A PHD THESIS! ON HECTOR KAKNAVATOS
GREECE AND WE, THE GREEKS BORN AFTER THE II WORLD WAR, ARE VERY LUCKY BECAUSE IN THE 1920’s A PLETHORA OF POETS (BELONGING TO THE SO CALLED 1st POST WAR GENERATION) WERE BORN.
WE ARE ALSO EXTREMELY LUCKY THAT TWO OF THEM ARE STILL ALIVE AND KICKING: MR NANOS (ΠΟΥ ΤΟΝ ΕΧΟΥΜΕ ΣΤΑ ΩΠΑ ΩΠΑ HERE IN HELLENIC POETRY) AND TITOS PATRIKIOS.
WE ARE ALSO EXTREMELY FORTUITUS THAT ONE OF THEM WAS A MATHEMATICIAN: HECTOR KAKNAVATOS WHO WAS BORN IN 1920 AND UNFORTUNATELY DIED IN 2010.
BUT AS OUR MOTTO SAYS: THE POET IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE POET.
WE HAVEN’T MANAGED TO FIND HIS POEMS TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BUT WE MANAGE TO FIND AN EXCELLENT PHD THESIS:
Argyropoulou, C. (1997). The Language of the poetry of Hector Kaknavatos: the grammar, the functions of the poetic language and text-linguistic analysis of some poems
Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Université libre de Bruxelles, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Bruxelles.
BUT BEFORE WE CONTINUE, WE FIRST PRESENT AN ΩΠΑ SONG DEDICATED TO MR. NANOS
AND NOW WE WILL PRESENT SECTION: B. INTRODUCTION OF THIS EXCELLENT THESIS!
la. BIOGRAPHY AND WORKK OF THE POET HECTOR KAKNAVATOS AS WELL AS GENERAL OOMMENTS CW HIS POETRY BY THE WRITER
The poet, Hector Kaknavatos was born in Piraeus in the year of 1920. His family had connections with nautical life on his mother’s side as well as his father’s, and he had the roots of an islander. His family offered him only the bare necessities, due to his father’s early death -he remembers him very little, rather like an image in his mind-, his mother died at the age of 52, and the poet lived with his sister and was brought up by relatives who were interested in his future and wanted to see him in the military profession. However, a military career in Greece, at that time, demanded aristocratic titles and connections; the poet was, consequently, rejected by the Military Academy and the Air-Force, something which delighted him, because he was free to follow his favourite subject, Mathematics.
Since he had been a pupil he had been interested in this subject and had maade excellent progress in Mathematics, as well as in History. He also iked poetry- Homer, Pindar, folk songs and other not very well known poets ike Y. Gryparis, L Porfyras, T. Papatsonis, etc. He had not yet discovered what he later loved; that happened when he became a student. However, he remembers vividly his refusai to submit himself to something which was inflicted on him from ‘above’. Therefore, as a. student he did not follow rules strictly, especially in essay writing; instead, he used to express his own ideas in a liberal and poetic way. As he, himself, confesses, his teacher in Greek literature and headmaster at High Stihool was the first person to recognise his poetic talent, and he was delighted with his writing (see interview).
[Hector—George Kontogiorgis is his father’s surname, but for his poetry he chose his mother s maiden name. Therefore the surname Kaknavatos is not a pseudonym.]
He felt that he wanted to write according to his feelings without predetermined frames even from his school life. He also liked to create the unexpected in every situation, to look the logical flow of speech, therefore, he writes his first poems in his own revolutionary poetic expression. He has read widely since he was very young and his interests cover a wide spectrum of the intellect. He has an Intellectual thirst for everything. He reads Philosophy, Ancient writers – Greek and Latin- poetry, prose, and he admires the resistance of language during the times (occupation) of the Venetian and Frankish Empire. He studies everything connected with Mathematics, Geometry in particular, Astronomy, Nuclear Sciences, where he follows with great interest the new developments and especially the present theory of Chaos. Ail these are reflected in his poetry. He enjoys History and his poetry is not only full of historic names but also of historic experiences, extra-textual references, which cover many sections of science and art. Amongst his interests are music, – he plays the flute -, and painting.
