Description: Lecture given at EUC as part of the "Conversations on Europe" series in February 2005. ABSTRACT: Hellenism is a way of seeing ghosts. Normally associated with the gothic genre, these shadowy visions persist in the writings of modernist writers in a variety of forms, representative of distinctive(and often conflicting) positions on art and cultural politics. The concern with the continuity of European civilization and the ability of the modern artist and intellectual to energize the present by reanimating the past amounts to more than a mere exercise of classical allusion for a learned audience. Through meditations on mythical motifs and staged encounters between ancient ritual and contemporary crises, writers such as Eliot, Pound, Woolf, Joyce, and thinkers such as Freud and Heidegger, conjure the spectre of Hellenism as a familiar and fortifying sight.
Publication Date: 2005