History of Parnassos    

A celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Constantine P. Cavafy

On November 26, 2013, the Parnassos Hellenic Cultural Society of Ottawa, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic and the Museum of Classical Antiquities of the University of Ottawa, joined a number of organization worldwide celebrating this year the 150th anniversary of the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933), who was born and died in Alexandria, Egypt.  About 150 persons attended the celebration, which took place at the University of Ottawa campus and was funded largely by a grant from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

The celebration included a lecture titled  "Cavafy's Pictorialist Poetics: Reframing Aestheticism" by Professor Peter Jeffreys, a well-known expert on Cavafy from Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Jeffreys presented an analysis of Cavafy's poetry that focused on his creative relationship with the fine arts, tracing the direct influence of the British aestheticism and French Parnassianism literary movements.  Cavafy's pictorialist poetics were further considered in relation to contemporary artistic and photographic renderings of his poetry, which bear witness to the ongoing appeal of Cavafy for visual artists.    

The lecture was followed by recitals of Cavafy’s poems in English, French
and Greek by Ottawa University staff and others, including video-graphed recitals of Ithaca in French by the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean and in English by Sir Sean Connery. 

Attendees were treated to a reception in front of the Museum of Classical Antiquities of the University of Ottawa.


Dr. A.C. Vikis (left), President of Parnassos, welcomes the audience and introduces the speaker,
Prof. Peter Jeffreys
Prof. Burgis (left) reciting Cavafy’s poem "The City" to an attentive audience


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