L’Alexandrie de Pénélope Delta (1874-1941)
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|Editeur||CeAlex - Centre d'études alexandrines|
|Diffuseur||Editions de Boccard|
Penelope Delta (1874-1941) is famous in Greece as a leading author of children’s literature and for her engagement in the various national struggles that shook Greece during her lifetime. Nonetheless, she spent most of her days in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria, which was open to the world and yet trapped between sea and desert. Her autobiographical works reveal that this woman, the daughter of Emmanuel Benaki, who saw herself as Greek, was in fact a true Alexandrian. She takes the mythical city of Cavafy, Durrell, Forster, Ungaretti and Tsirkas and conjures up another image: an everyday Alexandria seen through the eyes of a child and then a woman imprisoned by the strictures of the Greek upper classes of the city whose wealth and influence were built upon the cotton trade. Behind the figure of a children’s author, the picture appears of a writer who played with several languages and on different levels of the self in order to give shape to her own life and to find, through writing, the freedom that she had been refused. Delta composes an Alexandria which is of her own making and with which she maintained a complex and painful relationship.
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