During his student years he read D.Solomos, A.Kalvos, K.Palamas, A. Sikelianos, Y.Ritsos, N.Vrettakos, but he was especially ta,ken by K. Kavafis. Without underestimating other poets, he rates A. Kalvos, K. Kavafis and 0. Elytis as great poets. He gained his linguistic experience, his elalxirated poetic language and his special vocabulary, through much personal study, and his own personal experience in oral and written speech, as he has pointed out himself in interviews and discussions. He deeply believes that language is everything, that it is above time and has its own internai consistency; therefore, in his work there is the co-presence of everything in the whole Greek language, with ail the elements which it gained or lost during its long history (diachrony), and ail changes during its synchrony, (s>T≫ohronic description). He travels linguistically like an Argonaut with a route from Homer ” Πρίαμος και λαός εϋμελίω Πριάμιο”, Pindar and Ae.schylus to Romanos the Melodist, ( the Byzantine Period ), until the present, with a vocabulary drawn from all levels of written and oral speech, such as the colloquial words ξοπίσω, επιτούτου, εφτούνο, from the Bible μνήσθητι, from lonian dialect, ολώλη, from Katharevussa, εσπερίζεται, or the stereotypic syntactic expression, υπό μάλης, etc.
In his poetry ail the words: simple, difficult, colourful, transparent, formal or informal, emerge from oblivion uncovered, creating a delightful “garden” of poetry, the poetry of Hector Kaknavatos. In his poetry names such as: A.Kalvos, K.Kavafis, O.Elytis, D.Solomos, N.Karouzos, A.Embirikos, N.Eggonopou1 os, D.Papaditsas, K.Palamas, T.S.Eliot, were found. From his poetry emerges a proud, stormy, linguistically Creative poet with a restless mind, as can be seen in his poetry. Vol. B’, p.l26:
His poetic inspiration is free, without limits, but not without real results, as is shown in the following verse:
Iannis Xenakis – Persepolis
Iannis Xenakis Persepolis GRM Mix
Mixed By, Engineer – Daniel Teruggi
A re-issue of the “polytope” (composed in 1971, first performed for the 2500th anniversary of Iran’s founding by Cyrus) on CD1 with remixes on CD2.
Original recording mixed at INA-GRM (Paris, France) and engineered in Studio 116A by Daniel Teruggi, under the consultation of Iannis Xenakis. Radu Stan of Editions Salabert provided the original tapes and scores for the mix, as well as attended the mixing.
When Hector Kaknavatos finished his studies in the School of Mathematics where he had made excellent progress, he had planned to have postgraduate studies in Germany on a scholarship which unfortunately was cancelled in the year of 1941, because Greece was already under German occupation. History played its own trick, with the false face of time as he writes and C. Georgusopoulou comments, ” Time, this alien time discharged from the womb of Chaos puts us violently into the sphere of the unknown, and it whirls us towards a fatal destiny. History, its places and names, phenomena in time are illustrated by the light of the accidental. The world is simply accidental, and it exists like something abnormal and perhaps like an imaginary product’’.
Hector Kaknavatos participated in the resistance against the German occupation. He also took part in the Greek civil war on the side of the Left, and he was exiled as a result to Ikaria and Macronissos by the Conservatives who had won the war, finally being released in the year 1949. Because of his political beliefs, he could not be appointed as a Mathematics teacher in state schools, and so he looked for work in the private sector of education. He never became a member of a particular political party. He believes in the free expression of thought because, as he says, “Political formations are dogmatic, they influence people, and they do not let one see events in a free way” . The poet is against any restriction, but this does not mean that he does not carry out his political duties, or that he does not follow the political and social developments in Greece and abroad. He is involved in life and its problems, and he searches through his own special and polysemic poetry for Man, freedom, the mystery of the world, science, the flow of the universe; he believes that a poet as a dreamer captures life in an imaginary picture, everything tliat a scientist tries to prove through hard work.
