Constantine Cavafy – A biography without poetry

(A gleaning of Constantine Cavafy’s biographical data) 

Charicleia got married to Peter-John Ioannou Cavafy in Constantinople in 1849. She was 14 and he was 36 years old. They spent the first couple years of marriage in Constantinople. In 1852, they set off for England, where Cavafy transformed the oriental young girl into a woman of the world, through English, French and painting. In 1854 or 1855, the family (to which three members had been added in the meantime, George -1850-, Peter-John -1851- and Aristeides -1853-) settled in Alexandria. «Certain photographs of those days, despite the defective photographic method of the ’50s and ’60s, show that she had indeed been cute» wrote Constantine Cavafy about his mother.
Charicleia Cavafy
   Constantine Cavafy was born in Alexandria in the April of 1863. His father, Peter-John Ioannou Cavafy, «earned a lot of money and spent it profusely holding in society the high status of a merchant», as their youngest son, Constantine, later wrote, owning an export-import firm which mainly traded in cotton and textiles. At the time, the Cavafy family leads a life of exquisite prosperity. Τhe ground floor of the two-storey Cavafy’s house on the aristocratic Serif street housed the offices of the thriving commercial company «Cavafy & Co.» (whose main partner was George Cavafy, the poet’s uncle who lived in London), while the first and second floor more than comfortably accommodated Peter-John Ioannou’s family. Charicleia Cavafy was then offered the backing of a French educator, an English nanny, four-five Greek servants (Graikoi), an Italian carter and an Egyptian groom.
    In 1870, after the death of Cavafy’s father, begins the family’s course towards an economical crisis and decline. In 1872, Charicleia Cavafy moves to England with her children where they will stay for the following six years (mainly in Liverpool, but London, too). Young Cavafy attends an English school but studies Greek and French at the same time. After a few years of their stay in England, they are forced to return to Alexandria as the family business is dissolved. Cavafy continues with his studies at the «Hermes» commercial-practical Lyceum while there is clear evidence which indicates that during the period which intervened his return from England (1878) and the outset of his studies at «Hermes» (1881), Cavafy had begun studying on his own books borrowed from Alexandria’s lending libraries. During these three years his ambitious attempt to compile a historical dictionary is dated, endeavour which remained incomplete since the entries of the work stopped at «the fateful word Alexander».
    In 1882, during the Egyptian rebellion against the English, he moves to Constantinople with his family for three years (until the October of 1885), at his Phanariote grandfather’s house, George Photiadis. While his brothers return to Alexandria to work and provide for the family, Charicleia and Constantine remain in Constantinople, awaiting indemnity for their destroyed house from the insurance company. With his return to Alexandria in October 1885, Cavafy renounces his British citizenship (which had been acquired by his father back in 1850) and gets the Greek one.
    Cavafy, who remembered the glamour of his childhood, concerned himself greatly with economics and did not want to decline. He soon started working and was a registered stoke-broker at Alexandria’s Stock Exchanges from 1894 to 1902. At the same time, he gambled. This parallel activity of his allowed him to live relatively comfortably until his death.
   The first years after his return to Alexandria he begins working, not yet systematically, changing professions such as a journalist at the newspaper Telegraphos (1886), an agent at the Cotton Stock Exchange (1888) and an unsalaried clerk at the Irrigation Service of the Ministry of Public Works of Egypt (1889-1892), where he will be hired as a temporary salaried employee in 1892, as he didn’t have the Egyptian citizenship (he used to have a British one but renounced it wanting to keep just the Greek one). In 1889, he begins working at the Irrigation Service in the hope that someday he would be given a salaried position there. This was not something entirely unusual in Egypt at the time, and we shouldn’t imagine that he worked regularly all morning on a daily basis – his other engagements wouldn’t have allowed him such a thing. An unsigned letter (copied by Cavafy), dated December 11 1890 and addressed to the General Surveyor of the Irrigation Service reads: «Provided it is unlikely the suction pumps in Atfe will be used again, there is no need for the services of master Selim Ibrahimi... I have the honour to request he be assigned elsewhere. Moreover, Ι urgently request you consent to a staff increase of my English office... Mr. Constantine Cavafy, an unsalaried clerk, receive salary of 7 pounds a month... Mr. Constantine Cavafy (Greek, naturalised British citizen) comes from an exceptionally respectable Alexandrian family. He has worked in my office as an unsalaried secretary for a year and, although I haven’t raised his hopes of becoming a salaried one, I find him useful, he is so insightful and works so conscientiously that I do not know how the office work could be carried through without him. His handwriting is good, he knows French, Greek and Italian, the first two languages as fluently as English. He has copied most of the reports which have been submitted this year, he has done most of the calculations or their check, and he has translated some very significant documents... Of course, he can speak Arabic, though he neither reads nor writes the language». This appointment was against the regulations and nothing happened. On April 11 1892, Cavafy received a letter from the office in Cairo. «Although you came to my service on the clear condition that you wouldn’t receive a salary, nor other outlooks, I did hope that I would be able to hire you». He thanked Cavafy for the «excellent assistance he had offered the last three years». A permanent position, which had been vacated after the departure of Selim Ibrahimi, could not be filled by a temporary clerk, but Cavafy could be employed with a salary until the official appointment of the permanent employee. The poet remained at the «Third Circle of Irrigation» for thirty years, until 1922, reaching the rank of assistant head of department.   
