, humanitarian medium devoid of anger and recrimination. In long poems like his celebrated Romiosyni (1947), Moonlight Sonata (1956) and most of his later volumes, Ritsos writes with compassion and hope, celebrating the life, toil, and dignity of the common man in an unadorned and direct language. In 1967, Ritsos was arrested again by the Greek junta and exiled, and was prohibited from publishing until 1972. By the end of his life, and contrary to all odds, Ritsos had published 117 books, including numerous plays and essays. KAREN EMMERICH has translated work by Vassilis Vassilikos, Yiorgos Skabardonis, Rhea Galanake, Miltos Sachtouris, and a variety of Greek poets of the twentieth century. She has received translation grants and awards from PEN and from the Modern Greek Studies Association. She teaches in Cyprus. EDMUND KEELEY is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton University and Director of Hellenic Studies program there. In addition to this translations and ciritical studies of modern Greek poetry, he has written five novels and a historical study, The Salonika Bay Murder: Cold War Politics and the Polk Affair (Princeton). Keeley's translations of Yannis Ritsos' shorter poems received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets and the First European Prize for the Translation of Poetry awarded by the European Economic Community.

ISBN: 9781935744580
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 120
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Published: 2013-01-08

Reviews

Winner of the 2014 PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation

There is no pity in the book, nor resignation, despite the circumstance. That clarity ... has to do with giving witness, with the idea of poetry as testimony. Ritsos records the smallest moments, as if were he to leave out a single detail of his incarceration, the whole experience might disappear. This is what poetry can do: preserve the moments that would otherwise be forgotten, and in so doing, recreate the world. --LA Times

Ritsos' breath raises a wind in which wafted and swirled flakes from the crust of our land, seeds of its vegetation and sparks of its sky. Without Ritsos' eloquence, Greeks would have forgotten how to name a major part of all those things that are there before their eyes and restoration of his work to its totality is an imperative duty to the Greek nation itself, which deserves to regain its unity after nearly forty years of strife. --Pantelis Prevelakis

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