A Hard Place to Write About

David Roessel

in In Byron's Shadow

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143867
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871872 | DOI:
A Hard Place to Write About

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This chapter discusses the difficulty writers faced in writing about Greece at the start of the 1920s. It argues that a new conception of Greece, one not based on classical or Romantic texts, required some contact with the country and its people. However, for Americans, Greece was the lost country for both the Lost Generation and the generation after that. Greece had only slightly more literary travelers from Britain in the 1920s and 1930s. By the end of the 1930s, a new modern Greece had still not emerged in English writing. From 1929 to 1934, authors experimented with tragic Greece, the Byzantine legacy, and Cavafian Athens, and these ideas have all to some degree been subsumed into what we now think of as “Greece”. But none of them gained a wide following, especially in the years that followed. The drought in writing about Greece from 1935 to 19389 was just as bad as the one that had lasted from 1924 to 1929.

Keywords: lost country; Lost Generation; modern Greece; Greeks; English writing

Chapter.  9967 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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