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24 October 2018

Nikos Gatsos’ archive found a permanent “home” in Harvard

(Journal: Kathimerini 12-8-2018)

The archive of the great poet and lyricist Nikos Gatsos (1911-1992) from Asea, Arcadia, found a permanent “home” in Harvard. The Harvard University Library has a rare literary treasure. It is a particularly important addition to the Library’s collection, since it will shed more light on modern Greek literature and the evolution of the wider Greek culture of the 20th century, while being available for research to students and scholars from all over the world.

The Gatsos archive includes a rich collection of manuscripts, typescripts, notebooks, correspondence, books, photographs, and musical recordings. Users will find:

  • Eighteen letters from Odysseas Elytis (ranging from three to twenty-five pages)
  • Fifty years of postcards from his good friend and popular singer Nana Mouskouri
  • Record albums signed by composers,
  • Cassette tapes labeled “songs in progress”
  • The script of Elia Kazan’s America (with annotations by Kazan)
  • Annotated typescripts by George Seferis, Archibald MacLeish, Desmond O’Grady, and Charles Haldeman

Panayiotis Roillos, from Stemnitsa Arkadias, professor at the “George Seferis” professorship of Modern Greek Studies and a professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, was one of those who supported the acquisition of the poet’s archive.

Panayiotis Roilos notes:

Nikos Gatsos was one of the most important figures of the European avant-garde.

His lengthy poem “Amorgos”, published in 1943, was characterized by critics and poets as an emblematic work of Greek surrealism. The Gatsos’ archive will be an important addition to Harvard’s archives of European modernity and, of course, its unique collection of Greek literature and culture.

We cannot express how significant the educational and research value of the archive for various scientific fields is, including Greek and European cultural history, comparative literature, Greek literature and translation studies.

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