[ilds] Pope Joan vs.Papissa Ioanna

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 10:58:28 PST 2011

Dear Panaiotis,

Thank-you for returning out attention to this.  My message to the list, 
should anyone be interested, is here:


As for the other book that pertains to Cavafy, it has now been published:

McKinsey, Martin. /Hellenism and the Postcolonial Imagination: Yeats, 
Cavafy, Walcott/. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2010.

I remain unable to refute or validate some of his claims.

As for Durrell's relationship with Kimon Friar, I do know from their 
personal correspondence that Friar invited Durrell to translate one of 
Nikos Kazantzakis' novels and praised Durrell's Greek, though LD turned 
down the project.

For those who wish to do a comparison, Kriton's translation is now 
freely avaialble online:


I hope you're still enjoying a sun-filled retirement!  Have you had luck 
placing your own translation of Royidis?


On 18/02/11 9:14 AM, Panaiotis Gerontopulos wrote:
> Dear James
> Thanks for answering my (empty) message. I remember with pleasure the
> evening spent at the Starbucks of Korais St. discussing with Beatrice
> /Pope Joan/ vs./Papissa/. It was in the autumn of 2003, I think, and you
> suggested that I should come to Rhodes and discuss my findings in
> Miracle Ground XIII. I did, but the presentation was a disaster: no
> Power Point projector available, no discussion. What we have discussed
> at the Starbucks and what I tried to say in Rhodes reading the slides
> from my laptop is described in general in the abstract submitted to the
> organizers of the Conference. (attachment 1) Three years later (this
> List Oct. 29, 2007), closing a brief debate on Durrell’s /Homerics/ you
> had me saying that Durrell used a “French translation” as a “translation
> bridge” from /Papissa Ioanna/ to /Pope Joan/. A “curiosity” that you
> were inclined to believe.
> The curiosity – a monumental imbroglio - is, that after more than half a
> century from its first appearance /Pope Joan/ can still be described
> (Richard Pine, February 11) as one of LD’s“minor mythologies” or
> according to the cover of the Owen Modern Classics edition “atranslation
> and adaptation from the Greek of Emmanuel Roidis”. Another book, another
> author. But the page title of the Derek Verschoyle edition (1954) tells
> a quite another story (attachment 2).
> Cheers
> Panaiotis

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