There are things which we cannot see. Through his poetic speech, the poet reveals the unseen but visible to the poet; the unseen captured by his soul or by another sense, according to Odysseas Elytis, so the poet helps us to see it. In his poetry he incorporates the local with the universal, not fatalistically or pessimistically, but through a revolutionary spirit, an experienced and pioneering poetic speech. He takes scientific ideas from R. Descartes’s the ” ergo sim”, from Heraclitus:’ Things are in perpetual flux ”, or ideas from Sophists, Empedocles, and Pythagoras’ “tetractys’ , working by poetic reference. He presents them in an exemplary poetic way which moves towards various linguistic and cultural levels and it emerges renewed, transcendent, lyrical , but, above ail, revolutionary and fresh. Ail those can be seen in the following:
Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke – The Human Game
In 1943 he made his poetic debut with his first poetic collection FUGA (published by Stephanos N. Tarousopoulos), a lyrical title which in Greek and Latin means ” escape It is possible that, as Giolanda Pegli writes, ” The word summarises the anxiety of the poet to escape from the hell of a historical reality that he experiences himself. The poems are love poems, and this itself is a gesture of resistance, because we can love as a substance of life, contradicting the hell of war.
He marks out when interviewed by the writer that : “As long as man exists, poetry will exist too”, because poetry is the life, the vision, the image, the free expression of ail the elements hidden in the subconscious, and only poetry through its unique language, can draw them out and give them another meaning and poetic substance. Therefore, it is easy to understand something that the poet has stated many times, that surrealism exists within us, and it existed before the arrivai of the organised Surrealistic Movement in Paris, with the Manifeste of A.Breton in the year 1924.
Hector Kaknavatos emphasises that, Poets liberate themselves through their attitude towards previous poets, and they liberate us, teaching us this attitude, ‘the position of freedom’, as Harold Bloom says. Freedom in poetry means the freedom of a particular meaning. This freedom is completely fictitious unless it is achieved under the influence of culture and tradition, and, therefore, language’.
In fact, the language of Hector Kaknavatos’ poetry, as well as the communicative poetic speech, creates the feeling of a linguistic blossoming, without limits, without pretence. This language operates on many levels, and it cornes out vivid and powerful. The terminology, the idiomatic expressions, the whole vocabulary, the words made by the poet do not serve a particular purpose, but they corne out because of the poet’s need to express his internai world and energy through the unique way he only knows as he seeks to approach through his poetry everything on the scale of ‘zero to infinity’.
In the frontispiece (para-textual elerment) of the collection KIVOTIO than serve the Logos, it destroys the obvious disorder of events, and those events take revenge, burying the language itself”. In conclusion, what he seeks in his poetry is not the national ism which was especially promoted during the Renaissance, but that language should rediscover its innocence and freedom in order to serve the man who has been trapped in capital istic and national formations and who has left his Intellectual spirit in the dark. Consequently, the poet revives words which have been forgotten, and he gives them a poetic meaning and new signifiers, as the poetic language works with metaphors, polysemy and aunphisemy. The seeking for the particular word is revealed through his poetry. Accordingly, the poet presents in Volume B’, p. 221 1-10, the following de profundis poetic ‘evidence.’
In this way, the poet gives life to his words when he talks about language with ail its decorations, for example, the word, the sound, the phrase, the description, the combination of consonants and vowels; he becomes passionate with lyricism and its attractions. He represents, in an indicative way, the inconceivable importance and significance of the phrase ” Thiassos Zophou, Θίασος Ζοφού” , which loses its aesthetic and imaging power even in the best translation (see interview). Therefore, one dares to say that the interview with him showed that he feels passionately about every aspect of language. Only in this way can one understand whatever the poet has said about the word “Αρμονίη”, the Ancient form of the present word ” Αρμονία= Harmony ” , Volume B’ , p. 232 3-7, where he asserts:
The power of the word, which is vivid 1inguistically in people’s consciences, survives even if it is not in use, as happened with the lonian form “Αρμονία” or with so many other words which exist in our everyday vocabulary unconsciously. These words are witnesses to ail Greek history and linguistic history with ail linguistic influences, foreign or local.
