Odysseas Elytis

Odysseas Elytis was born in Crete in 1911 and at age eighteen he heard “a secret voice” that led him to abandon everything for his art. His nom de plume fuses three important Greek concepts: eleftheria (freedom), elpitha (hope), and Eleni (Helen of Troy). His first book was published at the outset of World War II and was followed by a publishing history that spans more than half a century and includes poetry, essays, and translations into Greek from Rimbaud, Genet, Brecht, García Lorca, Mayakovsky, and Ungaretti. Elytis received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979 and died in Greece on the last day of winter in 1996.

Awards and Honors

Nobel Prize for Literature, 1979