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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Theodore Stephanides, translator extraordinary: his work on Greek poets from Sappho to Palamas

This promises to be a fascinating talk by Dr. Anthony Hirst:


Council Room (K2.29), King's Building, Strand Campus, London

18/01/2016 (17:30-19:00)

"Theodore Stephanides (1896–1983) — doctor, pioneer radiologist and authority on freshwater micro-organisms — is widely known as a character in books of 1930s Corfu reminiscences by Gerald and Lawrence Durrell. Among neo-hellenists, though, he may be better known as the author of two eccentric volumes of memoirs, Climax in Crete and Island Trails, or as the translator of Kornaros’ Erotocritos(1984), and, with the collaboration of George Katsimbalis, of two major works by Kostis Palamas, The Twelve Words of the Gypsy (1975) and The King’s Flute (1982). What is known to very few, though, is the full extent of his work as a translator of Greek poetry, since more than half of it has not yet been published. Stephanides was also a minor English poet; and it is as a poet that he translates poetry, practising a rigorous form of verse translation — always a perilous task, and it is easy to find places where Stephanides does not succeed (as reviewers have done). I will try to show, though, that for the most part he does succeed, and often magnificently" - Anthony Hirst.


The Ionian Islands: Aspects of their History and Culture, edited by Anthony Hirst and Patrick Sammon (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014)

Sweet-Voiced Sappho: Translations from Sappho and other Ancient Greek poets, by Theodore Stephanides, with facing Greek text, edited by Anthony Hirst (London: Colenso Books, 2015).

Iakovos Kambanellis, Three Plays: The Courtyard of Wonders, The Four Legs of the Table, Ibsenland, translated by Marjorie Chambers (London: Colenso Books, 2015).

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