The emergence and crystallization of the poetics of Odysseas Elytis
This thesis examines the poetics of Odysseas Elytis, which, it is argued, emerged from his intense theoretical work on poetry in the period between 1944 and 1960, and was crystallized in the poems he published from 1960 to 1995. Elytis' poetics is examined in this thesis through the exploration of his ideas on the status and function of poetry, on the role of the poet, and on poetic writing; it is also examined through the exploration of the poetry in which these ideas are put into practice. It is argued in this thesis that Elytis' poetics emerged from his effort to provide his poetry with a concrete theoretical basis, an endeavour he deliberately undertook in the 1940s and 1950s; the evolution of his thought coincided chronologically with the period broadly between 1944 and 1960, that is, the period during which he wrote poems but did not proceed to publish any book of poetry. Elytis' thought reached a point of external stabilization before 1960, since in the poetry he published that year his ideas are systematically put into practice. With the publication of these poems, his poetics entered the dynamic phase of crystallization, which prevails throughout his poetic writing from 1960 to 1995, and constitutes a process during the course of which he explored the internal perspectives opened up by the theoretical frame he set for himself in the years 1944-1960. This thesis explores Elytis' theoretical endeavour and his poetic practice, and examines both the emergence of his ideas in the period between 1944 and 1960 and the crystallization of these ideas in the poetry he published from 1960 to 1995.