Modern Greek Literature

Modern Greek Literature

The Journey lnside: Narrative Voices and the Reformulating of ldentity in 19th and 20th Century Greek Literary Texts
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Maria Kotzamanidou
2-5 PM
105 Dwinelle

All of this semester's readings, both prose and poetry, hold onto one common trait: They all reflect a traveled path of experience that brings about profound internal change. This internal journey, which is manifest within the confines of each work, is framed by exterior social and political challenges that propel the individual characters toward`the assumption of new responsibilities and the reformulation of their personal identity.

Despite the variety of genres, the texts that we will examine are marked by shifts occurring in the main narrative voices. Some of these texts are autobiographical, promoting the self as the narrator, some are fictional first person narratives, some are fictional third person narratives, and some are both. And there is a polyvocality in the poems of the volume that I have included in the readings. 

Although the emphasis regarding the approach to this material is not purely narratological, I should like to practice the exercise of reading with the ear as well as with the eye. Is there something about the performative nature of these texts that strives toward communication with a broader audience? Is there apprehension, fear of loss of self by the character in the assumption of new responsibilities?

The readings for this semester include a variety of literary genres: novel, autobiography, poetry. Some of the writers we will address include: E. M. Martinengou, G.Theotokas, Y. Ritsos, A.Zei., M.Douka. The works to be read will be available also in translation for the non-Greek speaking students. Additionally, the instructor is preparing a reader with the methodological framework of the course which will include selections from the works of Mikhail Bakhtin among those of other theorists.