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Placing Modern GreeceThe Dynamics of Romantic Hellenism, 1770-1840$
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Constanze Guthenke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231850.001.0001

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The Ambivalence of Nature: Poetry for the New Greek State

The Ambivalence of Nature: Poetry for the New Greek State

(p.140) 4 The Ambivalence of Nature: Poetry for the New Greek State
Placing Modern Greece

Constanze Güthenke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the context for evaluating Greek Romantic poetry of the first decade of statehood, especially in the so-called Athenian School. It offers readings of works by Alexandros Rizos Rangavis and Panagiotis Soutsos, whose vision of a new literature betrayed a highly ambivalent attitude towards the repertoire of Romantic images, not least because here are writers ‘on the ground’ in Greece. Their use of some of the philhellenic, Romantic motives, especially those pertaining to folk literature, is complex, but they, too, cannot avoid the necessary split into Greek antiquity and European modernity, which leaves contemporary Greece in a limbo, trying to stake a claim to both sides. Their poetry is presented with reference to little-studied material from prefaces to their first editions.

Keywords:   Athenian School, folk song, Greek Romanticism, national literature, poetry, Alexandros Rizos Rangavis, Panagiotis Soutsos

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