Abstract detail

Title Ritsos and the crossing borders of femininity

This inter-disciplinary paper seeks to examine the perception surrounding the conjunction between Modern Greek history and the feminine in Ritsos poetry. In many cultures women have been long suspected as the source of human miseries, especially in conservative and repressing times. Since the ancient myths women were idealized but mostly mistrusted as seductive and vengeful, manipulative and even malevolent. In modern times, as ideals of purity and dedication to family have been exalted and feminine beauty lauded, women have been viewed as embodying sinister forces of evil. Ritsos lived in an era of tremendous conflicts and changes. Yet he was the carrier of an ancient tradition due to his Greek origin. A tradition he massively used trying to express the post civil war period, in tremendous poems like Fedra, Xrysothemis, Ismini, Eleni and others. In grappling with our understanding of what it is to be 'evil' for an ideological poet like Ritsos in eras of international and ethnic totalitarianism, and how women are used to confront or identify with it, the paper aims to shine a spotlight on this dark area of the social and human condition and explore the possible sources of worship or for fear and resentment for women.

Primary author
Triantafyllos Kotopoulos