Iannis Xenakis – Diamorphoses
The studio at Radio France dedicated to the creation of new sounds was launched in 1948 by electroacoustic pioneer Pierre Schaeffer. Iannis Xenakis was quickly fascinated by the expanded possibilities of musique concrète, and by 1955 had begun working there, as part of what became known as the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM). Between 1957 and 1962, he completed a number of pieces, the first being Diamorphoses. The sound-world Xenakis designed for this work combines the violent noises of jet engines, trains, and an earthquake with high bell-like sounds. The contrasting character of these sonic layers interacts with shifting densities and successions of events to produce a complex, yet balanced form. The equilibrium of high, sharply defined sounds and low, continuous ones is made manifest in the overall architecture; the outer passages are dominated by the roaring, sustained sounds framing a central section of more discontinuous, shifting textures of bells and many other sonorities. Xenakis has never been considered one of the major figures associated with GRM, but Diamorphoses remains an influential piece of musique concrète from the first decade of this new genre. [Allmusic.com]
Language, beyond its existence, as means of communication is ecstasy with the power of imagination, it can foresee, it ‘creates, that is, I expressed either as scientifie language or as poetic speech, never satisfied; it should create surprise and internai revolution. This was the demand not only of the Surrealistic movement, but also of science in general, where whatever is captured with the imagination becomes a creation or a scientific truth. It is understandable why the poet believes in the harmony of Mathematics and Poetry, which are considered opposites, and for that reason he is able to create a rich linguistic texture, (scientific, encyclopaedic, everyday, idiomatic, inventive). This co-existence becomes a harmony such as is expressed briefly in the same way by Heraclitus who is H. Kaknavatos’ especial favourite: “Αρμονίη αφανή εμμονή φανερής Κρείττων” or ¨ωδός άνω και κάτω μια και ωυτή” poet asserts that, ” Mathematics bas its own poetry; it changes so fast that it demands courage. Its aim is to describe the world in a comprehensive language, which not only expresses quality, but also quantity, which are mutually influential and create an inconceivable panel for many people.’’ As H. Read states more or less that “in every genuine piece of art there exist two elements. One mathematical in its nature which contributes to the prominence of beauty, and the other organic which promutes the form of vitality”. These elements can coexist in poetry, too, where according to D. Liantinis in his bοok Ellinika ”At the high level of creation, thought becomes the music of sounds, and poetry becomes the geometrical balance of meaning and reasoning.’’ or as Fr. Holderlin has said, “the only creation of man which stays steady against the flow of time, is whatever poets build with language”. In conclusion, either it is called the logic of the irrational, the beginning of the indefinite, the theory of chaos, or, illogical delirium according to 0. Elytis or ” experiences of the poet’’, according to R.M. Rilke or any other motive, this special gift of the poet to create poetry is exactly what Sophocles called “χάρις ή τίκτουσα” in his work Ajax, p.552.
Revolutionary changes in the scientific world, (Astronomy, Physics, Geometry, Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, etc.), especially after the theory of Copernicus, influence poetry too. Because the poet belongs in this world, he experiences the events of life, and he captures the revolution in poetry while he is looking for new ways of expression. In that way poetry is “another kind of mental perception” according to Fr. Holderlin, poetry opens new roads, its own roads, “την ανοίκειον οδόν” as Parraenides has said.
It is, therefore, obvious that Science and Poetry operate on the same level. After the Freudian theory, people interpreted the world in a different way. Science, an area where people spend a lot of their valuable time, could not leave the poet indifferent, either as a poet or as a human being. H. Kaknavatos points out that everything is poetry, he says amongst other things that “Poetry is the ability to overcome the resounding factors of our speech […]. The ’word’ in poetry is not a medium of transportation, of intellectual material, but with its special phonetic, meaningful and linguistic character radiâtes energy. The ‘word’ is self governing, opening unexpected ways towards a widening reality where imagination plays an important rôle.’’ The poet stated in an interview with this writer; “My last poems, the chaotic, are influenced by the theory of chaos, a field in which many scientists are still engaged. Mathematics is 1ike sea waves, but the anxiety which one feels to express his thoughts in any language is not only a privilège of Mathematics but also of Poetry too, and, as Heisenberg has said, ‘Man expresses himself through poetry and Mathematics’. At the stage of inspiration, poetry prédominâtes, but, at the stage of writing, the rationality of Mathematics prédominâtes; Mathematics requires boldness and imagination, créâtes ’languages’ in order to solve our anxieties concerning the relation between quantity and quality, and that is the point where Poetry meets Mathematics and vice versa”.
Klaus Schulze feat. Lisa Gerrard – Loreley (excerpt)
10 min excerpt from an amazing piece (more than 39 min long track) from Rheingold
In 1801 German author Clemens Brentano wrote the poem Zu Bacharach am Rheine (part of his novel Godwi oder Das steinerne Bild der Mutter) which first created the story of an enchanting female connected to the rock. In the poem, the beautiful Lore Lay is falsely accused of maliciously bewitching men and driving them to ruin; later pardoned and on the way to a nunnery she passes and climbs the Lorelei rock, watching out for the lover who abandoned her, and falls to her death; the rock still retained an echo of her name afterwards. Brentano had taken inspiration from Ovid and the Echo myth.
