PORTRAIT OF GREECE by Nicholas Gage

PORTRAIT OF GREECE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, who fled his Greek village as a boy in the wake of first German and then ""Communist-dominated"" guerrilla forces, supplies a personal dimension to this portrait which wavers between Holiday euphoria and knowledgeable cultural and scenic detail. Apropos of the current political climate, Mr. Gage has amassed a variety of assessments pro and con but he seems to favor the view that most Greeks, particularly the rural villagers and rising bourgeois, prefer stability and a certain material gain to the upheavals of recent memory; police torture, censorship of news and restriction of education do not affect the majority. There are pleasant chapters concerning language, religion, ancient sites and current social mores, and the ""Special Interest Guide"" prepared by Mary Ann Weaver should also be useful to the casual tourist. Mr. Gage is guilty at times of meaningless generalizations: the Eastern church's ""faith is based not on the idea of God's justice but His love"" (within the enormous range of Western Christian theology an odd distinction); ""every Greek is as much a pragmatist as a poet."" There is also an inordinate amount of chest thumping about the ""sexual success"" of the Greek male apparently based on the domestic repression of Greek women.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1971
Publisher: American Heritage