Saturday, December 13, 2014

Creases in the tissue

  .. as you get to know Europe
  slowly, tasting the wines,
  cheeses and characters of the
  different countries you begin
  to realise .. the spirit of
  place. Just as one particular
  vineyard will always give you
  a special wine with discernible
  characteristics so a Spain an
  Italy, a Greece will always ..
  express itself through the hu-
  man being just as it does
  through its wild flowers.

 I don't believe the British
 character, for example, or
 the German has changed a jot
 since Tacitus first described
 it; and so long as people keep
 getting born Greek or French
 or Italian their culture produc-
 tions will bear the unmistakable
 signature of the place.
 Greece, for example, cannot have
 a single real Greek left after
 hundreds of years of war and re-
 settlement.. Yet if you want a bit
 of real live Aristophanes you only
 have to listen to the chaffering
 of the barrowmen and peddlers in
 the Athens Plaka. Even a reserved
 British resident will begin using
 his fingers in conversation..

Landscape and Character
The [Sunday] New York Times
June 12, 1960
Spirit of Place
 Letters and Essays on Travel
Alan G. Thomas, editor
Leete's Island Books
New Haven, Connecticut

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