Greece, A Literary Guide for travellers by Michael Carroll
“If in the library of your house you do not have the works of the ancient Greek writers then you have a house with no light.” - George Bernard Shaw
Greece may be a small, rugged, sea-girt country, but it has the longest written history in Europe. Her myths and legends, so deeply embedded in Western consciousness, and her sublime landscapes, so infused with history, have been muse for writers, artists and travelers for millennia. This remarkable book takes the literary-minded traveler – whether a literal or armchair tourist – on a vivid and illuminating journey through Greece, “the principle source of Western culture and the origin of much of its literature, art, science, and philosophy.” The focus is on the writers who’ve visited or lived on the island in recent centuries – “most of our companions are British and American” the author notes – but in the background and woven throughout the book are the great poets, philosophers, gods, and goddesses of Greek culture and history.
Organized by regions of the island, from Athens to the scattered islands of the Ionian and Aegean seas, this guide is filled with the words of literary titans that echo through the centuries: from Homer and Plato to Byron, Flaubert and Twain; Henry Miller to John Fowles; the Durrells to Patrick Leigh Fermor and Cavafy, Kazantzakis and Seferis. The book is also filled with writers who’ve worked in Greece in more recent times, including their years under Ottoman rule, and during events throughout the 20th Century. Extensive text features include a map of the islands, an Author Profiles section with short bios of the writers and their works, a Chronology of Greece’s cultural and political history, a bibliography for further reading, and an index for handy reference.