NEW YORK.- True to its tradition of edifying programs the Foundation for Hellenic Culture presented a lecture by Prof. William F. Wyatt, Jr., Brown University on Friday, November. Prof. Wyatt discussed the scarcity and the importance of translating Greek literature of the 19th century and, in particular, his work on author Georgios Vizyenos. The screening of the film “The Last Journey of His Life” by the Greek filmmaker Lakis Papastathis, based on Vizyenos’ autobiographical short story, has followed.
Greek fiction of the 19th century is a very rich part of Greek literature and has been for the longest time under-represented in the study of Hellenism. Therefore, Prof. Wyatt’s research and translations are of extreme poignancy and importance. In his lecture he touched upon 19th century fiction and the problems faced by Greek authors of the time, as well as the problems faced by a classicist trying to translate modern Greek into English. Furthermore, he discussed the excellence of Vizyenos and the nature of his stories.
Prof. William F. Wyatt’s interests in classical philology have been primarily linguistic, and at Harvard he wrote his dissertation on a linguistic theme in Homer’s epic language. He also studied Indo-European philology and Mycenaean Greek.
In 1969, while in Greece, serving as director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, he set about translating Karkavitsas and Vizyenos to give American students works of earlier Greek fiction to read in English. He continued to do classical philology, wrote a number of articles on classical subjects, and edited the New England Classical Journal. All his interests came together when he was asked to provide a revision of A. T. Murray’s Loeb Library translation of the Iliad.
On November 12, three Awarded Greek Authors, Zyranna Zateli, George Skambardonis, Petros Tatsopoulos were introduced at the Foundation in New York, by Professor Karen Van Dyck.
The three authors, all of whom received the Greek National Book Award discussed with the audience the state of Greek literature and read excerpts of their latest works in Greek and English. The program was also presented at Harvard University in Boston, by Dinos Siotis.