Category Archives: The “Greeks”

The colonial work of the Hellenic ideal

What is the most productive way to define the coloniality of modern Greeks?  Are they colonial, neo-colonial, post-colonial, anti-colonial, surrogate-colonial, crypto-colonial, self-colonial, or debt-colonial, as they have been called?  And which Greeks are we talking about – those of the … Continue reading

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An elegy for the Jewish cultivation of Hellenic self

The enchanting movie Call me by your name (2017) pays a melancholic tribute to a major project of Protestant modernity, the Jewish self-forming engagement with aesthetic Hellenism. The movie, based on André Aciman’s Künstlerromanby the same name (2007), deals with the … Continue reading

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Are there any Greeks in this publication? (3)

A few weeks ago the Times Literary Supplement published a letter about its abysmal coverage of modern Greek literature.  The correspondent complained that they “rarely list Modern Greek poetry and prose.”  I was not surprised that no other letters on this … Continue reading

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The messianic critique of tragedy*

The rejection of the covenant of assimilation by twentieth-century Messianism was an integral part of the pre-1914 pan-European critique of modernity and “romantic anti-capitalism” (Lukács). “In the years approaching the First World War, the self-confidence and security of German Jewry … Continue reading

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“Anarchism and Hellenism in Richard Wagner’s Revolutionary Cultural Politics (1848-52)”

Richard Wagner is one of the seminal thinkers discussed in my book, The Tragic Idea (2006), which surveys the philosophy of the tragic from Schelling (1795) to Heidegger (1935).  Here is the original, longer version of that entry, which focuses … Continue reading

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Theory in verse

Is there a difference between receiving and rendering? I have been transported by The Paths of Survival (2017), Josephine Balmer’s new poetry book, which traces the few surviving fragments of Aeschylus’ tragedy Myrmidons backwards across twenty-five centuries, from a contemporary … Continue reading

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Anti-Hellenism (2)

Anti-Hellenism is a century-old taboo topic that scholars either avoid completely or treat as an irregular version of Philhellenism. Views and actions targeting the Greeks are folded into Philhellenism and marginalized as its aberrations. That is how anti-Hellenism is ignored … Continue reading

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Greek women poets on Greek myth

A new bilingual poetry collection, Phoebe Giannisi’s Homerica (2017), which has just appeared, brings to mind the growing number of Greek women writers of the poetic generation of the 2000s who have been publishing book-length cycles that draw explicitly and … Continue reading

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Are there any Greeks in this publication? (2)

This year the contemporary art exhibition Documenta 14 has been taking place not only in the German city of Kassel, as had been the case every five years since 1955, but also in Athens. Its title, Learning from Athens, cites … Continue reading

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Are there any Greeks in this publication? (1)

Comparisons of Hebraism and Hellenism are often marked by an extraordinary void, the absence of any modern Greeks. While such comparisons always refer to Jewish figures of modernity and cite Jewish writers, Greeks of the last three centuries are absent … Continue reading

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