If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Seferis and the "Mythical Method"

Edmund Keeley
Comparative Literature Studies
Vol. 6, No. 2 (1969), pp. 109-125
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40467806
Page Count: 17
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Seferis and the
Preview not available

Abstract

Seferis' English-speaking interpreters, by preferring those of his poems which are allusive or mythic in the tradition of Pound and Eliot, have tended to slight a number of his more original poems in the narrative and dramatic modes— poems such as "Narration," "Les Anges sont blancs,"The Return of the Exile," and "The Last Day," all from what can now be seen as his richest volume, Logbook I. This "classicist" preference has served to create an exaggerated image of Eliot's influence. Another source of the exaggeration has been an oversimplified argument that Seferis' use of the "mythical method" in the years following his acquaintance with Eliot remained consistently the same as that of the English poet It is, in fact, not the same even in the earliest relevant work, Mythistorema, where Seferis employs a single mythology and a single voice in contrast to Eliot's eclectic mode, and where the method is not that of poetic collage but of chiaroscuro— of an arrangement of light and dark elements within a unified sensibility. And the poet's handling of myth in later poems, far from remaining consistently allusive or symbolic in the manner of Eliot, becomes increasingly particular and concrete. In the best mythological poems of his later period— in, for example, "The King of Asine" and "Thrush"— Seferis' myth emerges from a carefully delineated setting, a literal Greek setting which serves to give his legendary characters an actuality that is often missing in the more conventional and literary evocation of Greek mythic sources. (EK)

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
109
    109
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115
  • Thumbnail: Page 
116
    116
  • Thumbnail: Page 
117
    117
  • Thumbnail: Page 
118
    118
  • Thumbnail: Page 
119
    119
  • Thumbnail: Page 
120
    120
  • Thumbnail: Page 
121
    121
  • Thumbnail: Page 
122
    122
  • Thumbnail: Page 
123
    123
  • Thumbnail: Page 
124
    124
  • Thumbnail: Page 
125
    125