Census of Modern Greek Literature. Check-list of English-Language Sources Useful in the Study of Modern Greek Literature (1824–1987) (review)
- Journal of Modern Greek Studies
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 12, Number 2, October 1994
- pp. 279-281
- Additional Information
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Reviews 279 could begin by learning from Knox's magnanimity, his belief in the merits of experimental and sophistic argument, and his ability to speak freely and lucidly, beyond simplistic ideological paradigms and prejudices, about good and bad scholarship. Vangeus Calotychos Harvard University Dia M. L. Philippides, Census of Modern Greek Literature. Check-list of EngttshLanguage Sources Useful in the Study of Modern Greek Literature (1824-1987). New Haven: Modern Greek Studies Association, Occasional Papers, 2. 1990. Pp. xxviii + 248. $23.00. It is a well known fact diat, with the exception of very few scholars and students, Greek literature in the original is, and will remain, terra incognita for most people in die world. Because of diis, the importance of translations is obvious. It is only tiirough these that many people around the world can read and enjoy literature written in Greek, avoiding die obstacle of that famous yet inaccessible language. The information diat this check-list provides about existing translations in English is Philippides's first important contribution. A second is the information concerning articles and books on Modern Greek literature, written in English, which can be of enormous help to die reader, the student, and the scholar. A third is that the check-list can serve as a means for die development of Modern Greek studies and literature abroad. The aim and scope of this book are given by die audior in the introduction : "The check-list began in die form of a prototype presented at the Conference on the Teaching of Modern Greek Literature in American Universities widi the idea of providing a means by which speakers of English could approach Modern Greek literature through translations and works of criticism. The response dien and since has been so encouraging that the original list, initially intended for use in a survey course, has now been expanded. It is not aimed at the specialist but at a wider variety of readers: university students, instructors, librarians considering acquisitionsÂ—indeed anyone interested in the literature of Modern Greece" (ix). Also in her introduction, Philippides explains her choice of die word "check-list" rather than "bibliography": "It has become more than evident to me over the last six years of checking and rechecking that the compilation of an authentic bibliography is no easy task, but one requiring a professional bibliographer or a team of trained co-workers with access to the larger libraries botii of the U. S. and Europe" (ix). With this statement die compiler points out a major problem about die continuation of diis kind of work, which should be the work of a team rather than being the fulfillment of die vision of a single researcher, who would need to devote his or her academic career to this, putting aside any ouier interest. 280 Reviews The book is divided into seven chapters: (1) bibliographical sources, subdivided into bibliographies wholly concerned with Modern Greek, general bibliographies with sections on Modern Greek literature, library catalogues, and surveys of collections; (2) journals that regularly contain articles in English on Modern Greek literature; (3) special issues of journals; (4) anthologies; (5) collected essays; (6) literary history, subdivided into general works on the history of Modern Greek literature, material concerning the period before 1800, material concerning the 19th and 20th centuries; (7) authorsÂ—the main chapter of the book, with 1853 entries in which translations of an author are followed by studies about him or her. Students will find diis arrangement very helpful. All the chapters have minor subdivisions designed to facilitate research (sometimes, however, they seem to me overly analytical, as in Chapter 4). The entries are arranged alphabetically because any chronological arrangement would be very difficult, as the compiler mentions (xii). An important advantage of the check-list is that it gives the full contents of many bibliographies, journals and special issues, anthologies, and volumes of collected essays. The book concludes with a general index of authors, translators, editors, and tides of anonymous works. Unfortunately, here I have to point out some weaknesses. While the chapters have many analytical subdivisions, the Index is compiled in a way that makes it difficult to tell if a given name is that of an...