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By Robert Liddell

Amazon quote: Constantine Cavafy, notwithstanding the key smooth Greek poet, has only in the near past started to achieve frequent acceptance during this state. He was once renowned by way of T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster and W.H. Auden and seemed because the unnamed "old poet of the city" in Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet. New translations remain released as succeeding generations of students try to catch the deceptively uncomplicated and pene-trating great thing about Cavafy’s paintings. From his twenties onwards, Cavafy fought to disclaim his gay nature that took him into the depths of the "whorish places" of Alexandria. satirically, a few of his such a lot lyrical and enduring works got here from his disappointment. This well timed reissue of Robert Liddell’s first biography of the poet has been up to date for college kids and poetry fanatics alike.

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And yet no one would have said that their life was easy, certainly not their young brother. They had to scrape painfully to send about £13 a month between them to their mother and brothers. In December 1884 John went to stay with Moss at the Beau Sejour, but was miserably embarrassed at the state of his wardrobe : 'ragged shirts, that are well-nigh bare at the sleeves and collars with constant manipulation of the scissors to cut the shirtings : the knee-bulging trousers, the stained and glittering coat'.

It is connected with the boredom behind Waiting for the Barbarians ( 1 6); it is certainly the inspiration of The town (23). You said : 'I'll find some other land, I'll find some other sea : Somewhere there must be, surely, a better town. My every attempt here is like a charge written down Against me, and my heart -like a corpse- buried away. In this swamp is my mind always to stay? ' You'll not find another place, you'll not find another sea. This city is going to follow you. You'll stray In the same streets.

Cavafy may very well have been quite 'a ladies' man' in a social sort of way. We know that Paul was- we have only to glance at his full dance programmes. It is easy to imagine Constantine handing ices and coffee to ladies at parties full of British officers he may have gone there half in hope of seeing the officers. He may (for all we know) have been quite a favourite with Lady Zervudachi; hers was the first name on Haricleia's visiting list. In July 188g Michael Ralli returned to Alexandria: Stephen Schilizzi and John Rodocanachi remained in Liverpool.

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Cavafy: A biography by Robert Liddell


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