George Seferis, the first Greek Nobel Prize winner


George Seferis



                            GEORGE SEFERIS -A FIRST GREEK NOBELIST 




      Seferis was born in Urla . His father, Stelios Seferiadis, was a lawyer .  He was also a staunch Venizelist  and a supporter of the demotic greek language  over the formal, official language . Both of these attitudes influenced his son. In 1914 the family moved to Athens , where Seferis completed his secondary school education. He continued his studies in Paris from 1918 to 1925, studying law at the Sorbone . While he was there, in September 1922, Smyrna/Izmir was taken by the Turkish Army after a two-year Greek military campaign on Anatolian soil. Many Greeks, including Seferis' family, fled from Asia Minor. Seferis would not visit Smyrna again until 1950; the sense of being an exile from his childhood home would inform much of Seferis' poetry, showing itself particularly in his interest in the story of Odysseus . Seferis was also greatly influenced by Kavafis .

     He returned to Athens in 1925 and was admitted to the Royal Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the following year. This was the beginning of a long and successful diplomatic career, during which he held posts in England (1931–1934) and Albania  (1936–1938). He married Maria Zannou ('Maro') on April 10, 1941 on the eve of the German invasion of Greece. During the Second World War, Seferis accompanied the Free Greek Government in exile to Iraq , Egypt, South Africa, and Italy , and returned to liberated Athens in 1944. He continued to serve in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held diplomatic posts in Ankara Tyrkey  (1948–1950) and London (1951–1953). He was appointed minister to Lebason , Syria, Jordan , and Iraq (1953–1956), and was Royal Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1961, the last post before his retirement in Athens. Seferis received many honours and prizes, among them honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Cambridge (1960), Oxford (1964), Thessaloniki (1964), and Princeton (1965).In 1963, Seferis was awarded the Nobel prize  for Literature "for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture" . Seferis was the first Greek to receive the prize (followed later by Odyseas Elitis ,who became a Nobel laureate in 1979). 


    (Ariola, Magda and Klaudia composed info )



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