Friday, September 23, 2011

θάλαττα! θάλαττα!

I still vividly remember reading in my early teens in the 80's John Fowles' magical description of the Greek landscape in "The Magus". Far in dismal north, in dismal circumstances such strange places were imagined. The merciless light, the stillness of Greek air, the awful, amoral brightness of the decidedly non-Nordic azure sea, the sense of the beauty of it all - the amazing power of literature (no film can ever be made, no place visited that would make justice to human imagination).

Such contrasts in that burning, painful life, such places visited ("only" in imagination, it is incomprehensibly said). But not only a half-forgotten private memory: ever since there has been an interest for antiquity, not Roman or Hellenistic, but for the brief, wild explosion of classical Greece. It is a central place, a central era for us, even now.

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