The Institution of Literary Awards in Greece (1910-1942) (Doctoral thesis)

Νιάρος, Σωκράτης

This doctoral thesis deals with the institution of literary awards in Greece during the period 1910-1942 and explores its importance in the evolution of Greek literary history. Through the examination of a large number of primary archival evidence (which is presented as a catalogue in the appendix), I attempt to reconstruct the stages by which a number of awards, medals of honour and contests were organised and critically received, as well as the legal and social network involved. Based on this evidence, I argue that literary prizes were used as key instruments for the gradual formation of a code of values, officially approved as nationally representative, which at first focused on the national era and later formed a timeless and hyperlocal ideological construction. The two parts of the thesis correspond with the two phases during which this process took place, namely the period 1910-1923, during which the Greek nation was for the most part at war, and the mainly peaceful period 1923-1942. In Chapters 1 and 4, I describe the transition from the validating mechanisms of the first period to a new type of literary awards. As it appears from the data analysis of Chapters 2 and 5, the awards of the first period were organised on the basis of a centralized administrative system (either under the direct control of the departments of the liberal governments of the time, or via prestigious cultural institutions, acting in the absence of a national academy), with private bequests and other types of grants. On the other hand, the awards of the second period appear to fall under a new organisational model, by which the administrative role of the publishing industry, literary associations and various individual clubs and social agencies was upgraded, while the government pledged large annual sums which were awarded to any literary work that was evaluated as being national in nature. Finally, in Chapters 3 and 6 I analyse the reclassification of values which relate to the transition from one validation system to the other. During the war period, a strictly-classified value code prevailed, one that derived from the literary output of the “Generation of 1880”. For the most part, any literature that displayed divergence from that model was degraded resulting in strong reactions from the opposition press and from excluded authors. In contrast, during the interwar period, the social effect of the existing literary elite was limited as a broad “anti-academic” front was formed by heterogeneous authors who demanded institutional recognition. Through this process, Cavafy, Sikelianos and Papadiamantis were recognized as institutionally acceptable aesthetic values, whilst two literary groups appeared as vying for succession of the generally accepted national poet Kostis Palamas.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Φιλοσοφική Σχολή. Τμήμα Φιλολογίας
Subject classification: Νεοελληνική λογοτεχνία -- Ιστορία
Keywords: Βραβεία,Παράσημα,Μετάλλια,Διαγωνισμοί,Ιστορία νεοελληνικής λογοτεχνίας,Νεοελληνική λογοτεχνία 20ού αιώνα,Πολιτισμική πολιτική,Κράτος πρόνοιας,Βενιζέλος,Μεταξάς,Πολιτισμικοί θεσμοί,Κοινωνιολογία της λογοτεχνίας,Awards,Prizes,Medals of honour,Competitions,Modern Greek literary history,Modern Greek literature of the 20th century,Cultural policy,Welfare state,Cultural institutions,Sociology of literature
Appears in Collections:Διδακτορικές Διατριβές

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