Brentano’s poem was followed by many other authors who took his story and wrote versions of their own. Most famous is the poem Die Lore-Ley by Heinrich Heine, which tells of the titular female as a kind of siren luring shipmen to distraction with her singing, who then crash on the rocks in the riverbed.
Poetry, of course, demands another abstract form of thought and language, in order to be poetry, a spiecial création. Poetry is magic; it follows all mankind’s créations and expresses them in its own language. ” Great Poetry ’’, as O.Elytis has stated pénétrâtes and changes reality. Never satisfied with what exists, it always explores what is possible. Poetry is an art to be led towards something high ” . H. KaknavaTos defines poetic language in his own way, he says that:
Poetry’s language does not lose its character of vagueness; this character makes it poetic language’’. The poet also talks about the chaotic behaviour of language, released from any communicative frame. In his diary we can read the following, ” Poetry expresses a conflict between passion and speech. Passion suppresses the speech which cornes out passionate, and word suppresses passion which invades locutionary clouds. This linguistic ’grinding’ créâtes the spark which is called a poem. People are possessed of imagination in order to overcome the impossible. The System of language is ’continuous‘. A genesis inside this System can be the poetic language which represents a total of noncontinuities. It is a ‘destruction’, and either it demolishes the whine System, or it leads to a way of its survival through creations of an aesthetic satisfaction. This can only be done by a poet”.
In the Parmenidean construction, ‘ ‘ to be or not to be “, the poet arrays the Heraclitean saying, ” to be and not to be” , he means fire = soûl = Word and responsibility. The poet does not separate the absent from the présent, as Parmenides does, but he feels and captures everything in the light of a timeless présent “της ανοικείου οδού”, and expresses it in a mythological ‘dress’ which, according to K. Reinhardt, ” is not a gown at all, but a unique means of expression of the poet’s thoughts.’’ Myth, in H. Kaknavatos” poetry, strivés for the truth of cosmogenes is, because, as we can see from his work, the language which he uses is a language of science, of Psychology and a language of man in all his Intellectual “γίγνεσθαι=becoming “. In addition, his spécial language reminds us of the poetry of Empedocles who uses the language of Biology and Psychology to express the inmortal éléments of the World known as ‘roots’. “The Presocratic Philosophers are for others a kind of fiction/ mythevTna, for others as for H. Kaknavatos they are the guides towards the Poem/Lesson (Poème/Mathème)», as Michael Sawas has pointed out. Thus, as we can see, the Presocratic Philosophers are for the poet a kind of ‘signpost’; he is influenced by Pithagoras, Platon, G. Cantor, Fr.Hegel and the Modem theory of chaos.
In other words, it is observed that since Ancient, times poetry lias been helping us to discover whatever nature jealousy hides from us, ” που κείται το καίριον” . It also tells us that our destiny lies in our own hands, if only we open ‘* the eyes of our soûl ”, as in the expression of the poet, D. Solomos, and minimise the power of infertile rationalism which makes our life difficult, compétitive, unreasonably consuming, and, therefore, antipoetic. The power of poetic language, which even leads to immortality, is shown clearly in Sappho’s words: “μνάσεσθαι τινά φαιμι και ύστερων αμμέων ‘”. In poetry ‘how’ and ‘what ‘ go together hand in hand, and that is why poetry, language, ethos, and moral values like justice and freedom, are éléments attached to poetry, and self explanatory to a sensitive reader.
Therefore, it is easy for the reader to understand the frequent statement of our poet, that poetry and freedom are identified. Poetry can only serve freedom. When poetry serves political interests, as has happened in political régimes, then it is not poetry but propaganda; it has a false face. Sound in the poetry of our poet has an important place, and he is especially moved by the musical éléments of language, word and poetry in general. The poet opérâtes with language, and via language surprises the reader with neologisms, vocabulary combinations, syntactic and spelling déviations. An example of this, of the syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations and of the mixing of time is shown in the following phrases:
Iannis Xenakis – Tetras
Arditti String Quartet
Tetras stands as one of the very finest chamber compositions of Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. It is also one of the most original, profoundly challenging contributions to the string quartet genre. “Tetras” means “four” in ancient Greek, and the composer treats the four players as a single entity throughout most of the sixteen minutes of the piece. This multi-bodied, many-stringed organism vibrates with intense energy, the strings oscillating at lightning speed as glissando contours take shape across the registral continuum. It is no coincidence that Tetras was written for the Arditti String Quartet, a group that sealed its reputation as the leading proponent of challenging new repertoire with its exhilarating, awe-inspiring performances of such demanding works.
