Cover image for Inventing paradise : the Greek journey, 1937-47
Inventing paradise : the Greek journey, 1937-47
Keeley, Edmund.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.
Physical Description:
viii, 289 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3525.I5454 Z713 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the looming shadow of an oppressive dictatorship and imminent world war, George Seferis and George Katsimbalis, along with other poets and writers from Greece's fabled Generation of the 1930s, welcomed Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell to their homeland. Together, as they spent evenings in Athenian tavernas, explored the Peloponnese, swam off island beaches, and considered the meaning of Greek life and freedom and art, they seemed to be inventing paradise. In a lyrical blend of personal memoir, literary criticism, and interpretative storytelling, Edmund Keeley takes readers on a journey into the poetry, friendships, and politics of this extraordinary time. A remarkable work of cultural history and imaginative criticism, his book recreates a lost paradise of immediate charm, literary greatness, and mythic reach.

Author Notes

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

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 The First Edenp. 3
2 Island of the Almost Blestp. 27
3 The Mythmakersp. 50
4 Voyaging into the Lightp. 78
5 Of Goods, Demigods, and Demonsp. 99
6 Garden of Earthly Delightsp. 128
7 Sailing Out of Paradisep. 160
8 Eden Burningp. 193
9 Rising from the Ashesp. 223
Bibliographical Notep. 255
Notesp. 257
Indexp. 279