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This article is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

Letters to George Valassopoulo E. M. Forster

George Valassopoulo was born in Alexandria in January, 1890 and died there in October, 1972. He was an undergraduate at Cambridge and it was there that he first became acquainted with E. M. Forster, who was some ten years his senior. The two met again in 1916-1917, when Forster was in Alexandria.

Valassopoulo, by profession a lawyer, was a man of fastidious literary taste. He knew Cavafy and translated a number of his poems. The letters here published for the first time show Forster's high regard for his versions, and in an article of 1951 (reprinted in Two Cheers for Democracy) Forster says that, of all the people who had tried to translate Cavafy, Valassopoulo was 'most to his taste'. 'He had the advantage,' Forster goes on, 'of working with the poet and he has brought much magic across; Cavafy is largely magic. But Valassopoulo only translated, and only wished to translate, some of the poems.' A number of these translations are printed in the following pages.

The Forster letters here reproduced are the property of Valassopoulo's daughter Irène (Mrs P. Lightbody), now living in England, and we are indebted to her for permission to print both the letters and her father's translations from Cavafy.

Letters of E. M. Forster (C) 1983 The Provost and Scholars of King's College, Cambridge.

1.Sultan Hussein Club, Alexandria, Egypt 8 October 1916
Dear Valassopoulo, Can you dine with me say here on Wednesday say ...


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