2017 Special Issue of Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand) - Living in a Cultural Wilderness

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    Καβάφης: Εντάσεις δια-φθοράς
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Tsianikas, Michael
    Please note: This article is in Greek. Kavafis: The tensions of “corruption”: In Kavafi’s poetry, there are many poems where historical or anonymous characters are corrupted or are going through the process of corrupting themselves or others. This becomes particularly important regarding most of his poems dealing with painting. The frequency of references to corruption raises many questions: aesthetic, historical, psychological, philosophical etc. Most importantly: in the process of composing a poem, how is the poetic language corrupting the poet and how does language corrupt itself? Within the overarching theme of “corruption”, another important issue is discussed: the decay of human body (including death) and the spectacular and mysterious decadence of the ancient Greek world (In Greek corruption is diafthora and decay pthora). But above everything else, this paper is trying to respond to a “provocative” assessment by Kavafis: “I am not sure if perversion empowers someone. Sometimes I think so. But it is certain that corruption is the source of greatness”.
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    Ευρωπαϊκές Ανθολογίες Ελληνικής Ποίησης την Περίοδο του Μεσοπολέμου. Μια Πρώτη Ανάγνωση
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Posantzi, Voula
    Please note: This article is in Greek. European anthologies of Greek poetry during the interwar period. A first reading: During the Decade 1920–1930 the Greek poetry, specially represented by C. Palamas, whose poems had been translated in English, became widely known in Europe and overseas. So, some European literati edited anthologies of modern Greek poets. The French essayist and poet Jean Michel, the Austrian journalist Josef Kalmer and the German philologist and historian Karl Dieterich were among them. This paper presents the above anthologists and their anthologies, the more, unknown till now. Although these anthologists attempted to present a panorama of the modern Greek poetry from the first poetic collection of C. Palamas in 1886 till 1930, they are far beyond from their initial purposes, because of their very subjective criteria. Besides it becomes obvious that they do not know well C. Caryotakis and the neoromantismus, which prevailed in modern Greek literature of the period released their anthologies.
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    Διάλογος και Ειρωνεία: Ερμηνευτική Προσέγγιση της Ποίησης του Άρι Κουτούγκου
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Xidakis, Markos
    Please note: This article is in Greek. Dialogue and Irony: Hermeneutical Approach of Aris Koutoungos’ Poetry: This paper aims to provide an overview of Aris Koutoungos’ recently published poetry by emphasising on the development of its principal characteristics. On the one hand, it examines the dialogue with other Greek poets — especially Cavafy, Seferis, Solomos, Sachtouris — and different arts, like painting, music and cinema. On the other hand, it analyses the constant use of irony, which leads to the creation of a notable poetical language. By focusing on the analysis of his first two poetical works (2011, 2014) it is possible not only to examine the artistic voyage of the quantitative and qualitative transformations of the above, namely from the epidermal poetical dialogue to the most creative, and from the single level irony to the demanding irony, but also to trace the origins of the deepest anthropological meaning of Koutoungos’ poetry.
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    The Gothic Elements in Grigorios Xenopoulos’ Novel Teresa Varma-Dakosta
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Daouti, Panagiota
    The purpose of the paper is mainly to pinpoint, examine and elaborate on the Gothic elements that are disseminated in Grigorios Xenopoulos’ novel Teresa Varma-Dakosta. Teresa’s physical and mental transformation is connected to the Count Varmas’ old house because this place has a negative effect on her as it provokes a sense of fear and extreme anxiety. Moreover, the medieval environment of the house brings to the surface her latent abominable desires that can lead her to murder. The only thing that remains unchanged after living in the old palace is Teresa’s political and social beliefs. Being aristocrat by nature, she believes that the French Revolution was pointless and she is convinced that what is right by nature can be re-established. Teresa’s intricate personality, which is revealed in the Gothic ambience of the old house, concentrates several traits of the male villains of the traditional Gothic novels.
