Darwin’s Footprint

Cultural Perspectives on Evolution in Greece (1880-1930s)
Author: 
ISBN: 
978-963-386-077-9
cloth
$60.00 / €45.00 / £38.00
ISBN: 
978-963-386-100-4
paperback
$35.00/ €27.00 / £22.00
Publication date: 
2015
340 pages including 15 black-and-white, and color illustrations

Darwin’s Footprint examines the impact of Darwinism in Greece, investigating how it has shaped Greece in terms of its cultural and intellectual history, and in particular its literature.

The book demonstrates that in the late 19th to early 20th centuries Darwinism and associated science strongly influenced celebrated Greek literary writers and other influential intellectuals, which fueled debate in various areas such as ‘man’s place in nature’, eugenics, the nature-nurture controversy, religion, as well as class, race and gender.

In addition, the study reveals that many of these individuals were also considering alternative approaches to these issues based on Darwinian and associated biological post-Darwinian ideas. Their concerns included the Greek “race” or nation, its culture, language and identity; also politics and gender equality.

Zarimis’s monograph devotes considerable space to Xenopoulos (1867-1951), notable novelist, journalist and playwright.

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgements

Chapter One. Introduction
Xenopoulos: Case Study
Evolutionary Theories
Social Implications of Evolutionism
Darwinism in Literature and Criticism
Darwinian Themes in International Literature
General Reception and Impact of Darwinism in Greece
Future Direction of the Greek Race: Eugenics and Post-Darwinian Discourse

Chapter Two. The Darwinian Impact on Modern Greek Writers
“Voltaire” and “Dock”
Emmanuel Roidis
Kostis Palamas
Nikos Kazantzakis
Alexandros Papadiamantis
Appendix. Poem: Τόπο αλλάζει and Its English Translation
Poem: Δαρβίνος and Its English Translation

Chapter Three. Darwinian reflections: Children’s Guidance
Science and Positivism
Heldreich and Gradualism
The Gender Divide
Science and Religion
Physiognomies and Expressions

Chapter Four. A Re-Reading of Rich and poor: It’s All in the Eyes
Literary Criticism, the “Note” and Prologue
Physiognomy, Expressions and Natural Selection
The Eyes ― Mirror of the Soul

Chapter Five. Metamorphoses of Woman: dangerous fantasies
Xenopoulos’ Comments
Literary Criticism
Transforming Tereza
Extinction

Chapter Six. New Woman, Degeneration/Regeneration and The Descent of Man
“The three-sided woman”
“Τhe night of degeneration”

Epilogue

Bibliography

Addendum: The Female Sex’s Handbook

Antonis Liakos, Professor of Contemporary History and History of Historiography, University of Athens

“Maria Zarimis’ book is a thorough and in-depth analysis of how mainstream Western scientific ideas found their way into the planning of the modern Greek society through the intermediation of literature. In this sense it strongly contributes to various academic fields, expanding from literary studies and history of science to social history and cultural studies. Furthermore, it contributes to the discussion of travelling concepts and of the role intellectuals hold in this process, while at the same time sheds light onto the multiple ways transnational history is formed.”

Peter Bien, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College

“The original and significant contribution this book makes to scholarship in its field derives from the fact that so little has been written, so far, about the influence of Darwin’s writings and Darwinism on Greek literary and social culture. Thus the manuscript opens up an area of study that has been sadly neglected in Greek cultural life.”

The British Society for Literature and Science

"Although Darwin’s name will conjure up in most readers’ minds a familiar assortment of venerable historic figures, Zarimis immediately indicates in Darwin’s Footprint that her subjects will not be any of these old friends. Indeed, her translated titles and quotations appear to be, in almost all cases, the only existing access, for those lacking Greek language skills, to this fascinating area of Greek scientific and literary culture. Her goal is ‘to unveil how Darwinism formed a part of the Greek intellectual and cultural life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’. Zarimis convincingly develops what she sees as the previously uneven analyses of Darwinian and eugenic perspectives on Greek literary culture in this period. The book progressively narrows in scope, first situating Darwin and evolutionary theory as debated by Greek literati at the turn of the century, before moving on to Zarimis’s primary focus, the prolific author Grigorios Xenopoulos, and his complex deployment of evolutionary and eugenic themes."

All good bookshops stock CEU Press books or will order them for you. You may also order direct from the Press or from one of our local distributors.

You can also buy books in our Budapest office (Oktober 6. utca 14). CEU faculty, students, staff, and alumni receive 20% off on all titles.