The Greek Islands In Literature
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The Greek Islands In Literature

Always the place where a story in a literature book goes along has been proved crucial for the success of this book. A perfect landscape that gives to the readers the opportunity to wander mentally on a place that many people dream to travel to is the Greek islands. Through literature the reader will discover unknown places of unique beauty, will be initiated to the perception of them, will examine the meaning of figure and forms of landscapes and will be forgotten centuries through the looking for the art. The wander could be continued with the reader talking of the ideas of the wise for speech per period of time that the story refers to. This category of literature touches the Mediterranean as a common meeting place of great litterateurs of the world from the ancient time to the present time.

The first novel - and one of the most significant novels of the world- that takes place in the middle of the Aegean sea and reveals the thought and the myths of the ancient Greece is of course the epic tale “Odyssey” by Homer ca 700 B.C. The hero, Odysseus travels by his boat together with his fellow soldiers from the coasts of Asia minor towards his home place the island Ithaca. During this travel he deals with a lot of difficulties and hostile mythical creatures and he becomes the symbol of the man that fights to return to his home place, the place where his family lives. An interesting and attractive text with a rich plot, language and depth of ideas , characters and a sense of life in the ancient Greece. Most impressive of all these is the islands that the reader meets together with Odysseus, the Greek exotic islands where everything is possible, islands that give to the hero- and to the reader too- the wisdom of an adventurous trip .

In the recent time, Greek poetry with great poets like George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis (both honored with Nobel prize of literature) glorified the Aegean sea emphasizing the power of the Aegean light and sea, the elements that join the spirit of Homer with the Greek landscape. In their poetry these elements are transfigured into global ideas such as justice, love and humanity. They both talk about Greek history and Greek nature beauty in order to present the Greek culture in a magical, poetical myth.

The Aegean sea has been inspiration and central theme of a very famous novelist ; Julius Verne. He wrote the novel “Archipelago in fire”a pure Greek book that takes place and refers to the Greek revolution against ottomans in 1821.

Another book about Greek islands is “ Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter” by Thomas Cahill. It’s a try to explore “the hinges of history” as the writer claims. The story transfers the reader three millennia ago and meets the art and wars of a glorious civilization in the cities of Athens, Sparta and of course in the Greek islands .

Nikos Kazantzakis, describes the spirit of Greek life in his novel “Zorba the Greek”, mostly based on Greek islands, a spirit that is defined by love, wine, dance and freedom in harmony with the landscape of the country.

Santra Vretta wrote the book : “Aegean sea”, a very interesting book about the variety of the attractions and history of the Aegean islands, like the volcano eruption of Santorini, the architecture and sculpture through different historic periods all combined by rich illustration and a useful guide of Museums in Greek islands.

“The lost island” was written by M. Karagatsis in 1943. The story is about a shipwreck in a Greek island where the landscape changes and becomes a symbol of a place of mystery and self isolation. Still remains an attractive place that calls us to meet.

Sailing in the Greek islands is also the main theme of two Greek novels “Anemolia” by I. Zgouros and “ Floating islands” by J. Miggas. Both novels talk about a company that travels by sailboat round the Greek islands and at the same time the members of the boat travel into the past, the time , the memories, fantasy and they seek the essence of life and friendship.

We could mention a lot more books about the Mediterranean sea but the trait of all them would be without any doubt , the deep blue of the sea, the mystery and the call to discover and live – even for a short time- in this scenery.

Greek islands sailing with a crewed sailboat charter in Cyclades


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