[ilds] Pope Joan

Panaiotis Gerontopoulos pan.gero at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 4 07:59:04 PST 2016


Mr. Redwine
When I say a thing, the thing is , does not  appear to be. 
Ms. Loverdou and prof. Yatromanolakis' blogs can be read on line. Look for their names in the net, click αρθρογράφος, and continue to the indicated dates. Attached to  Ms. Loverdou  blog, see an insert reproducing a collection of Pope Joan's multicolored book-covers in English and other languages. They illustrate perfectly the 3 card game by Durrell & Editors:  here is the writer, here is the translator, where is the writer ?
My first publication regarding Roidis-Kriton-Durrell was presented, to no avail, to the International Lawrence Durrell Society-Aegean University Conference, held in Rhodes (27 June- 2 July 2004). 
For my publications  regarding Roidis, see in the catalogues of the National Library of Greece.  I have in preparation a new one titled: Pope Joan On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Cyprus 1953-1957.
After sixty years questa festa ha da finir.
P. Gerontopoulos



From: bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2016 08:24:21 -0800
To: pan.gero at hotmail.com; ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
CC: james.d.gifford at gmail.com; bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Subject: Re: [ilds] Pope Joan

Thanks for the response and the references.  I live 400 miles north of Los Angeles and rarely visit the city.  I’ll keep your request in mind should I ever visit UCLA.
A couple of questions.
1.  Have you published your findings of Durrell’s “theft” of Kriton’s translation of Roidis’s Papissa Ioanna?  If so, please provide a full citation.
2.  You mention what appears to be articles by Mirto Loverdou and Giorgis Giatromanolakis.  Can you provide full citations to both?
Many thanks,

On Jan 3, 2016, at 6:27 AM, Panaiotis Gerontopoulos <pan.gero at hotmail.com> wrote:Thank you Allyson and Bruce 
Allyson, I would like to stress the fact that my post of 12/30/2015 was not intended to accuse Durrell for plagiarism in general. I don’t have neither the capacity nor the ambition for such a huge enterprise and as I have already pointed out before the good poet Durrell may well have made the theft into something better in other cases. I also think that Richard Pine’s view that all authors steal is fundamentally correct. It depends on how you do it.
Bruce, Roidis stole from Byron (Don Juan) and Giovanni Battista Casti (La Papessa Giovanna) and was accused by his enemies to suffer from an unknown malady called castità. Interestingly in the incipit of his translation-adaptation-transplantation text, Durrell hints to Roidis’ borrowings from Byron
                 … Having offered love sufficient sacrifice’…etc.  You know the tag.
Roidis did steal from Byron but he did it in such a way to alert the reader about the theft. In his times, plagiarism was legitimate if it was acknowledged, if the common reader was familiar with the primary source, and if in the new text the theft was improved [T.J. Mazzeo: Plagiarism and Literary Property in the Romantic Period, PENN 2007]. Mazzeo discusses exhaustively the topic and quotes various critics accusing Byron for stealing from the Papessa Giovanna of Casti.
Regarding the accuracy of my claim of ‘Pope Joan’ being a carbon-copy of Kriton’s ‘Papissa Joanna’ let me say that the number of the 10 given examples could be easily brought to 30 or 40 but it would make a boring reading. Confusing the land breeze with the distant winds of the wide world, the monastic practice with the expression among monks, the ramparts of the fortresses with the quiet rooms of the castles, the matins of the nuns with their evening prayers etc. do not show adaptations from another source, but simply plagiarism at Kriton's expenses and, what counts more, defacing the Greek original.
To realize what happened to the text of the unfortunate Roidis’ one should read Anthony Hirst’s article “The old poet of the city, Cavafy in Darley’s Alexandria” in Deus Loci NS8: Durrell’s fictions have been sometimes mistaken for fact and his translations for Cavafy’s poems. With the difference that while Cavafy’s poems have been faithfully translated several times, Roidis’ book has never been faithfully translated into English (I can give you a complete bibliography) and remains totally unknown to the Anglophone reader unless he is able to read German: Paepstin Johanna, Eine Studie aus dem Mittelalter, translated by Paul Friedrich, Julius Zeitler, Leipzig 1904. Coming to Sokal’s Hoax, the parody “Transgressing the boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity” published in Social Text was soon after revealed by the perpetrators. Durrell’s hoax survives after more than half a century since its first public appearance. Lately, there has been a tardive protest against Durrell’s appropriation of Roidis book (Mirto Loverdou, ‘To Vima’, July 15 2014, and Giorgis Giatromanolakis, ‘To  Vima, July 16 2014)  calling for a return of our Literary Elginians!!! For my part, I firmly believe that Roidis would not enjoy at all seeing his name printed on the front page of Durrell’s unintentional parody. 
Cheers, hoping to meet you all sometime.
Bruce, I thing you live in California. Are you per chance somewhere near the UCLA? They conserve an important archive of Durrell-Stephanides  correspondence concerning “The Curious History of Pope Joan” copies  of which I bought a long time ago and an exemplar  the not issued 1948 edition with 13  beautiful engravings by John Buckland-Wright. Ι thumbed through it in a great hurry at the British Library of London, and wonder if one could get copies of the engravings for not commercial use. They are important in understanding the history of Durrell's book.   P.G.

From: james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2016 16:24:08 -0800
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Pope Joan

I think the standard procedure on this kind project today is to compile a sample set of similarities among translations (say, a body of works from Katharevousa to English) using a resource like Juxta or TaPoR to get a baseline of a normal range of duplication then contrasting a concordance of the differences among the Pope Joan translations.  I think I made a suggestion along those lines in 2004, back when I did more digital humanities work, but I've never heard about any results. It should be pretty straight forward for anyone with a digital copy of the texts in question, and there are plenty of models to draw on for it.

Sent from my iPad
On Jan 1, 2016, at 9:03 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:

Am I correct in summarizing P. Gerontopoulos’s argument as follows?  Lawrence Durrell took T. D. Kriton’s translation of Emmanuel Roidis’s Papissa Ioanna (trans. copyrighted 1935) and used it, with minor “adaptations,” along with its original errors, as the basis for his “carbon-copy” translation of the novel?  Briefly scanning the book, I do not see Durrell mentioning Kriton anywhere, even in the “Shorter Bibliography” at the end.  The title page of Pope Joan (New York:  Dutton, 1961) indeed contains “Translated from the Greek by Lawrence Durrell.”  Yes, I would call this an example of plagiarism, if Gerontopoulos’s claim is accurate.  (I’ll note, however, that translations will inevitably have similarities and that the examples below do not suggest a “carbon-copy," rather “adaptations” of another source.)  Gerontopoulos mentions that Kriton’s translation was “soon forgotten,” that is, fell into obscurity.  This fits Durrell’s modus operandi.
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