Kassandra and the Censors

9780801427046: Hardback
Release Date: 23rd December 1997

9780801499937: Paperback
Release Date: 23rd December 1997

10 halftones

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 328

Series Reading Women Writing

Cornell University Press

Kassandra and the Censors

Greek Poetry since 1967

Hardback / £43.00
Paperback / £22.99

In this pioneering study of contemporary Greek poetry, Karen Van Dyck investigates modernist and postmodernist poetics at the edge of Europe. She traces the influential role of Greek women writers back to the sexual politics of censorship under the dictatorship (1967-1974).

Reading the effects of censorship—in cartoons, the dictator's speeches, the poetry of the Nobel Laureate George Seferis, and the younger generation of poets—she shows how women poets use strategies which, although initiated in response to the regime's press law, prove useful in articulating a feminist critique. In poetry collections by Rhea Galanaki, Jenny Mastoraki and Maria Laina, among others, she analyzes how the censors'tactics for stabilizing signification are redeployed to disrupt fixed meanings and gender roles.

As much a literary analysis of culture as a cultural analysis of literature, her book explores how censorship, consumerism, and feminism influence contemporary Greek women's poetry as well as how the resistance to clarity in this poetry trains readers to rethink these cultural practices. Only with greater attention to the cultural and formal specificity of writing, Van Dyck argues, is it possible to theorize the lessons of censorship and women's writing.

Karen Van Dyck directed Hellenic Studies in the Classics Department at Columbia (1988-2016) and has also been an active member of the Institute for Research on Women, Sexuality and Gender (IRWSG), the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS), the European Institute and the Istanbul Global Center. She is the author of Kassandra and the Censors, The Rehearsal of Misunderstanding, The Scattered Papers of Penelope, and Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry that won the London Hellenic Prize (2016). Her essays, translations and poetry have appeared in LARB, the Guardian, World Literature Today, and Tender.