   «How often as I work do I have a fine idea, a rare image, like ready-made unexpected verse and I am forced to neglect them, because the service cannot be postponed. Afterwards, when I return home, after I somewhat come to my senses, I try to recall them but it’s all gone. It’s only fair. It seems as if Art is telling me: “I am not your slave• to be sent away when I come, and come when you want me to. I am the greatest Mistress of the word. And if you denied me, you humble traitor, for the sake of your wicked good home, your wicked good clothes, your wicked good social class, content yourself with these (but how be content) and with those few moments when you happen to be ready to accept me as I come, at the door, waiting for me, as you should be every day”».
   Cavafy rarely left Alexandria: he went to Egypt on excursions and pleasure trips (mainly to Cairo in winter, as his father used to do) but, to our knowledge, he only traveled abroad five times. In 1897, he traveled to London and Paris with his brother, John-Constantine, in 1901 and 1903, he traveled to Athens with his brother Alexander. «Yesterday afternoon, at 2 p.m., we arrived in Athens. Alexander and I got off with great ease, with the help of Kook’s people. The entrance of Piraeus port is magnificent. Piraeus itself is a fine small town. We headed for Athens at a ¾ of an hour distance. The violet-coloured hills in the background are charming. We got first-class rooms. The appearance of the hotels and the food, exceptional. In the afternoon, we went for a stroll at the main streets. Such a cute city, completely European, of French or Italian character. I really enjoyed the officers’ uniforms and both the officers and the soldiers make the best impression. In the morning, I headed for Nikis street, as well as other roads. I saw a lot of the main buildings – the National Bank, the Bank of Athens, the Parliament, the Theater, the University. Fine constructions. The only disadvantage is that there is no shade in the streets (due to their width and the low height of the houses). Because of this, one cannot go about on foot, in July’s burning sun, between 10 a.m. and, I suppose, 5 p.m.» He went back to Athens, in 1905, because of Alexander’s sickness and death. His next (and final) trip took place twenty-seven years later, together with Aleko and Rika Singhopoulo, to Athens again, but this time due to his own sickness.
    Charicleia Cavafy writes to John and Constantine at the time when they were traveling to France and England, to her «dearest, gems of kids»: «Eat well, and, above all, beef, and get fat, my beloved kids». To eat well and mind their food in France, where «sauces cover almost everything!!», be mindful of everything, «Costaki,» -Cavafy was 34 years old at the time - «At the zoo, don’t get too close to your friends, the animals, cause sometimes they get mad...». The few letters, which have been rescued, show that her children reciprocate her interest, they inform her about their moves and share their travel impressions with her. Here, Constantine Cavafy is the «Thin One» and Charicleia the «Fat One». «My fat one», the poet often wrote, in small brackets, pieces of paper or various notebooks, overwhelmed by sudden nostalgia and sorrow after her death.
