Cavafy’s: “Interruption

 

 The ancient myth, the modern poem, and their meaning for us

An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou
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Constantine Cavafy is a Greek poet whose many poems reflect a deep fascination with Greek History, Mythology and Cultural Experience, which he uses as literary metaphors illuminating the present and helping us to understand ourselves.

 

One of these poems is called: “Interruption.” It stars with the statement that: “The work of the gods is interrupted by us;” and, to illustrate this point, he brings in two examples from the Greek Mythology to which he refers casually, as if they were events taken from yesterday’s paper. He speaks to us as if we were his friends to whom he says: “You know… that thing…”assuming that we are already familiar with both the stories and their implications and consequences.

 

In this presentation, we will look closely at these stories and we will seek to understand both what lies behind them and what it was that Cavafy found instructive there. By doing so we will be able to connect the threads that unify the mythical with the contemporary, and we will come to understand Cavafy’s didactic intentions.