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Open Papers

The Secret Ingredients of the Mediterranean Table

Open Papers is the primary statement on his art by Odysseas Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a sweeping exploration of the mind and mythic imagination of one of the most original, visionary and compelling poets of this century.

Part autobiography, part statement of artistic principles, the five essays collected here cover Elytis's journey to poetry, from discovering the works of Sappho at age 16 to winning the Nobel Prize in 1979. Born in Crete in 1911, at 18 Elytis heard "a secret voice" that led him to abandon everything for his art. As a student in the 1930s he was totally absorbed in the Surrealists with Eluard, Breton and Lorca offering new perspectives to a young man already influenced by Freud, Baudelaire and Novalis. He pays tribute to these and other writers in the essay "For Good Measure," which also honors Picasso for his insistence on turning upside down one's view of the natural world. In the most interesting section of the book, "Chronicle of a Decade," Elytis recounts the time spent seeking out writers and periodicals that would be sympathetic to newfound passion for a lyrical and mystical vision of life. Elytis's credo is set forth in the title of the last essay-"Art-Luck-Risk." If, through the decades, Elytis did take political and artistic risks, this clear articulation shows that his art was not guided by luck or risk alone but by a real belief in modernism. 
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Category: Essays
Code: 12148
ISBN: 9781556590702
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Publication Date: 1994
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Published In: USA
Translator: Olga Broomas
Language: English