The archive of the 20th century poet and lyricist Nikos Gatsos will be held at the Harvard Library in the US. The Harvard Library has a illustrious collections of Greek literature and the new acquisition will be available to its students and scholars around the world.
Nikos Gatsos (1911-1992) was a leading light of the post-war generation of Greek poets on whom he had a profound influence. His poetry combined surrealism, symbolism and sadness. His work is considered alongside his colleagues and friends, the Nobel laureates Odysseas Elytis and George Seferis.
Panagiotis Roilos, the George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard, was behind the acquisition.
“Nikos Gatsos was one of the most prominent figures of the European avant-garde. His long poem Amorgos, which was published in 1943, during the occupation of Greece by the Germans and their allies, was almost instantly hailed by both critics and poets as an emblematic work of Greek surrealism,” reports The Greek Reporter (US).
“The Gatsos archive will be a major addition to Harvard’s archives on European modernism and of course to its unique collection on Greek literature and culture. I cannot stress enough the potential educational and research value of the archive for several scholarly areas, including Greek and broader European cultural history, comparative literature, Greek world literature and translation studies.”
Gatsos’s poems and lyrics have been widely translated. He won the Athens City Prize for his life achievements in 1987 and in 1991 he was made a Deputy Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona for his contribution to the promotion of Spanish literature in Greece.
Harvard’s Gatsos archive includes manuscripts, typescripts, notebooks, correspondence, books, photographs, and musical recordings.
18 letters from Odysseas Elytis
50 years of postcards from friend Nana Mouskouri
Record albums signed by composers
Cassette tapes of “songs in progress”
The script of Elia Kazan’s America (with annotations by Kazan)
Annotated typescripts by George Seferis, Archibald MacLeish, Australian writer Desmond O’Grady, and Charles Haldeman