[ilds] Alexandria is not much interested in Cavafy anymore

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Oct 14 14:52:37 PDT 2009


As Dr. Mohamed F. Awad says, "Today Alexandria is a monoglot city:   
one race, one creed, fundamentally Islamic" ("The House Revisited, the  
City Remembered," Deus Loci, NS 7 [1999-2000], 39).  But Cavafy is not  
entirely forgotten.  Over two years ago, my wife and I wandered the  
backstreets of Alexandria, looking for 10 Rue Lepsius and couldn't  
find it.  An Egyptian was speaking in Arabic to some others.  He saw  
us, broke off his conversation, and asked, "Are you looking for  
Cavafy's flat?  Here, I'll show you."  And he did.  Moreover, he  
didn't expect any bakshseesh.  That was a pleasant surprise.  Greek is  
still spoken in the Café Athineos, mentioned in the Quartet.  Another  
surprise.  By and large, however, Dr. Awad and Daniel Williams are  
right.


Bruce


On Oct 14, 2009, at 9:07 AM, Charles Sligh wrote:

> See below for the following piece on the dismissal of Cavafy from  
> Alexandrian memory.
>
> My thanks to Richard Pine for calling Daniel Williams' article to my  
> attention.
>
> ****
> Erotic Poet Cavafy’s Trace Fades in Egypt’s Mythic Alexandria
> http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=af_UjxxpzsjQ#
>
> By Daniel Williams
>
> Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Ask a concierge or taxi driver in the  
> Egyptian city of Alexandria for the way to the house-museum of  
> Constantine P. Cavafy, the town’s 20th-century pioneer poet, and  
> it’s likely you’ll draw blank stares.
>
> “Alexandria is not much interested in Cavafy anymore,” says Mohammed  
> Said, caretaker of the museum. “We’re not even interested in the  
> Alexandria that he lived in.”
>
>
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