Dock and the Darwin Debate in Greece
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The year 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species, an event which provoked an enormous response in many countries and in many fields, including literature. It is a good time, then, to consider its impact on Greek creative writing. This paper examines a thirteen stanza poem “Δαρβίνος” (“Darwin”), published in 1882, and signed with the pseudonym Dock. I argue that this poem is about Charles Darwin and offers a perspective on the impact his evolutionary theory had on society. How does this poem respond to Darwin’s theory? How does it relate to other European attitudes to Darwin in the late nineteenth century? How does it address issues such as the evolution of the human species and the relation between science and religion, which are still topics of passionate debate? And, last but not least, who was the elusive Dock?