Reality Otherness Perception: Reading Cavafy’s Myris: Alexandria, A.D. 340


  • Anthony Dracopoulos University of Sydney


One of the greatest virtues of Cavity’s poetry is its “openness’’; its ability to engage diversereaders and to accommodate different reading needs, practices and expectations.Approximately a century after the first serious review of his poetry,2his work continues tochallenge critics to discover it anew, promising the adventure of yet one more newreading. This pivotal trait of his work is connected with the fact that a large number ofhis poems are grounded on the axis of a variety of binary oppositions: old – new, inside –outside, public – private, essence – appearance, latent – manifest, presence – absence. It isthese polarities, these competing views of common, even mundane incidents of life, that,over Cavafy’s long period of reception, have led a number of critics to pursue the recoveryof an ulterior meaning behind his poems, either by choosing one of the two poles ofcomparison, or by even attempting to transcend the compared poles by creating a thirdlevel of signification.