    In Alexandria, Constantine Cavafy lived with his mother and his brothers Paul and John-Constantine. They were the two closest to Constantine and not just in age: Paul was known in Alexandria as the homosexual Cavafy, and John-Constantine as the poet Cavafy (in English). The unmarried brothers together with their Fat One dined at half past seven. After the meals, Charicleia would sit in an armchair and Constantine often lay in a sofa beside her. At ten o’ clock, Charicleia would get ready to sleep. At the same time, Constantine had dessert. She, having enriched her notebook with all sorts of dainties, provided him with purée and sherbets made of apricots, jam made of quinces, date jam, pudding, revani, asoure, custard-filled pastries, charlotte Russe and all in all, «fine confectioneries». Even in the diary kept by the poet on the last days of his «Fat One», he notes «Sunday, January 29. Our last dinner – woe is me! woe is me». And on Monday, January 30: «The menu included soup, chicken with potatoes, small pieces of pasticcio and other several things» that he couldn’t remember... On February 4 1899, his «Fat One» died. In the morning, she had visited the photographic studio to have her photograph taken. «She was particularly, pretty», the poet tells us. «A woman of laudable character. Her life had not been a happy one: but she was always brave in adverse circumstances, always decent and honest» trying to «keep with dignity her house, her class, the sense and the ways of the former glamour». The poet remembers her advice «Without money, life is not worth a penny, my beloved child, I know it, because I have been devoid of its joys. But if one is healthy and sensible like you, my gem of a boy, you will always have a good time...»
    After Charicleia died in 1899, Cavafy stayed with his two brothers until 1904, when John-Constantine moved to Cairo. He continued living together with Paul and in 1907, the two brothers moved to the apartment on Lepsius street. The following year, Paul went on a trip abroad and never returned to Egypt. So in 1908, Constantine, at the age of 45, was, for the first time in his life, left alone. His life then changed radically: he gradually cut back on his social appearances and applied himself to his poetry.
   Besides his two nieces, Charicleia-Aristeides Cavafy and Helen-Anghelica-Lucia-Alexander Cavafy, Constantine grew fond of Aleko Singhopoulo, whose mother, a Greek seamstress called Helen Singhopoulou, was employed by Charicleia Cavafy. Cavafy’s unusual tenderness towards Singhopoulo (later his heir), as well as their physiognomic resemblance, led many people to the conclusion that Singhopoulo was Cavafy’s son, a possibility that cannot be ruled out since (according to Singhopoulo’s first wife, Rika) Constantine was not an exclusive homosexual. Equally plausible is the possibility that Aleko was the illegitimate son of one of Cavafy’s brothers, which would justify why the two men never discussed their peculiar relationship. Timos Malanos presents us with another alternative concerning Cavafy’s relationship with Singhopoulo, which will be discussed later.
    Cavafy loved money and fame, reports Charicleia-Valieri Cavafy, one of the poet’s nieces, and adds that this trait of his was the reason why dispute prevailed between them on the opening of John’s will, when he saw that he would be left out of his brother’s property. «He came to my house in order to tell me that John had disinherited him». I replied that «I was not responsible for that». «Take good care of this property cause you will get no more». I told him that «I don’t even expect any». When I got engaged, he came to see me and his vanity seemed rather satisfied, but our relations remained frigid.
    I.A. Saregiannis, who met Cavafy four times, writes about his house that «it was located on a top floor of a semi-tenement, slovenly house. As you entered, you saw a wide hallway loaded with furniture. No wall was visible, paintings were hung all over the place, and especially, some shelves or Arabic whatnots with innumerable vases, small ones, big ones, or even huge ones. Several doors were lined up along this hallway· the last one opened to the living room where the poet received guests. I once admired this chamber a lot, but on a morning of 1929, while dropping by to take some of his collections, which I was going to give to some friends of his in Paris, I stayed alone in this room for a long time and was able to analyse it in a remote way. To my surprise, I realised for the first time that it was loaded with the most erratic of things: velvet, faded armchairs, old Bukharian and Indian fabrics on the windows and sofa, a black desk with golden details, pliantes chairs, like the ones found in colonies, at bungalows, shelves on the walls and tables with innumerable small pillars, a Tanagra daughter, vulgar vases from the 1900s, all sorts of oriental carpets, Chinese vases and paintings, etc, etc. Nothing exceptional and really fine did I discern· the way they had been gathered reminded me of the stores, where old furniture is sold. How much light, or more accurately, what dose of light the environment of his house should have, seemed to greatly preoccupy Cavafy. He constantly worried about this, took care of this. Like a photographer, he would often get up and open, close, half-close the shutters in several corners, draw or partly draw the curtains, light or dim the light of the oil lamp, add or again blow out one or more candles, take care of and graciously tell each of his guests where they should sit. He never used electricity at his house and after sunset, the lighting of the room was provided by candles. Cavafy’s bookbinder, so to speak, was a bare room, in which, when I saw it, all shutters were wide open and the sunlight therein. It was filled with plain tables or perhaps tripods with boards on top. There sat his poems in several piles· each pile represented a poem. When he decided to send one of his latest collections, on the night before, he used to sit and add by hand on the printed index the titles of the poems, which he had written in the meantime. At the hallway of his house sat his bookcase, a heavy and inconvenient piece of furniture. Only after his death did I happen to catch a glimpse of it and, to my surprise, I found out that Cavafy did not love books. They were not many, I estimated them at about three hundred, but even those did not represent him at all, they didn’t make you suspect what kind of a person Cavafy was. His bookcase was like his house, a mishmash of moot things».
