Reframing Decadence: C. P. Cavafy's Imaginary Portraits by Peter Jeffreys

By Peter Jeffreys

During his sojourn in England throughout the 1870s, a tender Cavafy chanced on himself enthralled through the classy circulate of cosmopolitan London. It used to be in the course of those years that he encountered the canvases and personalities of Pre-Raphaelite painters, together with Burne-Jones and Whistler, in addition to works of aesthetic writers who have been effecting a revolution in British literary tradition and channeling impacts from France that might progressively coalesce into a world decadent circulate. In Reframing Decadence Peter Jeffreys returns us to this serious interval of Cavafy's lifestyles, exhibiting the poet's inventive indebtedness to British and French avant-garde aesthetes whose collective influence on his poetry proved to be profound. within the strategy, Jeffreys deals a severe reappraisal of Cavafy’s relation to Victorian aestheticism and French literary decadence.

Foremost one of the tropes of decadence that captivated Cavafy have been the decline of imperial Rome, the increase of Christianity, and the lingering twilight of Byzantium. The impression of Walter Pater on Cavafy’s view of classical and late-antique background used to be great, inflected because it used to be with an unapologetic homoerotic aesthetic that Cavafy could undertake as his personal, making Pater’s imaginary pics a huge touchstone for his personal historicizing poetry. Cavafy may circulate past Pater to discover a extra overtly homoerotic sensuality yet he by no means relatively deserted this wealthy Victorian legacy, person who contributed drastically to his emergence as a world poet. Jeffreys concludes by way of contemplating Cavafy’s present reputation as a homosexual poet and his curious relation to kitsch as occur in his ongoing recognition through translation and visible media.

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