While the glissando is the primary compositional element of this piece, others are important as well. After the opening section, in which the texture of the initial violin solo is gradually filled in, there is a long passage made up of a shifting timbral kaleidoscope: short grinding noises, bowing behind the bridge, knocking on the body of the instrument, extremely high harmonics, and the like. These strange sounds interrupt the texture at various other points in the piece, creating moments of surprise and theatricality. A later passage is built from scales; while the avant-garde aesthetic often avoids such banal material, Xenakis offers a new approach by creating intervallic patterns that do not repeat at the octave as expected. Instead, the configuration is unique from bottom to top, producing tension and new harmonic color. As the scale passages begin racing up and down at high speed, Xenakis shifts back to glissandi, drawing attention to the relationship between the two (one tracing contours by sliding, the other by running stepwise).
It is this multi-dimensionality that makes Tetras so fascinating a work of musical architecture. The interplay among different elements that occur throughout the piece build up a network of connections that establish structural depth. Beyond the individual and collective virtuosity that Xenakis demands of the players, this formal complexity, balanced by clear, concentrated musical expression, makes Tetras an intriguing and worthy addition to the literature of the string quartet. [allmusic.com]
Art by Hans Hartung
All the above, as well as the organisation of the thought, vocabulary, bold metaphors, métonymies, pictorial concepts), and, in general, all the materials for the création of poetry are included in pxietic inspiration which leads to poetry because, as the poet points out, ”A poet should be like an aerial which turns in every direction and catches everything. ‘ ’ He also adds, ” I feel such an abondance when I start writing, ideas corne from everywhere, and it is like when destruction happens, and all the metals of the earth fall, creating a poetic composition.’’ The poetry of H. Kaknavatos is thoughtful and deeply human, not existentialistic or pessimistic but opening new horizons to the man encaged by high technology. Without isolating him from his lime, it opens up a road of optimism to him, it gives him faith in all human and spiritual powers, which should exist together, taking examples from nature itself, the microcosm and macrocosm the mystery of which inspires the poet, as is shown in his special vocabulary and exploitation of all linguistic substrata of the Greek language arel intellectual achievement. His words capture not only the everyday, the historié and comprehensible, but also whatever is higher than us, the universal, the known and unknown. His poetic language is like a journey without boundaries and a, continuous search for whatever blossomed two and a half thousand years ago between the lonian and Aegean seas and was preserved in the mainland. In other words, we are dealing with a poet who has a poetic presence, surprising the reader with a real poetic feeling, and a feeling of the whole Greek language and tradition, which he carries with him. In the poetry of H. Kaknavatos, the Greek landscape, countryside, or human events do not appear as individual facts, but through them the whole population is exalted as well as its history. Furthermore, since he is a citizen of the universe, he présents in his poetry the international man with his anxieties and intellectual achievements.
The relationship between Poetry and History in the poetry of H. Caknavatos is reciprocal is not linear or counting facts, but it has an important internai rôle, as will be examined and proved below. However, Poetry is something even more, according to the following statement of the poet; “It is a profusion and a libération, emotional and intellectual, it is an attempt to expérience the drama of reality, which we refuse by seeing the BEING haunted by BECXDMING and the BECOMING as an irrevocable and inaliénable BEING”. Poetry is an Art, and Art needs insanity, révolution, inspiration and passion, “mania.” with the Ancient meaning of the word. That ‘ Holy’ Passion and complété révolution are two obvious éléments in the poetry of H. Kaknvatos, who stresses the point that poetry demands talent and an alert imagination. Poetry and imagination are two values of Surrealism. Poetry, therefore, springs and is brought up by the co-existence of dream and reality.