    While most talk about his British-like accent, perhaps even about certain English words, which he, every once in a while, stuck into what he was saying, Stratis Pashalis tells us that he had formerly heard a man who had met him in his youth in Alexandria, reporting: «None of this is true, he talked Greek wonderfully, without confusing it with any other language and without any foreign accent». Furthermore, a closely-related person of Cavafy’s, who Stratis Pashalis met on his schooldays, said with an acquiescent smile on his face, when Cavafy’s graphic side, the one seen by the literary men, Athenian and Alexandrian, who met him in the afternoons on Lepsious street, came up in conversation: «These things -ouzo, olives and banter- took place in the afternoons, because he wanted to get on the right side of people, in the evening, he was a tremendously snobby and serious nobleman who took his whiskey at the casino, associating with people of his class, always indifferent to the so-called litterateurs».
    «This morning, I went to the city. First, to Zavoritis’ Patisserie, and from there, to the offices of the magazine Panathenaia. I met the editor, Kimon Michailidi, with regard to a poem of mine, which I assume he will publish. The short-story writer Mr. Xenopoulos was there. I introduced myself. A rather endearing person. He told me that he admired my poems and I told him that I, too, admired his short stories. And I sincerely admire them. I stayed there for about an hour together with Michailidi and Xenopoulo, talking mainly about literature». After Xenopoulos’ acquaintance with Cavafy in Athens in the July of 1901, Xenopoulos, among other things, describes him in «Panathenaia»: «He is young, but not in his first youth. Deeply dark-skinned like an Egyptian native, with black mustache, myopic glasses, an attire of an Alexandrian dandy, British-like lightness, a prepossessing cast of features, which, on the face of it, is no great shakes. Behind the appearance of a merchant, a linguist and a social nobleman, diligently hides the philosopher and poet».
     In 1922, he announces his intention not to continue working at the Irrigation Service and resigns with the rank of assistant head of department («I have finally freed myself from this despised thing») and without distractions, devotes himself to the completion of his poetic work. In 1926, the government of the dictator Pangalos presents Cavafy with the badge of the Phoenix, commendation that the poet accepts, claiming that: «The badge was awarded to me by the Greek State, which I love and respect. Returning the badge would be an insult to the Greek State on my behalf, that is why I have kept it».
     In 1929, Xenopoulos, rendering Cavafy’s portrait once more, writes to Timos Malanos: «He was not that young, sleek though. I always recall him with this shine. His ebony hair shone, his snow-white parting, his eyes behind the spectacles, his dark-skinned skin, his figs, all of his clothes. His speech, much different from ours here, seemed a bit stilted to me. He did not speak freely. He stood, so to speak, to find or choose the words. A rather odd, very likable and gallant ensemble. Cavafy was like this at that time».
    Palamas never acknowledged Cavafy as a poet. But Cavafy did not like Palamas either. In particular, he mockingly called him Parlama, because he (Palamas) was prolific. Besides, Cavafy only respected those who admired and respected him as a poet.
   Charicleia-Valieri Cavafy says about her uncle: «Cavafy wrote one-two poems a year. At most three. He wrote them, he revised them, he re-revised them, he erased them, he rewrote them. He tortured himself to write them. He wanted them to be perfect. It was not that he lacked thought, but the way to write them perfectly. I was at his home –I went to his home more than often, also to the last house where he resided, Lepsious street- and read the books he had. He wrote something and then tore it to pieces. He rewrote it and took it and made a ball out of it and angrily threw it into the basket. It got on his nerves. His hair stood on end, like this. And he moved his hands like this and raised them in the air and said: aaaa! His nerves were terribly on edge . His hair stood on end, he had curly hair, everyone in the Cavafy family had curly hair. So, his hair stood on end and he said: aaaa and pulled it. His nerves were on edge. All the Cavafy family were edgy people. They were in the habit of strong tea, which turned them into demons bristling with anger».
