In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

132 Reviews ritual therapy heals minds by letting bodies dance, bodies by engaging the spirit. This unusual articulation of the mental and the material enhances our appreciation of their normal integration in everyday lived life. Muriel Dimen New York Institute for the Humanities, New York University Evripidis Garantudis, Αϕχαία και νÎ-α ελληνική μετϕική. Ιστοϕικό διάγϕαμμα μιας παϕεξήγησης. Studi Bizantini e Neogreci. Fondati da Filippo Maria Pontani. Quaderni 21. 1989. Padua: Università di Padova. Pp. 139. Occasionally one is pleasandy surprised when reviewing a book. I must confess that I was expecting something quite different when I agreed to review this one. I had assumed that it would be nothing more than a competent but dry cataloguing of ancient Greek metrics with an account of the ways in which they had been transformed, adapted, or replaced by medieval and (especially) modern Greek poets and dramatists. Instead, I found a fascinating account of a serious and ideologically tinged debate among the literati and intelligentsia of 19th and early 20th century Greece regarding the nature of the relationship—if any—that held among the Greek meters at different stages in the development of the language. In this carefully researched and copiously documented study, Garantudis chronicles the different positions taken by Greek writers in the 19th and 20th centuries concerning the use of ancient Greek meters in modern works, especially in modern translations of classical texts. The basic problem facing these writers was the following: ancient Greek had a phonological system which allowed poetic meter to depend on the timing (better known as the "quantity") of syllables in a sequence, with the basis for metrical rhythm being alternations between "long" syllables (those containing a long vowel or a diphthong or closed off by one or more consonants) and "short" syllables (those with a short vowel closing off the syllable). Modern Greek, however, has a phonological system in which quantity plays no distinctive or significant role, the relevant syllabic distinctions being between accented (stressed) and unaccented (unstressed) syllables. This development probably began even as early as the end of the Hellenistic period. Reviews 133 It is thus not at all obvious what would correspond metrically in post-classical Greek to a classical Greek sequence such as the so-called "adonic"— - — — (where — indicates a long syllable, and - a short syllable), as in hippóta Nésto:r (Iliad 2.336); in particular, would it have accented syllables corresponding to the long syllables, and thus be accented-unaccented-unaccented-accented-accented, or what? In a sense, medieval Greek poets solved the problem on their own through the use of various syllable-counting verse lines (as opposed to the earlier timing-based verse), for example, the 15-syllable politikós stÃ-hos. But the issue came up in a more serious way when 19th and 20th century Greeks began to make translations of classical works into the modern language and thus had to choose how to render the ancient Greek meters into the modern idiom, that is, whether to imitate, to adapt, to replace, etc. Moreover—and this constitutes the most fascinating aspect of the book, to my mind— 19th and 20th century Greek writers were not free simply to write as they pleased; every choice they made, both in diction and, as Garantudis shows, in meter, had to be viewed against the backdrop of the language question which, though a part of the Greek sociolinguistic scene for centuries, came to a head in the 19th century with the founding of the modern Greek nation state. Thus, Garantudis points out, in a real sense there was a "metrikó zÃ-tima" that paralleled the better documented and more widely discussed glossikó zÃ-tima, though he is careful not to overstate the parallel (see, for example , pp. 72-73). In this way, Garantudis' work is a contribution to the examination of the interplay between ideology and intellectual history in Greece that parallels Michael Herzfeld's Ours Once More (1982) regarding nationalism and scholarship in folklore and my own more modest attempt to explore some effects of ethnocentrism on Greek linguistic scholarship (in JMGS 3 [1985]: 87-96). Garantudis discusses all the major figures—RangavÃ-s, Sútsos, Zambélios, Aravandinós, Gritsánis, Stáis, among others—and their...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 132-134
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.