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Sunday, 12 January 2020

Corfu: Edward Lear and Philip Sherrard. The New Barbarism

With great reluctance, I am going to quote once again from Philip Sherrard's Appendix Two (page 237) from his magnificent book, Edward Lear: The Corfu Years - A Chronicle Presented through his Letters and Journals (Denise Harvey, 1988).

I quoted the passage in my own book, The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History. There were very few negative comments in the book, but this is one passage that I couldn't avoid, alongside an article by Gerald Durrell published in the same period.

For the Sherrard quotation

A reader recently contacted me, wanting to discuss Sherrard's harsh comments, asking if things were really that bad in the late 1980's. Your views?

Here's the quotation. Philip Sherrard is expressing his own strong views about Corfu and 'The New Barbarism':

“Every stretch of it accessible by road or track has been so butchered and bartered, drawn and quartered, and so immersed and desolated beneath the ferro-concrete hideosity of hotel and boarding-house, discotheque, bar, cafeteria and chop-house ... and the other gimcrackery and detritus (plastic and mineral) of mass tourism, that one searches in vain, across the wreckage of this dishallowed world, for the virginal loveliness that confronted Lear at virtually every footstep. His beloved Palaiokastritsa, for example, is a total disaster, but it is absolutely no exception.”

Three images of Palaiokastritsa by Edward Lear:


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