Mr. Peralta, maybe the truths have already been told ? Kostas Varnalis

Mr. Peralta, maybe the truths have already been told ? Kostas Varnalis

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In order for non-white students to feel welcome, “we will need to tell the hard truths about our field,” said Peralta, adding that it is crucial to distance ourselves from the unjust practices and traditions of the past.

Slavery is a good illustration of this. There are quite a few textbooks for the study of Latin and Ancient Greek that are remarkably blind to, oblivious to, indifferent to the traumas of slavery and the impact those traumas had on enslaved people in ancient times but also on the people who are affected by modern forms of slavery. The professor clarified that he is referring only to certain aspects of the field. “I am in no way saying that we should stop studying the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean. That would be wrong. But we need to make structural changes. Some of them will give rise to some negative commentary, but that is a good thing. Because criticism makes us and the field better.”

Structural changes needed for Classics here

Κώστας Βάρναλης (1965) Ελεύθερος Κόσμος, Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Κέδρος ΓΙΑ ΑΓΟΡΑ: εδώ

Μας πρήξανε

Αραδαριά χορεύουν οι τρελομπουκάλες
ώς το λαιμό πνιμένες από τα κρασιά τους.
Αβράκωτος, κοιλιά φλοκάτη, τούρλ’ αφάλι,
του Ρούμπενς ο μπεκρόθεος, τύφλα στο μεθύσι,
γκρεμίζεται απ’ το γάιδαρο και δεν ξυπνάει.
Και του Ευριπίδη ο Κύκλωπας, κουτελομάτης,
χιλιόχρονο λαγούμι ορτό, ξερνοβολάει
μούργα κι αμάσητον, ωμό, ανθρωπίσιο κρέας.
Του Αριστοφάνη ο ψευτοδάσκαλος Σωκράτης,
όταν μπροστά στη μούρη του αστραποβροντήσαν
οι Νεφέλες, τ’ αμόλησεν αθέλητά του.

Παραμυθένια χωρατά παλιού καιρού;
Καθόλου! Αλήθεια τωρινή σου, μαύρε δούλε!
Εσύ μπουκάλα μεθυσμένη που χορεύεις·
εσένα θεόν αβράκωτον γκρεμίζει ο γάιδαρος
και σε τσαλαπατά με δυο ζευγάρια πέταλα·
εσύ ξερνάς αόμματος χολή και μούργα
κι αμάσητα κι ωμά ανθρωπίσια κωλομέρια·
συ βγάζεις τ’ άντερά σου ψευτομπουκωμένος,
όταν ξένοι και ντόπιοι σωματέμποροί σου,
των κεφαλιώνε κυνηγοί (και του δικού σου!)
σε λένε ντόμπρο χριστιανόν (ο θεός μαζί σου!)
κι ακρίτα πολέμαρχο της «Ελευθερίας»!

Κώστας Βάρναλης. [1965] 1987. Ελεύθερος κόσμος. Αθήνα: Κέδρος.

Ο Κώστας Βάρναλης με τη γυναίκα του, την ποιήτρια Δώρα Μοάτσου-Βάρναλη

They’re bugging us

The crazy bottleheads are dancing in the ground
up to their necks choking on their wines.
“Bare-breasted, belly like a rag, omphalos flopping, navel flopping,
Rubens’s drunkard god, wasted
is knocked down from his ass never to wake up.
And Euripides’ Cyclops, the forehead-eyed, dull man,
a thousand years old tunnel standing, he vomits
sludge and raw, unchewed, raw, human flesh.
Aristophanes’ fake teacher, Socrates
when the Nebulae lightning thundered in his face
he unintentionally let them loose.

Fairy-tale jokes of old?
Not at all! It is your truth now, black slave!
You, drunken bottle that are dancing…
You, sans-culottes god, who the donkey pulls down
and tramples you with two pairs of horseshoes.
You vomit, oh blind, bile and sludge and mould,
unchewed and raw human buttocks.
You pull out your guts, falsely stuffed,
when foreign and local body-sellers are thy merchants,
head-hunters of your own head.
They call you an honest Christian (God be with you!)
and a real warlord frontiersman of “Liberty”!

Kostas Varnalis. [1965] 1987. Free World. Athens: Athens.

Translation: Ilias Kolokouris 2021