[ilds] Agathou diamonos

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 27 08:30:09 PDT 2016

For the sake of brevity, perhaps Richard, a speaker of modern Greek, can summarize his translation/interpretation of the 1962 dedication in Mountolive.  Does the following reflect his considered view (avoiding all the other possibilities)?

[my] good fortune

So, Durrell addresses his beloved Claude in French but compliments her in Greek.  It’s not unusual to find dedications in another language, often classical and untranslated.  But code-switching I find interesting.



> On Apr 26, 2016, at 3:44 PM, Richard Pine <durrelllibrarycorfu at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Hashsham (and all),
> I'll add, there are two version of the text (if the Greek displays properly through the listserv):
>   τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ἄγαθοῦ διάμονος (omnibus edition)
>   To anoma tou agathou diamonos
> and
>   ἄγαθοῦ διάμονος (first edition)
>   agathou diamonos
> My Greek is bad and getting worse quickly, so someone please correct me -- I read it as "το ονομα του αγαθου δαιμονος" (to onoma tou agathou daemonos) and "in the name of Agathodaemon" or "the name of the good spirit" or for "αγαθου δαιμονος" just "Agathodaemon" as a libation to good fortune.
> Adding the French "A CLAUDE" seems to suggest "To Claude, good fortune."
> A correction would be appreciated from anyone with better Greek than me, which is probably most of you...
> All best,
> James
> I rise to Professor Gifford's bait. He does not need to apologise for his ignorance of Greek, which he has already ably demonstrated in his edition of "Panic Spring". To suggest that the inscription means 'In the name of Agathodaemon' is preposterous.And I do not see any relevance in the idea of 'libation'. That is absurd.
> The dedication 'A Claude' which Gifford rightly intuits as being in French, rather than a reference to 'a Claude' (whatever a Claude might be), suggests that LD has dedicated the book to his wife, Claude, with the added epigraph 'The name of the good spirit'. He is not wishing her good fortune.He is recognising her as HIS good fortune. QED and QNED. 
> However, in these days of deconstructionism, postmpodernism and preinterpretationism, one can never be certain of anything, can one?
> Sufficiently diforoumenos and asafis, I hope.
> RP

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