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    Το Παράδοξο της Άπειρης Ταυτότητας στον Νάνο Βαλαωρίτη
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Arseniou, Elisavet
    Please note: This article is in Greek. The Paradox of Infinite Identity in Nanos Valaoritis: The subject of Nanos Valaoritis’ writing is investigated through the theses of Whitehead and Deleuze on the construction of an infinite identity with binary direction, future and historic, passive and active, causal and effective. The paradox of this identity is that language itself exceeds the limits and restores them in an endless balancing of a limitless becoming, resulting in the loss (reversal) of the name. The personal uncertainty is an objective structure of the “pure Event”, to the extent that it is moving in two directions simultaneously, thus fragmenting the subject to capture the “New”. The event, along with the extension, the intension and the appearance of eternal objects, creates the conception of the New, which includes the form, the subjective aim (transitivity), and satisfaction (production of New, playable models, “counter-effectuation”), thus explaining the process of the unconscious, the humorous and “deterritorialised” in Valaoritis’ writing.
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    Towards an Ethics of Uncertainty: Authorship and Techno-Scientific Challenges to Subjectivity in Modern Greek Science Fiction Novels
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Karpouzou, Peggy
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    Industrialisation, the Sewing Machine, and the Paper Pattern: Mixed Messages for the Heritage of Kendimata
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Simpson, Cheryl Ann
    Modern Greece embraced the new Western European approach to dress and culture through the industrialisation of textiles. The new technology of the sewing machine and paper pattern were adopted with great enthusiasm to show the rest of Europe that Greece was part of Western Europe. At the same time Western Europe became enamoured with Greek kendimata, which were highly sought after in the western world. Greece straddled the mixed messages of a newly industrialised country forming its national European identity alongside the tradition of kendimata as an essential part of its national cultural heritage
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    Three Times to Greece? — New Zealand State Attitudes and Public Projection about Greek Politics during the 1940s
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Brown, Martyn
    During the 1940s the Pacific Dominion of New Zealand either sent or was faced with the possibility of despatching army formations to Greece no less than three times. The specific contexts were very different. However, it was the same Labour government of Peter Fraser in every instance. The military was under the leadership of Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg for two of them. Fraser and Freyberg were dominant personalities in directing the war effort. This essay uses the trigger of actual/possible military expedition as a vehicle to illustrate changing attitudes of the Dominion’s military-political leadership to the complexity of Greek politics. The period under examination was also a time when the New Zealand state elite and wider community were first making expressions about a “special relationship” (MFAT, “Greece”) between the Dominion and the Mediterranean country.
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    The “Golden Greeks” from “Diggers” to Settlers: Greek Migration and Settlement during the Australian Gold Rush Era, 1850s–1890s
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Janiszewski, Leonard; Alexakis, Effy
    Between the 1850s and 1890s, the gentle ripples of Australia’s early Greek presence surrendered to the first real wave of Greek migration. Gold was the initial stimulus. Greek seaman — particularly those on British vessels — jumped ship and left for the diggings with other “new chums”. Greeks dug, panned and sweated for the precious metal amongst bustling hopefuls from across the globe — the road to a multicultural Australia had been unintentionally initiated. Greek migration to, and settlement in Australia, reached a point of change during the gold rush era: the first collective Greek settlements appeared, family groups increased, occupational diversity began to emerge — together with what was to become the Greek café phenomenon — chain migration was stimulated, and eventually formal Greek communities were established. Gold encouraged and shaped the Australian colonies’ progress towards nationhood, it also secured, as this paper evidences, the Greek diaspora’s presence as part of the nation’s future.
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    School Belongingness and Coping with Victimisation in Bullied and Non-bullied Students: A Discriminant Analysis Approach
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Didaskalou, Eleni; Roussi-Vergou, Christina; Andreou, Eleni
    Documented evidence has raised public and professional concern regarding the prevalence of victimisation in schools and the established immediate and long-term adverse consequences it has on many aspects of the development of adolescents. The purpose of our research was a) to examine the frequency of self-reported victimisation b) to investigate the victimisation coping strategies c) to examine possible gender and age effects and d) to identify differences between bullied and non-bullied students with regard to coping strategies and school belongingness. Eight hundred sixty students (860), aged 12 to 16, from 15 public secondary schools of Greece participated in the study. Gender proved a stronger differentiating factor than age in reporting being victimised, in coping with victimisation and in perceived school belongingness. Being a boy and feeling rejected in school puts individuals at high risk for being victimised. These results are in line with ecological approaches to school bullying phenomena.
