Greece Literature: Romanticism

By | August 8, 2021

According to cheeroutdoor, the Romance in Greece is generally set between 1830 and 1880 and developed in the wake of the French, especially in Phanariot environment. The themes used are quite common to all the poets of the first and second generation: love, homeland, freedom, nature. The phanariotes of the first generation, heirs and representatives of the Byzantine tradition, write their works in the archaic language, thus reinforcing a tendency that can also be found later in the so-called Athenian school. To the first generation belong IR Nerulòs (1778-1850), known for a play that satirizes the language of Koraís; IR Rangavís (1779-1855), author of theatrical works of neoclassical style and of lyrics inspired by Romanticism; his son, AR Rangavís (1809-92), dynamic politician and eclectic writer also in demotic; A. Sutsos (1803-63), famous for his political satires; his brother P. Sutsos (1806-68), lyric and elegiac poet; I. Tantalidis (1818-76), representative of the Phanariotic culture in Constantinople and author of poems in the vernacular. After the revolution, literary activity moved to Athens; Greek communities abroad are losing importance, while the other provinces of the country suffer from a lack of schools. The activity of the second romantic generation (Athenian school) is concentrated in Athens, including Th. Orfanidis (1817-86), poet and critic, author of epic-lyric and satirical poems; D. Valavanis (1824-54), of which few works remain with an elegiac tone, even in demotic; I. Karasutsas (1822-73), author of idyllic poems; D. Paparrigópulos (1843-73), poet, philosopher and historian with emphatic tones and moving themes tending to pessimism; S. Vasiliadis (1845-74), who uses an elegant style for classical themes and writes prose and critiques on social and spiritual topics; D. Vernardakis (1834-1907), philologist, historian and great playwright of the time; TO. Vlachos (1838-1920), known for his translations of foreign plays and for the impetus given to the theater by his activity as director of the Royal Theater of Athens; and finally A. Paráschos (1838-95), considered the romantic poet par excellence, very famous and much loved by his contemporaries. While culture is concentrated in Athens and the other provinces languish, the Heptanese churns out poets of great quality both thanks to the university, the famous Ionia Academy, and thanks to the legacy of Solomós. These poets take up themes and artistic forms proposed by the master; so do A. Mátesis (1794-1875) and I. Tipaldos (1814-83), considered the most typical continuer of the spirit of Solomós. An important detail is the almost total absence of prose among these singers imbued with spirituality and idealism: their production is only poetic. They also escape the general tendency to use the archaic language. Among these we still remember I. Polilás (1826-96), leading exponent of Neo-Hellenic criticism with his Prolegomena to the works of Solomós, as well as an excellent translator of Shakespeare and Homer; and G. Kalosguros (1849-1902), also a critic and translator as well as a poet of good quality. Some heptanetic poets are credited with bringing elements of the poetic tradition of the Heptanese to Athens, revitalizing a literary school otherwise destined to end. Among these stand out G. Tertsetis (1800-74), G. Markorás (1826-1911), A. Valaorítis (1824-79), who departs from the heptanetic tradition to approach the kleftic one, and A. Laskarâtos (1811-1901), with verses of social satire, against the clergy and the customs of the time. In the same period, prose also revived and, in the wake of the spread of the novel in Europe, interest in this literary genre, considered by intellectuals as a suitable means for the expression of national consciousness, also strengthened in Greece; novels are translated from other languages ​​and katharéyusa is used once again. The major exponents of this trend are S. Xenos (1821-94), remembered for having introduced the historical novel in Greece; P. Kalligás (1814-96), author of the first social novel, characterized by a certain attention to the psychology of the characters and to the customs of the time; D. Vikélas (1835-1908); E. Roídis (1835-1904), a great literary critic and author of a famous novel in the archaic language, La Papessa Giovanna, which caused a sensation and was condemned by the Church. The spread of poetry competitions within universities favored the development of literary criticism and a new push to use the demotic. Among the critics of the time, in addition to Roídis, K. Asopios (1785-1872) and S. Kumanudis (1818-99) should be mentioned. University competitions also encouraged poetry, contributing to the spread of the genre among the general public. Some works born in this context deserve to be remembered: The voice of my heart, by DG Kambùroglos (1852-1942), a lyrical collection in demotic with familiar and anti-romantic tones; Vipers and turtle doves, by I. Papadiamantòpulos (1856-1910), the announcement of a now renewed poem, in the footsteps of which the poets of the next generation walked. The latter represents a huge step forward in neo-Greek literature, a new dawn of popular-inspired poetry centered on the now definitively accepted use of the demotic language.

Greece Literature - Romanticism