Classical Myth and Greek Surrealism



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The reception of ancient mythology has been present in European culture for more than two thousand years and has always brought new reinterpretations and approaches. The authors in every period used the myth as a pre-text requiring an active reader with the ability to identify its symbolic mechanism, using the archetypal nature of mythical characters. The writers lead the dialogue with older concepts, and, at the same time, they situate the myths in the contemporary context. Despite the new concepts of ancient myths in different cultural periods, the approach of the avant-garde at the beginning of the 20th century was completely groundbreaking. The artistic avant-garde used the emerging scientific disciplines such as anthropology, religion, and, above all, Freud's psychoanalysis to add new content to the archetypal figures of Greek mythology. The Greek surrealists have approached the ancient myths in a similar manner. The connection betweenthe themes of the ancient myth and the principles of Freud's psychoanalysis occurs mainly in the works of N. Calase (the new story of the House Atreides) and A. Embirikos (Oedipus, Neoptolemos, etc.). N. Engonopoulos uses the theme of ancient myth especially on the autoreferential plane (Théseus and Orpheus revolting against the existing ethical and aesthetic rules). At the same time, these authors perceived Greek mythology as part of not just a European, but, above all, national tradition, with which they held a constant dialogue.The aim of the paper is to characterize the specific reflection of the ancient myth in Greek surrealism, to discuss the way in which the authors put it into the context of the national and European cultural tradition and to examine the new avant-garde approaches.
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