   In his daily life, the poet «scrupulously took inventory of his big and small expenses, his big and small jobs, his daily obligations, by compiling various tables and catalogues. There is a catalogue of the clothes he takes on trips, a catalogue of his mother’s diamond jewels which belong to him, a catalogue of houseworks that must be done (for instance, dusting etc.), a catalogue of lacework, obviously from Charicleia’s belongings. He also compiled catalogues of poems written in purist Greek, recanted ones, incomplete ones, chronological tables of poem compositions but thematic ones, too (based on one central character which dealt with history, religion, lost time and decay, confinement). Chronologically, the first catalogue is one notebook entitled Gambling».
   Cavafy also founded the magazine Alexandrian Art, which he virtually supported with the help of Aleko and Rika Singhopoulo with whom he lived in the same building on Lepsious street, which also housed the magazine’s offices. 
   Manoly Lascaris, born in Cairo in 1912, was a man of aristocratic and Smyrna descent who had worked as a bank clerk in Alexandria. There he met Cavafy about whom he says: «He can’t have bathed ever in his life. He came to the bank where I worked as a client and stunk from a mile away despite the cheap perfumes that he put on». In spite of the high opinion he had of Cavafy, in «Cryptic Pages», Timos Malanos doesn’t let him off. From a meeting of theirs in 1916: «The fact that Cavafy did not have his teeth at the age of just fifty-four was not at all strange. Were the young men and women who had prematurely lost their teeth few? It’s something else that is strange about Cavafy. It’s how he, a lover of Beauty, though he was aware of the shakiness of his denture, did not refrain from eating dates in front of others!». From a meeting between Cavafy and Malanos, in 1921 or 1922: «Now, he did not look old any more. He was old. His conversation, pleasant as always. But in a while, they are interrupted by a loveable kitten meowing at our feet. And while he affectionately comments, philosophises upon the cute moves of the small animal, I bend to stroke it. And then, I unintentionally see two bindings, of doubtful whiteness,  from his long undergarment hanging loose on one of his shoes. Someone else would have been disgusted. I justified it. Was it not a bachelor that I had before me? Who would care for him? Who would look after him? Who would prepare clean undergarment for him? As I was pondering on this, I found it impossible to justify his official lover. Really, how could he be sleeping with such an old and disgusting body? The mental representation of such a scene alone was enough to make me bristle. But not him. And why should it make him bristle? Are the people who are forced from necessity to do more disgusting jobs in our society few? Because, deep down, it was a job what he had chosen to do. A job that ensured him a lazy present and at the same time, a happy-go-lucky future. The carefree job of a gigolo». Who was the gigolo? His heir, Aleko Singhopoulo, who found himself «tangled in Cavafy’s love net from 1916 to 1933».
E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
    Thanks to the literary friendship between the English novelist E.M. Forster and Constantine Cavafy and by the agency of the first, Cavafy suddenly finds himself, even through a representative, conversing with the major literary centre. Translations of his poems by the Alexandrian lawyer George Valassopoulo begin getting published by the most important British literary magazines (among which, Eliot’s Criterion, Athenaeum and Nation). Forster edits the translations, sometimes with the assistance of others, such as T.E. Lawrence (the known Lawrence of Arabia), who turns out to be a Cavafian fan. The poems are received enthusiastically and soon, Leonard Woolf, Virginia’s husband, proposes an edition of poems in English by their publishing house, Hoggarth Press. In particular, he sends a relevant contract to Alexandria in 1925. At that point, Cavafy makes one of the more enigmatic moves of his publishing life: he starts stonewalling (in the beginning, he says that the translations need reviewing). «His insistent silence makes me believe that, ultimately, he is against any possible publishing of his translated poems in a book» writes Forster, who, by intuition, probably gets the hang of the issue. Cavafy did with the English translations the same thing he did with his poems in Greek: he postponed their conclusive publication and distribution in a book so that it will ultimately be done after his death (the first English publication in a book finally took place twenty years later, still by Woolf’s Hoggarth Press, but with a different translator, Ioannis Maurokordatos). Other reasons might have contributed to his stonewalling, such as the fact that the first translator delayed or did not appear to be ready to translate the erotic poems. But deep inside, the distance Cavafy keeps both from his friendship with Forster and the prospect of the English publication might have to do with a deeper authority game. Cavafy refuses to be round anybody’s little finger. He neither accepts the English publication as an end in itself nor Forster as his Pygmalion.
