Κ.Π. Καβάφης: Ανέκδοτο αυτοσχόλιο στο ποίημα ‘Η ναυμαχία’

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This paper constitutes a pre-publication of Cavafy’s self-comment on the poem “The Naval Battle”. It first discusses the editorial principles and rules applied in the integral edition of the corpus, referring to the importance, underlined by Renata Lavagnini in her edition of the Unfinished Poems, of adapting editorial practice to the specific demands of the texts. In the case of Cavafy’s self-comments, which are intimately related to the poetic process, a method was devised to serve the needs of the non-specialist as well as the specialist. The transcription of the comment on “The Naval Battle” is given accordingly, along with its critical apparatus, followed by a description of the manuscript, full annotation of references, and commentary. The commentary deals in depth with the relationship between the text and Cavafy’s re-working of the poem following its original composition. Cavafy’s self-comment, through its juxtaposition of Aeschylus’ and Herodotus’ versions of Xerxes’s retreat and discussion of the “proper” placement of the lamentation in time and space, reveals significant information on his attitude toward poetry’s dialogue with history.