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“Omonoia” Publishing House in Romania will be celebrating their 20-year anniversary, with a 496-page publication, dedicated to the “citizen of the world” Constantine P. Cavafy.
The publication is an anthology titled “The poetic alphabet”, featuring 24 poems (as many as the letters of the Greek alphabet), by the Alexandrian poet, accompanied by translations in representative language groups.
“We celebrate our 20 years with the same author, with whom “Omonoia” started. With issued publications, among which, two bi-lingual and “complete works”, in two volumes, Cavafy has become a real emblem for us”, states founder and director of “Omonoia”, neo-hellenist Elena Lazar, who was the editor of the present publication, with professor Liviu Franga from the University of Bucharest.
“The present volume is an unusual publication and – as far as we know – unique, in the area of Cavafy studies. These poems form the required “steps” to enter the poetic universe devised by Cavafy. Through this publication we aspire to offer the reader the necessary points to approach the personality and work of the most translated, most commented, most exciting, and most enigmatic Greek poet”, adds Ms. Lazar.
Every poem by Cavafy, cited in the prototype, is accompanied by eleven translations in representative European language groups (Romanian, German and Slavic, represented by Russian).
An original element in this global, as it is characterized by Ms. Lazar, edition, is the translation of Cavafy’s work in Latin, by Professor Liviu Franga.
Moreover, a few of the languages chosen for this volume, such as English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, culturally cover continents located far from Europe.
“The present publication is also meant to be an experiment; so that the voice can be heard, the unique “seal” of a poetic genius, reflected in the sounds of several older, such as Latin, or more recent languages. It is an experiment, and at the same time, an experience”, notes the Romanian Neo-Hellenist.
According to Ms. Lazar, the selection of poems was made, “so as to offer the admirers of Cavafy’s work, from every corner of the globe, the opportunity to enter the multi-faceted universe of visions” by the Alexandrian poet “and intense spirits of his Poetry”, so that they will be able to follow the primary poetic way of thinking, and the range of its key themes.
The introductory study of the anniversary edition is signed by Professor Liviu Franga, while the epilogue belongs to Canadian Neo-Hellenist, Professor Jaques Bouchard of the University of Montreal, who also translated the project in French.
The 24 poem versions are accompanied by 100 color illustrations by Romanian artist, Georghe I. Anghel, for whom Cavafy forms a constant source of inspiration. Graphic presentation is by Anca Anghel Coller.
For the publication of this volume, Ms. Lazar cordially thanks businesswoman, Ekaterini Sofianou, one of the most active supporters of Cavafy and Greek Letters in Romania.
Presentation of the publication at Bucharest National Museum of Art
The presentation of Cavafy’s poetic alphabet will take place on November 10 at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest, and is expected to be an exceptional cultural event.
The event is held under the auspices of the Embassy of Greece in Romania, in collaboration with the Embassy of Egypt, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), the Association of Alumni of Philekpedeftiki Society of Athens (S.A.F.E.), the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the Association of Greeks in Romania. The event will be addressed by the Ambassador of Greece, Georgios Poukamisas, the Ambassador of Egypt, Sanaa Atallah, the President of SAE, Stefanos Tamvakis, Nonika Perdika, S.A.F.E. President and Georgios Sofianos.
Keynote speakers at the event are Professor Liviu Franga, poet Demetris Daskalopoulos, author Filippos Filippou and Professor Jaques Bouchard.
During the event, images on Cavafy and Alexandria from the edition, covers, portraits of the poet, manuscripts etc. will be projected on a video wall. Furthermore, poems will be recited by actors from the National Theater of Romania and students who will recite a poem by Cavafy in 12 languages, while Cavafy’s works set to music by composer Thanos Mikroutsikos will be played.
Source: ANA – MPA