EYE OF THE XENOS

SOCIETY

As a recipient of my regular “Eye of the Xenos” column in the English edition of Kathimerini, you will be aware that I have been contributing to Kathimerini since January 2018.


another-megali-idea
OPINION

Unlike Greece, Ireland had its civil war immediately after the war of independence in 1922. 

lies-and-half-truths
OPINION

What do the Prespes agreement, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Boris Johnson have in common? They are all involved with nationalism, populism, lies, half-truths and illegality.

challenging-received-wisdom
OPINION

There are silent truths and there are silent lies. Silent truths are usually so self-evident (“night follows day”) that we don’t need to articulate them. Lies of silence are more potent. 


the-destruction-of-the-real-corfu
OPINION

The Greek proverb is: To cut down an olive tree is like killing a man. If so, then last month a mass murderer committed a chainsaw massacre to make way for four holiday apartments.

balkanized-britain
OPINION

“Balkans” is a movable term. Not only do borders have a mysterious habit of moving in the night – and sometimes in the broad light of day – but the entire landmass known as “the Balkans” is an amorphous compound of ideas, languages, religions, ethnicities, and, perhaps above all, atmospheres. 

only-superpowers-win-at-geopolitics
OPINION

With the Balkan situation so volatile, and public opinion so divided on issues relating to identity and self-determination, the word “nationalism” is getting a bad press.


a-brit-on-brexit
OPINION

I am pro-European in many respects, yet, having been born and educated in London I retain a strong sense of what it means to be English. Not British – English.

the-art-of-translation
OPINION

How clever of the Romans to have pushed “translation” into pole position in our vocabulary, superseding the Greek “metaphrasi.” So much so that few today recognize “metaphor” as the equivalent of “translation,” the carrying across of meaning from one language, one mind-set, one culture to another.

the-contemporary-appeal-of-islands
OPINION

Lawrence Durrell described the condition of “islomania” as “a rare but by no means unknown affliction of the spirit” in people who find islands “irresistible.” 



perennial-ills
OPINION

A very senior Greek diplomat recently accosted me with the question: “Why do you hate my country?” 

a-1922-novel-revisited
OPINION

In May, Corfiots “celebrated” the 154th anniversary of the day the United States of the Ionian Islands ceased to exist and became part of Greece.


you-can-t-put-a-price-on-heritage
OPINION

When the German tabloid Bild suggested that Greece should sell off Corfu and the Parthenon as part of its asset-stripping, they didn't know that Durrell had foreseen this many years ago.

similarities-between-greece-and-ireland
OPINION

The recent visit to Athens by Michael D. Higgins, president of Ireland, was a reminder of the great similarities and also the great differences between Greece and Ireland.

studying-the-insignificant
OPINION

When encountering a new country and its culture, I adopt two strategies: I visit the markets and I read the fiction.