Darwinian Thought in Grigorios Xenopoulos' "Athenian Letters".
Department of Languages - Modern Greek
While literary writers have responded creatively to Darwinism since its beginnings with "The Origin of Species" (1859), literary scholarship has reacted accordingly — but not within Greece. Literary scholarship which takes a Darwinian approach to the various genres of modern Greek literature is scant in proportion to the plethora of scholarship on non-Greek Darwinian literature. This paper is derived from a section of my doctoral thesis which examines Darwinian and other evolutionary thought in the early twentieth-century writings of Grigorios Xenopoulos. The paper provides a synoptic view of the Darwinian thought in selected letters written by Xenopoulos in the children’s magazine Η Διάπλασις των Παίδων ('The Children’s Guidance'), which was published between 1879 and 1948. It focuses on the gender issue, the issue of religion versus science and in particular creationism versus evolution theory; and finally Xenopoulos’ use of Darwinian concepts, such as gradualism, in discussing human character. The paper not only provides some insight into Xenopoulos but also reflects the impact of evolutionary ideas in society at the time, at a local and international level.
Zarimis, Maria 2007. Darwinian Thought in Grigorios Xenopoulos' "Athenian Letters". In E. Close, M. Tsianikas and G. Couvalis (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2005", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 245-260.