Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Literature of the Greeks in Australia: A Historical Overview

Dr.George Kanarakis writes an overview of Greek-Australian literature for The Cud.

He goes back a hundred years to the oral poetics of Nikos Kallinikos and Nikos Paizis, both from the island of Ithaca, to the very first Australian-Greek newspaper called Afstralia where prose pieces (Greek-language short stories) by the Cypriot George Nicolaides, appeared in 1913, to the very first written poetry on Antipodean land published in the Sydney newspaper To Ethniko Vima (The National Tribune). He cites the publication of the first Greek-language literary book, a short story collection called Istories tis xenitias (Stories of the Foreign Land) in (1932) by the Athenian Homer Rigas, published in Sydney by the publishing arm, "Intellectual Beacon of Hellenism in Australia".

He also cites the appearance of English-language texts, such as "short stories by Anagyros Fatseas of Kythera in the Sydney periodicals Woman's Weekly and Woman's Day, as well as the earliest translation in Australia of Dionysios Solomos' "Hymn to Liberty" published in the Sydney newspaper Sun (5 March 1941) and poems by Costas Malaxos-Alexander of Phoenikas, Asia Minor, in the Western Australian periodical Black Swan and in the newspaper of the University of Western Australia Pelican."

And then there are the more recent, more familiar names of Dimitris Tsaloumas and Vasso Kalamaras...


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