Island Literary Escapes – Reading Retreats on Greek Ferries

Island Literary Escapes Reading Retreats on Greek Ferries

The best way to explore the Greek islands is by ferry. These short trips are inexpensive and allow you to visit multiple island destinations.

With her tumbling curls and amusing banter, Oana is not your typical hotelier. But since moving to Syros on a wing and a prayer, she has come to know everyone and everything worth knowing about this idiosyncratic island.

1. The Book of Revelations

The Book of Revelation, the last book in the Christian Bible, is often regarded as mysterious and beyond comprehension. Its use of symbolic images, mythological creatures, and numbers, especially the number seven (the biblical symbol of God or heavenly things) along with its description of a throne room and a war between good and evil, have fueled speculation about hidden meanings that are meant to be understood by experts only.

Nonetheless, Revelation is the only apocalyptic book in the New Testament and occupies a central place in Christian eschatology. In this workshop, bestselling author and speaker Nancy Guthrie gives individuals and small groups a friendly, theologically reliable, and robust guide to understanding this challenging book.

The island motif is a powerful setting for literature. It can represent a fantasy world, as in Agatha Christie’s The Mysteries of Udolpho or a claustrophobic prison as in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. But islands can also be sites of encounter, introducing us to other cultures and worlds that upset our epistemological systems. This is the theme that runs through island fiction from Greco-Roman antiquity to contemporary times, creating new parameters for the zone of cultural translatability.

2. The Lost Symbol

This unit for Book Three of Gordon Korman’s Island series is a great resource to use with unmotivated readers, learning support students, boys and girls who don’t enjoy reading, and more. The unit includes a comprehensive literature guide with reading comprehension questions and quizzes for each chapter and a 20-point test for the entire book.

Throughout history, the idea of islands has served as a metaphor for utopias/dystopias, Edens, Arcadias, nations, and cultural crossroads. This critical topos has been explored as a mode of mediation in the representation of culture, and it continues to be a significant part of literary theory as we see new variations on the theme appearing in contemporary fiction.

Dan Brown’s 2009 novel The Lost Symbol is an exploration of Freemasonry and the search for higher knowledge, and it features many well-known American historical figures who were Masons. Its decision to be adapted into a television show was based on the fact that it had clear thematic resonance with previous movies in the Robert Langdon franchise, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. The series was canceled after one season, but it remains available to watch on sibling NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock.

3. The Aeneid

As a metaphor for other worlds, islands have occupied the literary imagination from antiquity to modern times. These other worlds have been variously depicted as utopias/dystopias, Edens/Arcadias, nations and, more recently, as metatexts at cultural crossroads.

The story of Aeneas is a complex narrative about heroism, hubris and divine justice. The Sibyl foresees Aeneas’ adventures and attends him to hell, describing the different scenes of that place. She also instructs him in the sublime mysteries of transmigration and teaches him that glorious race of heroes was from a semi-divine origin.

This narrative carries the themes of family and identity, love and loss, and the nature of truth within history. Aeneas is a hero who makes sacrifices for his loved ones. His descendants are the Etruscans and Latins who then battle with each other. Eventually the Trojans, led by Aeneas, prevail over the Latins, Turnus being killed, and they found Lavinium. This was the end of a bloody war that lasted seven years. Byron’s poetic nostalgia and Baudelaire’s Romantic sentimentality are both expressions of this island theme.

4. The Odyssey

The Odyssey is the longer of Homer’s two epic poems and tells of Odysseus’ ten-year journey home after the Trojan War. Its importance lies in the fact that it places greater emphasis on Odysseus as wanderer and tale teller than does the Iliad. Moreover, the Odyssey uses folklore motifs more frequently to convey its message.

One example occurs when Odysseus sends out a scouting party to visit Circe’s island. There, they are welcomed by a hospitable and charming goddess. But when she reveals her scheming by giving them a potion that erases their memories of their return home, they realize that she is a witch. Only Eurylochus, who is wise to her ways, has the courage to resist her and warn his comrades.

The Odyssey also contrasts the lawless brutes of the Cyclops with the civilized Phaeacians. In Books 9 to 12, Odysseus demonstrates his judgment by questioning the loyalties of those he encounters. This is a key theme in the poem, and it is important for readers to understand that Odysseus’ character develops during his travels.

5. The Iliad

Homer’s Iliad is a tragic epic poem about the Trojan War, focusing on the Greek warrior Achilles. It contains many themes including kleos (glory), pride, fate and wrath. The poem is also notable for its detailed descriptions of ancient war instruments and tactics, fewer female characters and prominent role played by the Olympian gods, both assisting their favoured warriors on the battlefield and interfering in personal disputes.

The story of the Iliad is well known, and it is likely that the original audience was familiar with it through generations of oral tellings and retellings. This is reflected in the repetition of epithets, introductory phrases and fighting descriptions in the text.

Despite the fact that scholars believe the original manuscript to be incomplete, notably missing Book 10, the Iliad is considered to represent a significant part of Homer’s legacy and remains an important work in world literature. The work has inspired many works of art, including the opera King Priam by Michael Tippett. Christa Wolf’s novel Cassandra is a critical engagement with the poem and presents a feminist view of the Iliad and of warfare.