Artemis Leontis (modern Greek and comparative literature) and Yopie Prins (English and comparative literature) discuss Leontis’s new book Eva Palmer Sikelianos: A Life in Ruins. Q & A follows the conversation.
About the book:
This is the first biography to tell the fascinating story of Eva Palmer Sikelianos (1874–1952), an American actor, director, composer, and weaver best known for reviving the Delphic Festivals. Yet, as Artemis Leontis reveals, Palmer’s most spectacular performance was her daily revival of ancient Greek life. For almost half a century, dressed in handmade Greek tunics and sandals, she sought to make modern life freer and more beautiful through a creative engagement with the ancients. Drawing on hundreds of newly discovered letters and featuring many previously unpublished photographs, this biography vividly re-creates the unforgettable story of a remarkable nonconformist whom one contemporary described as “the only ancient Greek I ever knew.”