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Title: From literary criticism to propaganda : intellectuals, culture, and politics during the Metaxas dictatorship (1936-1940)
Author: Stamos, Ioannis
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 6342
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis discusses official discourse in conjunction with discourses produced by pro-regime intellectuals involved in cultural affairs and particularly literary criticism during the Metaxas dictatorship. Its primary sources consist chiefly of periodicals that supported the dictatorship or were published by it. The thesis attempts to place these discourses in a wider context by comparing them with those produced by far-right intellectual and political circles in other European countries in the first half of the twentieth century and by pinpointing their pre-1936 indigenous sources. It is argued that the level of erudition displayed by critics and cultural operators along with the regime's self-styling as a Kulturstaat enabled such intellectuals to play a significant political (legitimising and propagandistic) role. The structure is thematic and revolves around these four themes: past, nation, authority and hierarchy, and future. The first topic is analysed through the discussion of specific historical periods that were the focus of Metaxist discourse and the modes of historical understanding that characterised it. The second theme is examined based on questions regarding the representation of the essence of Hellenism and the cultural definition of the nation, the emphasis on the homeland and its aesthetic or metaphysical attributes, the promotion of vernacular culture and language, and notions of national unity. The third topic encompasses propaganda related to order, discipline, and absolutism, as well as hierarchy, elitism, and the doctrine of charismatic leadership. The analysis of the fourth topic is pursued by means of discussing propaganda related to new chronotopes, the Third Hellenic Civilisation, and the youth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D204 Modern History ; DF Greece ; JA Political science (General) ; NX Arts in general ; PB Modern European Languages ; PN Literature (General) ; PN0080 Criticism