Costas Montis


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Costas Montis

  1. 1. The cultural heritage of the 20 th century in Cyprus and in Lithuania September 2009
  2. 2. Short biography <ul><li>Costas Montis was born in Famagusta on February of 1914 and he died on 2004 at the age of 90. </li></ul><ul><li>He is the sixth and last child of Theodoulos Montis and Kalomoira Batista. He graduated from the Pancypria Gymasium and after that he studied Low in Atherns. However, when he comes back in Cyprus he can’t work as lawyer because the British did not allow graduates from Greek universities to practice law in Cyprus. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>He took part in the liberation struggle of 1955-1959 as a political guide of the members of EOKA in Nicosia. </li></ul><ul><li>For many years he worked as a Director of Tourism. </li></ul><ul><li>He and his wife Ersi had four children. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to mention that death affected a lot his life and his poetry because in a short period he lost two brothers, his mother and his father. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>He has received numerous honors and awards throughout his life, and his books have been translated into several languages. Costas Montis has received honorary doctorates from both the University of Cyprus and the University of Athens. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize, and in 2000 he was declared Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens, the highest honor conferred upon intellectual creators living outside Greece. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Books <ul><li>Montis has a huge work to present. He wrote poetry, prose works, dramatics, novels, short stories in Modern Greek but in the Cypriot dialect as well. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Major topics of his poetry : <ul><li>The Cypriot historical events such as the liberation struggle of 1955-1959 against the British, the Turkish invasion on 1974 and the facts related to that period. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal experiences such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Family life </li></ul><ul><li>The death of beloved persons </li></ul><ul><li>Children and grandchildren </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Nicosia town </li></ul><ul><li>The nature </li></ul><ul><li>Love </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between human and God </li></ul><ul><li>Small things of everyday life: a cat, a flower, a worm etc. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Main characteristics of his poetry : <ul><li>Succinctness: short poems that contain the meaning, the thoughts or the feeling of the poet. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophical mood: the poet meditates about life and death, fade, God, mankind and his presence on Earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat either of a word or a topic </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Personification: e.g. discussion with the trees, the mountains, the sun or the sea. </li></ul><ul><li>Melancholy </li></ul><ul><li>Irony </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>In support of his proposal to the Academy of Athens, Professor Nicholas Konomis included the following: &quot;Costas Montis is one of the greatest living Greek poets, and certainly one who renewed in a unique way modernistic lyric poetry, and enriched modern Greek poetry from the point of view of Cyprus. With his uninterrupted literary creation of 70 years, he has been able to depict artistically the authentic rhythms, the temperature, and the action of the deepest historical and emotional fluctuations of the soul and breath of Cyprus and her people. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>In his extremely powerful work he has recorded every vibration of the island (erotic, social, political), and all the thoughts of the people of Cyprus have been set down..... He has made use of the whole wealth of the linguistic, historical, and cultural tradition of greater Hellenism, and entrenched in his work, with unprecedented poetic force, the indelible character of the deep-rooted values of the Greek nation.&quot; </li></ul>
  12. 12. A poem that was not edited for thirty years <ul><li>I am not crying for you today when you are killed when the school interrupted the lessons and all your schoolmates have come to the funeral with a black ribbon on the hand. I am crying for you tomorrow, my child when the words about you are decreased. I am crying for you the days after when the school forgot about you, when your empty place became full. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Elvira Pallicarou) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Post mortem memories <ul><li>We loved so much this place Lord </li></ul><ul><li>that I am afraid that anything that may happen to us when we are gone our mind will always be there, our thoughts will be at our village, our thought will be at our neighborhood. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Xenia Miskouridou) </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>There is not dictionary for the heard or the brain like there is a Greek- English or a French- Greek one. </li></ul><ul><li>Their words do not match. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Chrysa Avraam) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Poetry <ul><li>I don’t want to know more </li></ul><ul><li>than what people like me used to know 1000 b.C. </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have to know more. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Xenia Miskouridou) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>We loved this land so much, Lord </li></ul><ul><li>that I am afraid that whatever is about to come when we leave </li></ul><ul><li>my mind will always be on her </li></ul><ul><li>our thought will be on our village </li></ul><ul><li>our thought will be on our neighborhood. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Christoforos Papantacos. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>DARKNESS FOR HUMANS </li></ul><ul><li>Without me what is ‘light’? </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t laugh. Forget about me and tell me what is ‘light’. </li></ul><ul><li>PEOPLE </li></ul><ul><li>I’m telling you that we don’t know what we want. </li></ul><ul><li>(Translated by Christina Papastavrou) </li></ul>