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April 25 , 2010

Narratives of Cyprus

Modern Travel Writing and Cultural Encounters since Lawrence Durrell


Unease has marked relations between modern travel writers and the people of Cyprus. Visitors like Lawrence Durrell, Colin Thubron, Christopher Hitchens and Sebastian Junger have registered the effects of political strife on both the people of the island and those who visit from abroad. Their accounts demonstrate how geopolitical realities-such as colonization, insurgency, inter-communal warfare, and now decades of militarized ‘peace’-shape the narrating self and its relations to others. Here, Jim Bowman assesses the effects of Cypriot history on writings about the island through an analysis of memoirs, travelogues, political journalism, guide books and ethnographies. Through this examination of popular texts, Bowman shows how a western and politicized image of Cyprus has been created, increasingly divorced from the realities experienced by the local population. Narratives of Cyprus is an important reassessment of Cyprus’ place in British culture, and will be of interest to scholars and students of Anthropology, English Literature and Ethnographic Studies.

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