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    The Significance of the Greek Orthodox Religion for Second Generation Greek-Australian Young Women
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Avgoulas, Maria-Irini; Fanany, Rebecca
    This paper discusses the significance of the Greek Orthodox religion for young Greek Australian women. The findings of a qualitative study undertaken in Melbourne, Australia in 2013 indicate that for these granddaughters of Greek immigrants, their Greek Orthodox faith is a marker of Greek identity and also a source of resilience and social support. This is a major aspect of the cultural perspective that has been passed down from elders to these young women who indicate that their faith, expressed as belief in God, the Greek Orthodox religion, prayer, miracles and the sacraments of the Church, gives them comfort, support and emotional well-being, and serves as an important source of resilience. This paper describes the elements of religious belief that shape these young women’s perspective and discusses the role of religion in their wellbeing and overall affective state.
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    The “Novel-Textbook”: Using a Novel as the Main Teaching Material in the Adult GFL Classroom
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Terzakis, Marialena
    Much research in the field of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT) demonstrates that using literature as a teaching material in the Foreign Language (FL) classroom can contribute significantly to learning the target language. In particular, in the field of teaching Greek as a Foreign Language (GFL), the importance of using literature as a supplementary teaching material in the Greek language classroom and the practical considerations involved have been the focus of a number of papers in the last few years. The present paper wishes to suggest that the literary text and, in particular, the novel can also be used as an alternative to the traditional GFL textbook and, thus, form the central focus of instruction in a GFL course. It also suggests that the benefits of using literature in the GFL classroom can be fully exploited and extended when a “novel-textbook”1 is used as the main teaching material.
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    Does Achilles Forgive in the Iliad? The Archaic Origins of the Virtue of Forgivingness
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Smith, Lucy M
    In Before Forgiveness, David Konstan argues that the modern concept of interpersonal forgiveness was absent from Western thought until the early modern period. However, by “the modern” concept of the term, Konstan means one specific modern conception of forgiveness: that articulated by Griswold in Forgiveness, a conception unique amongst modern scholarship in its narrow, revisionary and prescriptive nature. In this paper I consider Konstan’s argument with respect to archaic Greece. I argue that, even when we limit ourselves to Griswold’s conception of interpersonal forgiveness, and to the two Iliadic examples considered by Konstan, there is more room for interpersonal forgiveness in the Iliad than Konstan would have us believe. I will show that examination of Achilles’ renunciation of his resentment at Agamemnon in Iliad 18 and Priam in Iliad 24 reveals the earliest depiction in Western literature of the virtue of forgivingness.
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    Why is the Timaeus Different?
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Quigley, Peter
    The Timaeus is significantly different from Plato’s other works and is a difficult work to analyse. This paper will comprise two parts. In the first part, I will present two issues that may contribute to us having problems with the Timaeus. Firstly, I will discuss how the style of the Timaeus is different from Plato’s other works. Secondly, I will review a number of inconsistencies between the Timaeus and Plato’s other works. In the second part, I will review five possible explanations for these problems, ranging from the extreme view that it is a forgery, to the view that Plato had simply changed his mind on philosophical matters, and additionally was playing with a different writing style.
