“Pustiá ké ololygmós”: Selections from the Occult Songs of the Greek People

lecture by Dr. Nicephor Herrantes

Friday 12 June 2015
Athens School of Fine Arts
design hall of ASFA, 256 Peiraios st. (Γυμνό νυκτός)


This paper presents a 5 years research project of the University of São Paulo, entitled The Polites Manuscript and its international mongering: Identifying twenty Greek folk songs with their replicas worldwide. Dating back to the late 19th century, the Polites Manuscript came to light three years ago and contains twenty, disavowed or ‘occult’ ‘Selections from the songs of the Greek people’ which were recorded by Nikolaos Politis (1850-1921), but have never been included in his same-titled key publication (1914). All these texts raise issues about various forms of homoerotic desire, while at the same time they decry the impossibility for different kinds of radical subjects to become worthy of mourning.

For the reasons that this paper elucidates, since the year 1914, individuals and communities in different countries appropriated these songs, depicting them as original creations and silencing their Greek origins. The research project presented here aims a) to identify the Polites Manuscript folksongs with individual and collective works of the world literary heritage, b) to restore and publish the discovered manuscipt as the first Greek folk anthology of queer laments (pustiás ké ololygmú).

Dr. Nicephor Herrantes is a Modern-Greek Studies scholar. Ηe is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo, where he participates at the research project The Manuscript Polites and its international mongering: identifying twenty Greek folk songs with their worldwide replicas. A Brazilian of Greek origin, he studied Anthropology at the University of Brasilia and Modern Greek Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2010, he earned his PhD in Modern Greek Literature from the University of São Paulo, under the supervision of Professor Nikolau Polites Da Silveira. Nicephor has published articles on both Brazilian and Modern Greek oral traditions. Nicephor is the editor of José Muñoz’s complete works in Modern Greek, and he translates the Greek Folk Studies scholars Nicolaos Polites and Stilpon Kyriakidis in Portuguese.