BOOK REVIEW / Bookshop Window: Greece: A Literary Companion, Ed. Martin Garrett: John Murray, pounds 16.99

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The Independent Culture
This slim but erudite volume is just right for the knapsack or jacket pocket. All the old favourites are here, from Byron to Edward Lear. But so too are offbeat delights. Maria Callas remembers Communists sniping at people waiting for a bus in an Athens suburb on her 21st birthday in 1944. George Seferis, Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell all rhapsodise over the charming but unfashionable island of Poros, 'obviously designed by demented Japanese schoolchildren with the aid of Paul Klee and Raoul Dufy' according to the latter. David Ben-Gurion recalls Salonika as a great Jewish city before the First World War. William Golding stands on the Acropolis with his back to the temples, admiring the industrial gloom of the ugly port. 'Now this is what I call the right way to look at the Parthenon,' he gloats. Wonderful stuff.

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