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Great Authors of Our Time - Andreas Karavis
by Diana Kuprel

Andreas Karavis was born in 1932 in Xania, Greece. After graduating from high school, he decided to forgo a university education and buy a small fishing boat. As he plied his trade in and around the Greek islands, he pursued his own course of study: he read extensively in Greek literature and philosophy, mastered Ancient Greek, and taught himself the rudiments of Latin.

His first book of poems, White Poems, appeared in 1965. His second volume, The Dream Masters, was published in Athens in 1989, and rapidly established Karavis as one of the most "magisterial and patristic" poetic voices in the history of modern Greek literature. The title-poem, generally considered to be Karavis' signature work, is included in almost every recent anthology and is a staple in university courses; it describes the "penurious and demythologized condition of the Greek soul in the contemporary world"-and, by extension, of the poetic spirit in any national or ideological context. Although Karavis is a man who fiercely covets his isolation and independence, he has become, paradoxically, as critic Constantine Makris expressed it, "probably the most influential practitioner of the poetic art, and his tones and rhythms may be heard echoing in the verse of that fledgling generation of poets now in their early twenties".


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