Dienstag, 26. Juni 2018, 18:30 - 19:30 iCal

A body that needs and demands';

do bodies transcend the Walls in Cafafy's oeuvre?

Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien
Postgasse 7/1/3, 1010 Wien


Recent scholarship has successfully elucidated the ways in which C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) introduces not only sexuality but also the emergence of a fragile homosexual identity into his work. My presentation takes this as a departure point to examine what this identity building and uncovering of sexual selves does to the (homo)sexual male body. Are bodies liberated in the same way as identity is or do they have to be deprived of what they ‘need and demand’ in order to exist? What types of bodies are produced by Cavafy and how are these bodies constructed in his work? In this part of the analysis I draw from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of Prison in arguing that even active bodies that transcend the walls (cages) of his work are still systematically disciplined to obey and become regulated by power. In the second part I will include Cavafy in a western genealogy of gay writers, mainly W. Whitman (1819-1892) and O. Wilde (1863-1993), in order to provide a genealogical understanding of the way the homosexual body is treated and, finally, to examine whether the emergence of a gay identity limits the ways in which the homosexual body is allowed to perform in poetry.

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Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neugriechische Studien und Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Wien


Petra Greger
Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
4277 41001