Greece in the Eyes of Writers from Abroad

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Posted by on 04 Sep 2003

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The Mondo Greco Magazine published in its 2003 spring issue an interesting series of stories and verses collected under the heading The View from There. The pieces were written by non-Greek poets and other writers touching on some aspect of Greek life and culture. The writers whose works were selected by the magazine shared a common characteristic: all of them had lived somewhere in Greece for long periods of time. Many of them now call Greece their home, while others have repeatedly returned to this country.

The most appealing feature of the collection is that most of the pieces are a revelation not only about Greece, but also about the authors themselves: how their Greek experience has transformed them and has seeped into their fiction or poetry, overtly or imperceptibly.

In his story A Ticket to the Middle of the Sea, the Italian writer Antonio Tabuchi, winner of the prestigious Prix Europeen Jean Monnet and Prix Medicis Etranger transforms his visit to the tiny island of Gavdos, to the south of Crete, into a fictional story delineating the proud inhabitants of the island and their unique hospitable nature.

American author and translator Edmund Keely recollects his childhood as the son of the American Consul in Thessaloniki. The British Classical Greek scholar and translator, Peter Greens, who lived in Lesvos and Athens along with his family, relates some juicy gossip about adultery and fornication among locals and foreigners in the 1960s. Many other writers and academics share their memories and experiences in this special issue.

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