The Greek Islands, by Lawrence Durrell (first edition 1978; out of print, but available)
In The Greek Islands, Lawrence Durrell guides readers on an island-by-island tour, weaving together “evocative description, myth, architectural and archaeological details, and personal reminiscence.” By book’s end, readers will want to follow in Durrell’s footsteps to the “sun-drenched” islands he knew so well.
“The nagging question, ‘In what way does Greece differ from Italy and Spain?’ will answer itself. The light! One hears the word everywhere ‘To Phos’ and can recognize its pedigree – among other derivatives is our English word ‘phosphorescent’, which summons up at once the dancing magnesium flare quality of the sunlight blazing on a white wall; in the depths of the light there is blackness, but it is blackness which throbs with violet – a magnetic unwearying ultra-violet throb. This confers a sort of brilliant skin of white light on material objects, linking near and far, and bathing simple objects in a sort of celestial glow-worm hue.” – from The Greek Islands, by Lawrence Durrell