Κ.Π. Καβάφης: Ανέκδοτο αυτοσχόλιο στο ποίημα «“Tα δ’ άλλα εν Άιδου τοις κάτω μυθήσομαι”»

Author: 
Abstract: 

This paper constitutes a pre-publication of Cavafy’s self-comment on the poem «“The Rest I Will Tell to Those Down in Hades”», the title of which quotes Ajax’s last words before his suicide in the tragedy by Sophocles (Ajax 865). The diplomatic transcription is followed by a description of the manuscript and commentary. As the self-comment refers to the earlier, non-extant version of the poem (1893), an attempt is first made to establish possible thematic connections with other texts belonging to the poet’s early period. Specifically, the ethical issue of the exoneration of «wicked» (kakoi) or «blameworthy» people for reasons concerning «responsibility» and «cause» is traced to other self-comments (on the poems «The Windows» and «Chè fece.... il gran rifiuto») and personal notes of the poet. A discussion follows on the possible relationship with the use of the word kakos in the Ajax, first in Athena’s words in the prologue and then in Ajax’s suicide speech. Particular attention is given to the matter of the tragic hero’s social isolation and his attitude toward his «wicked» enemies, a theme which resonates in «Aimilianos Monai, Alexandrian, A.D. 628-655», the only known poem by Cavafy in which the expression «wicked people» occurs.