E. M. Forster (essay date 1923)
SOURCE: “The Poetry of C. P. Cavafy,” in Pharos and Pharillon, Alfred A. Knopf, 1923, pp. 110-17.
[In the following excerpt, Forster—a noted British novelist and friend of Cavafy—describes Cavafy's stature and work in modern Greek poetry.]
Modern Alexandria is scarcely a city of the soul. Founded upon cotton with the concurrence of onions and eggs, ill built, ill planned, ill drained—many hard things can be said against it, and most are said by its inhabitants. Yet to some of them, as they traverse the streets, a delightful experience can occur. They hear their own name proclaimed in firm yet meditative accents—accents that seem not so much to expect an...
(The entire section is 1672 words.)