Hector Kaknavatos emphasises that the science, which attracts him in particular, is Geometry, which, with its own language and methodology, includes a constant révolution from Euclid to Lobachevsky and Riemann. The same révolution, but seen from another aspect, exists in poetry, according to the poet; in various literary movements like Surrealism, it will be found that in every case, there is a revolutionary element, during the time it exists. This undisciplined element of Surrealism, appeals to the spiritual needs of the poet, who feels the power of poetic language shaking his soûl and asking to be liberated as a value, which is demanding to be reformed in a concrète poetry. The future development of the poet had been indicated when he was a teenager, when, with great joy,he played linguistic games with his friend, changing orthodox expressions of oral language. There are some first anecdotal poems from that period. All this was happening in a period in which there was no sign, in Greece, of surrealistic expression or the Manifesta of A.Breton in France.
H. Kaknavatos and D. Papaditsas appeared simultaneously in Greek literature in the year 1943, with the collections FUGA, the first, and with THE FREAR ME TIS EOHMIGES, the second, which during Hitler’s occupation in Greece appeared in the shop window of the bookshop Eleftheroudakis with the Greek flag and their portraits. They also appeared with verses by Kaknavatos, in which there. was a reference to the red gown of révolution. N. Papas, in his Literary News characterised them through the following expression, “The two bulls broke into a glassware store.’’ In this way, they became known to A. Embirikos, G. Katsibalis, O.Elytis, N. Gatsos, Levesque, etc, According to an interview with the poet for the magazine Mandragoras, and to other researchers into the surrealistic movement, the friendship between H. Kaknavatos and D. Papaditsas which started in their school years carried on until the death of D. Papaditsas. During this relationship the poetic Personality of the two poets formed independently, even if each of them remained faithful to his starting pxiint of Surrealism in his own way. Together they faced the difficulties of oral and written poetic work, with studies, discussions, évaluations and arguments alxiut the work of Greek and foreign poets in the pioneering Surrealistic movement, because surrealism as a situation and expression pre-exists in Greek poetry as is mentioned in the chapter on Greek Surrealism.
Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry _1988_ Host Of Seraphim
The Serpent’s Egg is the fourth album recorded by the Dead Can Dance duo, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry.
It was released in October 1988. It featured the song “The Host of Seraphim” which was later used in the films Baraka, Vexille: 2077 Japanese Isolation, The Mist, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
Group performs “Echolalia” and “Mother Tongue” at 1992 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Albertville.
The album was the last produced during the time of Perry and Gerrard’s romantic partnership. Much of the album was recorded in a multi-story apartment block in the Isle of Dogs area of London.
Saw’as Michael commenting on the poetry of H. Kaknavatos, wonders, ‘if”, as in Mathematics the Theory of Infinity established by Kantor “obliged Mathematics to re-establish their foundations according to the précisé status of the real infinité; if, in the same way, Surrealism activated new powers from the subconscious to the conscious’’. In many parts of this work, the poet indicates what processes he has been following, but this is shown clearly in the poem “IN HYPERBOLA” which has as a frontispiece the following extract from “The Wasteland” by T.S Eliot,
You cannot say or guess
for Know only.
T.S.ELIOT, The Wasteland
Unmistakably, this is the poetry of H. Kaknavatos, a poetry of ‘another sense’’ with activated words without limits and définitions, revolutionary and liberating like Surrealism. It is unquestionable that the liberating, ecstatic, universal and psychoanalytic poetic cliarge of the restless and modest poet H. Kaknavatos does not stop, it has not finished, but with an adolescent impetus it fences with life, reality, and raakes it poetry. He asks the impossible, he lifts his poetic inspiration from the earth to heaven and from the divine, unspoken and hidden, he annunciates the poetically clear with the power of his metaphorical and outstanding poetic speech. It should also be mentioned that all the corpus of the poetry of H. Kaknavatos has been concentrated into two volumes (A’ and B’, 1943-1987) by Agra publications in 1990.
