Out of the sea, as if Homer himself had arranged it for me, the islands bobbed up, lonely, deserted, mysterious in the fading light...I had everything a man could desire, and I knew it. I knew too that I might never have it again. I felt the war coming on - it was getting closer and closer every day. For a little while yet there would be peace and men might still behave like human beings. Just before the outbreak of World War II, the American Henry Miller, who had been living in Paris after the publication of his novels "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn", took a boat to Athens in the heat of summer. There he met his friend Lawrence Durrell, who took him to Corfu. Miller's exploration of Greece - Athens, the islands and the Pelopponese - was later described by him as the 'high water mark in life's adventures thus far'. In beautiful and passionate prose, he perfectly captures the splendour and magic of the country, concentrating not only on the landscape but also the people. His classic narrative is peppered with fabulous portraits of poets and artists, chief among them Katsimbalis, the Colossus himself.
Henry Miller was born in New York in 1891, and left for Europe in 1930. His autobiographical novel Tropic of Cancer, a frank account of an artist's adventures in Paris, was published in Paris in 1934, supported by his lover Anais Nin, but banned for decades in Britain and the USA. His other works include Tropic of Capricorn published in 1939.