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About the lecture

What did it mean, during the 1820s, to understand the unfolding events in the Greek world as a revolution? How did the revolution ­– distinct from mere rebellion, national reawakening, or war – reorient the thoughts and deeds of those who supported or joined its cause? In this talk, I examine the early work of Dionysios Solomos from the perspective afforded by these questions. Moving beyond the much-traversed terrain that is outlined by the Hymn to Liberty, I turn to the Dialogue and a series of lyric poems known as “Ode to the Moon,” “The Shade of Homer,” and “Sing the Wrath.” The goal is to trace the character of the poetry that Solomos proposes, both in theory and in his work, seeking to attune the individual creative act, understood along the parameters of European (pre)romanticism, and the revolutionary act of a radically new founding. Such an approach enables us not only to appreciate often overlooked aspects of Solomos’ early work, but to situate Solomos – mature already at this early stage – among the major authors of the literature of the Age of Revolutions.

The lecture is being organized as part of the exhibition “Dionysios Solomos…two flames…Manolis Charos” and will be in Greek.

The exhibition will be open to the public 6.00-9.00pm.

About the speaker

Simos Zenios is Associate Director of the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Harvard University); he previously studied Greek Philology (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and General and Comparative Literature (University of Edinburgh). His research interests focus on the literary production and the intellectual history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe and in Greece. His recent and forthcoming publications include studies on Dionysios Solomos, Adamantios Korais and revolutionary violence, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s philhellenism, theories of metaphor in British Enlightenment aesthetics, and on early modern lyric poetry written in the Greek-Cypriot dialect. He was the 2015-16 M. Alison Frantz fellow at the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and, in 2023, he co-curated the exhibition “Dionysios Solomos…two flames…Manolis Charos.”