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Putting Peripheral Poetries on the Map: Helen of Troy Rewritten by Helias Layios


Published: May 1, 2012
Keywords:
Helen Homer Layios Logue rewriting glocal poetry
Maria Filippakopoulou
Abstract
What are the conditions under which poetry of the periphery produces a poetico-discursive event with the power to affect Eurocentric letters? Using insights from global literature theorists such as Franco Moretti and Roberto Schwarz as well as analysis proper to translation practice I aim to test the argument that ‘minor’ style may become an affect of distinction precisely because it embodies material features of the proletarised literary margins. To this end, I translate and read the ode to Helen (of Troy) by Greek lyrical poet Helias Layios alongside and against poetry retellings of The Iliad by H.D. and Christopher Logue. The analysis, forming integral part of the translation brief, brings to light the full extent of Layios’s achievement in its capacity to affect the lyrical range achieved in English by the two other poets within the subgenre of creative rewritings of the classics. Taken as a sample of minor poetry with global resonance, it is shown to provide ammunition for the extension of literary relevance that is translation’s glocality mandate.
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Author Biography
Maria Filippakopoulou

Maria Filippakopoulou is freelance researcher in comparative literature and translation theory. She held positions at the BCLT and the University of Edinburgh and has published on methodological approaches to literary translation/reception in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her current projects include a critical anthology of Helias Layios' poetry and a piece on the reception of Edgar Allan Poe in Greek literature.

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