Open Papers

Odysseas Elytis, Olga Broumas, T Begley, trans.

Open Papers is the primary statement on his art by Odysseas Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a sweeping exploration of the mind and mythic imagination of one of the most original, visionary, and compelling poets of this century.

ISBN: 9781556590702

Format: Paperback

Excerpt from “First Things First”

… I’d like, in presenting these texts, to confess at once: I am not a critic or a prose writer. Psychological analysis does nothing for me, my powers of observation are largely absent, and every attempt at description bores me to death. I have no way to exhaust a subject except to live it… writing. Which means I dive in a long way before clarifying what I want to say, I let myself drift, here and there, preferring the darkest corners, trying to see or, if not, at least to touch and recognize.

About the Author

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, …

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About the Translator

Olga Broumas was born in Syros, Greece, in 1949 and published her first book there in 1967. After moving to the United States, she received her BA in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon. Her first book in English, Beginning with O, was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1977. Since then she has published seven volumes of solo and collaborative poetry (with T …

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About the Translator

T Begley studied classical Greek at The Evergreen State College and Yale University. In addition to writing poetry, Begley has presented installation and performance pieces and co-founded (with Olga Broumas) Body, Sound & Text, a psychodynamic educational workplace for women in Brewster, Massachusetts. With Broumas, T Begley is the co-translator of Open Papers, selected essays of Greek Noble Laureate Odysseas Elytis, completed with the support of a Witter Bynner Grant. T Begley comes from a strong literary and language background. …

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Open Papers chronicles the life of poetry in modern Greece while identifying the allegiances and passionate particulars of one of the supreme poets of an age. It opens a world that is palpably within this one.” —Sam Hamill, from the introduction

“If, through the decades, Elytis did take political and artistic risks, this clear articulation shows that his art was not guided by luck or risk alone but by a real belief in modernism.” —Publishers Weekly

Open Papers is… a sweeping exploration of the mind and the mystic imagination of one of the most original, visionary, and compelling poets of this century.” —Translation Review