Iannis Xenakis – Cendrées
Cendrées, for mixed choir and large orchestra (1973)
Chœurs de la Fondation Gulbenkian de Lisbonne
Orchestre National de France
Cendrées, for choir and orchestra, by lannis Xenakis, was commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation, where it was performed for the first time in 1974. The first French performance was in Paris, at the Salle Wagram, on 21 December, 1977. The work is headed by a bucolic epigraph, exceptionally for Xenakis: “Before the autumn, before the summer, before every season, when the sun is like a snow-flake, and when it comes down to meet the earth, all is white and opal; and this at times may be long-lasting. These are no mists, no dews, but cinders.” Nonetheless, this is no descriptive work after the manner of Vivaldi or Beethoven, while being perhaps less strictly abstract a canvas than his earlier pieces which were rightly, though vaguely, described as “cosmic” in character. Is this the beginning of Xenakis the landscape-painter? Perhaps, but he still remains difficult to penetrate. Here is none of that gentleness and silence that the epigraph seemed to promise. After the rising glissandi of the violins and the descending ones of the cellos, are quickly superimposed those of the female voices, bringing movement and humanity to the process; then the male voices proffer, with a vulgar brutality, like rough shouts, apostrophes sung to vowel-sounds; the choirs and instruments mingle in an extraordinary “landscape” of timbres, rhythms, cries, and violent
punctuations leading to a superb tumult. A curious central episode begins with a solo, then a duet on the flutes, with some very fine microtonal sounds, broadening into a concert of all the woodwind, with acid sonorities and rhythms, bringing in the return of the tumultuous chorus. Various evocative episodes follow one upon the other until the end: astonishing solos, sobs or barking by the two contraltos (one of them a young man), also making use of the very expressive aura of microtonal inflections and accents; light scrapings on the violins over a distant murmur of the horns; sometimes the heavy rain of the strings and further looming walls of fearsome sounds; and finally choruses of breath, whispered like the last whisper of a lonely strand when the sea withdraws (with one last cry), -all this that can scarcely be described, has indeed the relief of an unknown landscape and leaves the impression of a lyricism that is as powerful as it is strange.
Art by William Congdon
Therefore, despite the fact tliat there is an éditorial silence after the publications of FUGA, ( Ist publ . in 1943 and 2d publ . in 1971), the poet’s inspiration and achievement continues as is shown by the corpus which follows according to a chronological publication.
– FUGA, publ. Ist 1943, 2nd Kimena 1972.
– DIASPORA, publ. Ist Proti Ili, 1961.
– I KLIMAKA TOU LITHCü, publ. Ist Zarvanos, 1964.
– TETRAPSIPHIO, publ. Ist Kimena, 1971.
ODOS LAESTRYGOECN, 1 st publ . Kimena, 1978.
– ANASTIXI TCXJ THRYLOU GIA TA NEFRA TI S POLITIAS, publ . Kimena, 1981 .
– TA MACHAERIA TIS CIRCES, publ. Kimena, 1981,
– IN PERPETUUM, Kimena, publ.lst 1983 and 2nd 1984 ( Greek state prize
winner in Poetry, Dec. 1984.)
– KIVOTIO TACmnim, publ . Kimena, 1987.
-POEMS, 1943-1974, Vol.A’ and 1978-1987 Vol.B’, publ. Agra, Athens 1990.
Spécial publications of ptoems.
7D CHAOS HELKI, publ. Agra, 1990
GENETHLIO TOU CHAUS, publ. Agra, Athens, 1994.
lAKISMI TOU MENESTHEA KASTELANOU TOU MYSTROS, publ. Agra, 1995.
Essay-Study by H. Kaknavatos on MEGALO ANATOLIKO writen by A.
Embirikos, publ. Agra, 1991.
Translations of poetry by H. Kaknavatos
Joyse MANSOUR, KRAVGES’, SPARAGMATA, ORNIA’, publ. Agra, 1994.
Joyce MANSOUR, EROTICA, publ. Kimena Ist 1975, 2nd 1978
.loyce MANSOUR, ORNIA, publ. Kimena, 1987.
Translations of prose by H. Kaknavatos
Marcel SCHWOB, FANTASTIC VIT, publ. Agra, 1987,
Joyce MANSOUR, .JLLIUS CAESAR, novel , publ . Roptron, Athens 1990.
Translations of his poetry in french:
Magazine, SAPE, by M. Papadima, September 1990.
Magazine, lYNTEAEIA, by J. Bouchard, issue 4-5, French Institut in
Athens, 1991, p.76-81, 81-83.
Magazin, MOZAIEK VAN EEN VOLK, “‘l’HOIAiaiA ENOI AAOY” , Ist International
Festival of Poetry, Amstredam, 1985.
The secret language of Angels – Lisa Gerrard