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Reviews 309 verses which Sifákis undertakes to analyze, with due reservations, is based on two standard but highly derivative collections of verbal texts drawn from numerous sources of diverse vintage that have been variously homogenized, standardized and/or sanitized at several stages of collection, textual editing, and compilation. Yet these texts, although far from unambiguously oral, have to be treated as products of composition-in-oral-performance for the purposes of this exercise. All commentators on folk poetry are of course at the mercy of collectors and editors, but those intent on getting back through unreliable written sources to the principles of oral composition and performance in a putative golden age of oral tradition are particularly vulnerable. Against this it can be argued that the ability of the underlying erstwhile system to show through changes of medium and editorial vandalism demonstrates a fortiori the validity of the poetics uncovered by the philological approach. Finally, it is perhaps ironic that mention of commercially recorded song is confined in this book to a footnote in the second excursus and refers to contemporary jazz, not Greek folk song. Folklorists (usually high-technology literates themselves) often blithely assume that their subject matter was composed not only by pre-Gutenberg humanity but also by pre-Edison and preMarconi humanity. However, given that folk song was among the first types of Greek song to be commercially recorded at the beginning of this century and has formed a staple of Greek discography ever since, including the period in which many of Sifäkis's examples were supposedly composed in performance , some consideration is overdue for the role of "secondary orality" (to use Ong's term) in determining standards of performance and shaping audience expectations, albeit in such basic respects as the length, format, and organization of Greek folk songs. Sifákis's contribution to the understanding and codification of the poetics of Greek folk song should also prove of great value to the eventual study of the interaction of poetic formulae and χνάϕια with the discographie matrix. Stathis Gauntlett University of Melbourne Paschalis M. Kitromilides, TL· Enlightenment as Social Criticism: Iosipos Moisiodax and Greek Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1992. Pp. xiii + 203. $39.50. Paschalis Kitromilides, professor of political science at the University of Athens, has dealt extensively with the Enlightenment in southeastern Europe , bringing to this topic a knowledge of specific traditions as well as an overview of developments in western Europe. The book under review is essentially the English version of his Ιώσηπος Μοισιόδαξ (1985), with some revisions and additional bibliography, not a "different book," as he claims 310 Reviews (xv). With its appearance in English, this fine study is available to a wider audience and becomes essential for understanding the Greek Enlightenment. Kitromilides has written a biography of Iosipos Moisiodax (ca. 17251800 ), a towering yet controversial figure in the trans-Balkan Hellenic culture of the eighteenth century, who enmeshed himself in influential discussions of his day about pedagogy, science, and culture through his travels, teachings, and publications. It is not, however, a traditional biography of a man, his feelings, guilts, and Angst, but rather an attempt to use the biographical method to investigate "cultural change and the ideological expression of social and political cleavages" (11). The first part pieces together from the few surviving details the story of Moisiodax: his studies in Thessaloniki, Smyrna, Mount Athos, and the University of Padua, his odyssey through various communities of the Hellenic diaspora, his publication ventures, his career as teacher, his relationship to his patrons, and the reception of his ideas among his contemporaries. Perhaps the most fascinating lesson we learn from his life, given the shrill nationalism today in Greece (not to mention the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia), concerns the transnational dissemination of Hellenism in the eighteenth century . Regarded now as a father of the Greek Enlightenment, Moisiodax was not ethnically Greek, but a Vlach from a region in northern Bulgaria. Like Rhigas Velestinlis and other contemporary figures (20), he assimilated into Greek culture a system of values, beliefs, texts, dialects, and practices that was diffused throughout the Balkans though not yet connected with a particular state. Hellenism at the time...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 309-312
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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