   In 1930, he begins suffering from his larynx and in the July of 1932, doctors diagnose cancer of the larynx. In 1932, he comes to Greece to undergo tracheotomy and is deprived of the power to speak. He now communicates with his guests through handwritten notes. I.A. Saregiannis tells us that, after his surgery at the Red Cross Hospital, the doctors advised Cavafy to go to the countryside to recover. He went up to Kifissia at the «Anagenesis» sanatorium. «On my first visit there, I asked him if he was satisfied, if he liked Kifissia. He pulled me over the window. He showed me the marvelous scenery... “It bores me”, he told me in the short-syllabic language, which the despicable condition of his throat had still left at his disposal. He did not stay long in Kifissia. The doctors shouted and protested. He didn’t obey them. He came down to Athens and settled at Omonia. But his hotel, with its huge living rooms, did not manage to retain him, even when he was surrounded by a bunch of friends, onlookers or admirers. Late one afternoon, when about forty of us were gathered around him, he said, “excuse me” and left us “for a couple of minutes” to go, as he said, to his room. But it was taking him a long time and, as I was in a hurry, I left without saying good-bye. No sooner had I left the hotel than I saw him wandering in the crowd of Omonia. I didn’t approach him. I watched him from a distance and saw him going in and out Athenas street, Saint Constantine’s Street, and the streets thereabouts. He walked hastily, with his head half-leaning to the right and up, with his long fingers half-buried in the waistcoat armpits».
    In the April of 1933, his condition seriously aggravates. His friend Rika Singhopoulo prepares for him a small suitcase for the hospital, which was located across his house. He senses that he is not going to return and bursts into sobs. As he can’t speak, he writes to her: «I bought this suitcase 30 years ago, one evening in a hurry, to go to Cairo for fun. Back then, I was healthy, young and not ugly». On the 29th of the same month, at the dawn of his birthday, he breathes his last. His niece Charicleia-Valieri Cavafy comments: « the end of his life, he was very sick, he had throat cancer. He died of this. And he was alone, with a close friend, Singhopoulo, to whom he left his property and all my grandmother and grandfather’s furniture, to which my cousin and I were entitled. It was my grandfather’s. Kostis had one part. We didn’t make a fuss when we opened the will. Singhopoulo took it all». «Cavafy ended his life on April 29 1933, in an oblong coffin placed inside Saint Sava’s church where the bells tolled once in a while... ».

Yórgos Panayotídis

A gleaning of Constantine Cavafy’s biographical data based on the following sources:
1. Dimitris Daskalopoulos, The Life and work of C.P. Cavafy,  Metaichmio, 2002.
2. Timos Malanos, The poet C.P. Cavafy - The man and his work - Final edition, complemented with other studies, Difros, 1957.
3 Michalis Pieris (editing), Introduction to Cavafy’s poems, Crete University Press, 2002.
4. Lena Savidis (editing), Cavafy’s Leukoma, 1863-1910, Hermes, 1983.
5. I.A. Saregiannis, Cavafy, man of the Crowd, Ikaros, 1973.
6. I.A. Saregiannis, The most honest –its form,  Comments on Cavafy, Ikaros, 1964.
7. Stratis Tsirkas, Cavafy and his time,  Kedros, eight edition, 1987 (first edition 1958)

8. The Cavafy Archive. It consists of the body of manuscripts, books, documents, photographs and other tokens, which Cavafy himself had preserved and classified and bequeathed to his heir, Aleko Singhopoulo after his death in 1933. Singhopoulo initially handled it with the help of his first wife, Rika Singhopoulo and afterwards, with the help of many students, however, with uneven results. In 1963, Singhopoulo himself assigned the study and publication to G.P. Savidis. In 1969, after Singhopoulo’s death, his second wife and heir, Kyveli Trehantzaki, sold the Cavafy Archive to Savidis, who initially gave an impulse to the cataloguing and photographing of the Archive and then, proceeded to the gradual publication of the material with the help of other philologists. In 1995, after Savidis’ death, the ownership of the Cavafy Archive passed to Manuel Savidis, who places it in the collections of the Center for Neo-Hellenic Studies (in 1966, on the foundation of this non-profit organisation) and handles it with the help of the philologists Diana Haas, Renata Lavagnini and Michalis Pieris (newspaper To Vima, 30/9/2009)
9. Constantine Cavafy’s figure, episode from the television programme Paraskinio, from ERT Archive.