Constantine Cavafy

(2738 words)
  • Karen Emmerich (Princeton University )

Constantine Petrou Photiades Cavafy (1863 – 1933), who lived most of his life in Alexandria, Egypt, is arguably the most influential Greek-language poet of his day. His work—which focuses on the margins of empires and societies—is shaped by his own experience as a homosexual poet of the diaspora who stood, in E. M. Forster’s words, “at a slight angle to the universe” (Forster 1983, 13), living and working far from Athens, the literary center of the Greek-speaking world. Cavafy has since become a towering figure in Greek letters, while several English-language translations of his work have influenced writers as far-ranging as Forster, Lawrence Durrell, Joseph Brodsky, W. H. Auden, Mark Doty, and J. M. Coetzee. Though …

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Emmerich, Karen. "Constantine Cavafy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 January 2011
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature