Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey, 1937-1947

Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey, 1937-1947

by Edmund Keeley
     
 

In the looming shadow of dictatorship and imminent war, George Seferis and George Katsimbalis welcomed Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell to their homeland. Together, as they spent evenings in tavernas, explored the Peloponnese, and considered the meaning of Greek life and freedom and art, they seemed to be inventing paradise. This blend of memoir, criticism, and

Overview

In the looming shadow of dictatorship and imminent war, George Seferis and George Katsimbalis welcomed Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell to their homeland. Together, as they spent evenings in tavernas, explored the Peloponnese, and considered the meaning of Greek life and freedom and art, they seemed to be inventing paradise. This blend of memoir, criticism, and storytelling takes readers on a journey into the poetry, friendships, and politics of an extraordinary time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Writing of past and present, of Miller and Seferis, of Seferis and the gods and, occasionally, of himself and Seferis, Professor Keeley has made a complex and illuminating connection."
—Richard Eder, New York Times

"In this masterly weave of scholarship and personal experience, Keeley, a renowned translator of modern Greek poetry, uses letters, journals, and poems, and his own lucid prose to recreate the world of Miller's 'little band of friends' and track them through the war."
New Yorker

Library Journal
Keeley, a noted scholar and translator of Greek poetry, has written an interesting blend of biography, travel guide, and literary criticism. Focusing on Henry Millers and Lawrence Durrells love affair with the Greek isles and their warm friendships with George Katsimbalis (as seen in Millers Collosus of Marousi), George Seferis, and other poets, Keeley celebrates this little band of friends who together...worked to create their individual images of an earthly paradise against the backdrop of the coming war. For Keeley, the spirit of this closely knit group kept poetry alive in Greece and served as a ray of light during the dark days of the German occupation. In return, argues Keeley, their encounter with Greece liberated the imaginations of these writers and provided them with paradisal models for future works. Quirky and unusual, this book is more fun to read than you might expect, and Keeley does make his case. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Booknews
Keeley (English, Princeton U.) describes how Greek poets George Seferis and George Katsimbalis, along with others, welcomed Henry Miller and Laurence Durrell as war loomed in the 1930s, and how they spent their time in art, philosophy, companionship, and leisure in the taverns and on the beaches. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Richard Eder
...[A] wonderfully personal hybrid: part history, part literary evocation, part memoir and most of all a travel journal....[P]oetry...is the heart of the book....Writing of present and past...Professor Keeley has made a complex and illuminating connection.
The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews
Sunny, island-hopping philhellenism as encountered in Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi and Lawrence Durrell's Prospero's Cell and Reflections on a Marine Venus.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810119390
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
290
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Edmund Keeley is the Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English Emeritus at Princeton University, where he served for some years as the director of the Creative Writing Program and of the Program in Hellenic Studies. The author of novels, poetry, and works of nonfiction, including Cavafy's Alexandria, he is also the noted translator of many important modern Greek poets; his translations of poetry earned him the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets. In 1999 he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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