Hopscotch Translation Series: Modern Greek literature w/ Karen Emmerich & Jacob Moe

Please join us for the 5th installment of our Hopscotch Translation Series:
a discussion of Modern Greek literature and translation, featuring

KAREN EMMERICH, reading from her translation of
Christos Ikonomou's Good Will Come From the Sea

JACOB MOE, reading from his translation of
Maria Mitsora's On My Aunt's Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed

& our moderator, MIKA TSEKOURA, Lecturer of Modern Greek at the Penn Language Center!

About Good Will Come From the Sea

Christos Ikonomou’s collection Good Will Come From the Sea is a dirge for the Greek economic crisis and the devastation it has wrought, a profound meditation on the nature of justice in an unjust world. On an unnamed island, struggling migrants and trapped locals endure the crushing weight of poverty in these four linked stories.

Artemis and Stavros see their dreams destroyed when a local cartel burns down their restaurant; wheelchair-bound Chronis agonizes as a neighbor assaults a young girl. Meanwhile, Lazarus wanders the island in search of his lost son, “disappeared” at the hands of the local mob – the same gangsters who break visionary Tasos’s body and spirit for daring to stand up to them.

As the characters mourn their livelihoods, loved ones, and dreams, only ghostly threads of hope keep them marching toward a future that shows little promise of change. Good Will Come From the Sea is a tender and defiant song of loss, a study of poverty’s toll on the human soul.

About On My Aunt's Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed

A collection of short stories by an acclaimed contemporary Greek writer, reminiscent of Lydia Davis and Jenny Offill.

This collection assembles sixteen of Maria Mitsora’s short stories in what adds up to be a retrospective of the author’s work, spanning forty years. Moving across the urban netherworld of Athens to imagined Latin American towns and science-fiction dystopias, Mitsora animates the alternatingly dark and revelatory aspects of the human psyche, depicting a world in which her protagonists are caught between reality and myth, predestination and chance, rationality and twisted dreams.

Mitsora led a generation of writers whose work articulated major transitions in the Greek literary scene, from 1970s historical and political sensibilities shaped in response to the military Junta to a contemporary focus on a fragmented, multicultural world. Her consistent experimentation with the short story form—a dominant genre in Greek prose writing since the nineteenth century—ranges from psychologically dark, surrealist work to more recent reflective and poetic writings.

KAREN EMMERICH is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, and a translator of Greek poetry and prose. Her translation of Eleni Vakalo's Before Lyricism (UDP, 2017) won the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry, and her co-translation with Edmund Keeley of Yiannis Ritsos's Diaries of Exile (Archipelago, 2013) won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

JACOB MOE translates from Modern Greek and Brazilian Portuguese, and is a recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant from PEN American Center. He is also co-founder and director of the Syros International Film Festival, and a producer of radio programs in Greek, Portuguese, and English. 

Event date: 
Friday, February 8, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
On My Aunt’s Shallow Grave White Roses Have Already Bloomed (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) Cover Image
By Maria Mitsora, Jacob Moe (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780300215762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - September 18th, 2018

Good Will Come From the Sea Cover Image
By Christos Ikonomou, Karen Emmerich (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781939810212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - March 12th, 2019

Something Will Happen, You'll See Cover Image
By Christos Ikonomou, Karen Emmerich (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780914671350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - March 15th, 2016

Literary Translation and the Making of Originals (Literatures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501329906
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - September 21st, 2017