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    Thrasymachus, Reasons and Rationality
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Woolcock, Peter
    Thrasymachus, in Plato’s Republic, claims that justice is what is in the interest of the stronger party. Cross and Woozley interpret this as the claim that the weak have a duty to serve the interests of the strong. I argue that this interpretation is mistaken and that Thrasymachus agrees with Socrates (and Aristotle) that justice is giving people their fair share. Thrasymachus’ point is that people who act justly in effect are serving the interests of the stronger and, thereby, are acting irrationally. For Thrasymachus, the rational thing to do is to pursue your own self-interest even if it is at the expense of others. Thrasymachus seems to be adopting an instrumentalist account of rationality here. I contrast this with the kind of objectivist account of rationality offered by philosophers like Scanlon, Parfit and Nagel which maintains that there are substantive reasons why one should sometimes pursue the interests of others for its own sake. I argue that this apparent objectivity is an artifact of how talk about reasons works in public, as opposed to private, reasoning. I conclude that Thrasymachus is correct that egoism is rational, but he is mistaken to think that it is the only rational position. Acting justly is also rational. I conclude that, while a just person is rational in sincerely advocating justice, Thrasymachus is irrational in sincerely advocating egoism.
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    On the Finitude of Time in Aristotle and Leibniz
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Mortensen, Chris
    This paper considers an argument called here the Shift argument, which has the upshot, it will be argued, that time cannot be infinite into the past but must have had a beginning or first instant. The Shift argument can be found in Aristotle and many others. We largely consider versions due to Aristotle and Leibniz, with the aim to draw essentially opposite conclusions from Aristotle.
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    Felt-quality and Attitudinal Accounts of Pleasure and Pain in Ancient Greek and Contemporary Philosophy
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Usher, Matthew L
    A problem that emerges when analysing the arguments for and against hedonism is that each side has its own conception of the nature of pleasure and pain and paradigmatic examples which support their own argument. In this paper, I examine a disagreement that can be observed back in the arguments of the philosophers of classical Greek period, as to whether pleasures and/or pains are essentially feelings or more like propositional attitudes. I suggest Plato’s arguments in the Philebus are in accord with current thinking in this area, and push away from subjectivist conceptions of the good towards those that are objectivist.
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    Philoponus on the Nature of Time
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Couvalis, Spyridon George
    John Philoponus produced an influential argument that time must have had a beginning. While that argument has been widely discussed, particularly in its Kantian form, little attention has been paid to his view of the nature of time, which is contained in his exposition of Aristotle. Yet the argument seems to rest on his view of the nature of time. I produce a sketch of his dynamic and relationist account of time and explain how it can overcome various problems raised by Aristotle. I also explain how, with a little help from Damascius, he could have overcome a problem raised for dynamic theories of time by McTaggart and Smart. I argue that it might well be possible to modernise his view in the light of modern science.
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    Stoic Echoes in non-Stoic Sources: Exploring Stoic Influence in the First and Second Centuries CE
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Balabanski, Victoria Stephanie
    This article examines David Hahm’s claim that “more people in the Mediterranean world would have held a more or less Stoic conception of the world than any other from the third century BCE to the second century CE”. If this is so, most New Testament studies do not take this adequately into account. Focussing on the first and second centuries CE, this paper addresses the barriers to an accurate assessment of this claim, then considers the approach of two scholars in this area. Then three geographically diverse texts of the period specifically not written by Stoic adherents are examined for evidence of Stoic influence (Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 2; Philo’s De aeternitate mundi, paragraph 24, & Acts 17.15–34). What these analyses show is that Stoic ideas were known and discussed in this period among those who were not Stoic proponents, strengthening the case for widespread Stoic influence.
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    Interactive Memory and Recollection in Plato’s Meno
    (Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2017) Benitez, Rick; Ley, James
    We re-examine the geometry lesson in the Meno, focusing on the interaction between interlocutors in the practice of recollection. We appeal to an analogy with interactive memory to suggest how Plato could think that inquiry could be successful even when participants have no awareness of what would satisfy their inquiry. This exposes a feature of recollection that needs no metaphysical assumptions, and which emphasises interaction. This feature, which has escaped the notice of philosophers, is more fundamental to the Meno than a theory of innate ideas. Such a theory may be superimposed on the view about interactive memory we describe for the Meno, but to focus on Plato’s epistemological theory without first understanding what he has to say about the social dimensions of memory is putting the cart before the horse.