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Life Arts

A Review of Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily, by David Randall-MacIver

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"Where the little river Liris runs into the Gulf of Gaeta, seventy miles south of Rome, may be placed the natural boundary between central and southern Italy."

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The Gulf of Gaeta

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So begins "Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily," a beautiful little 224-page book written by David Randall-MacIver and published in 1931.

This year puts the book pretty much squarely in the middle of the period written about by Paul Fussell in "Abroad," a highly original and informative study of English literary travelogues written between the world wars, and the minor key of Greek Cities is indeed the travelogue. The absence of David Randall-MacIver from Abroad suggests that he was both too academic and too little literary to be included in Mr. Fussell's book, which makes sense to me, and it makes Greek Cities even more extraordinary to my mind.

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"How could I fail to speak with difficulty? I have new things to say." I graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 but have never practiced. Instead, I dropped back five years and joined The Movement, but it wasn't until the 1970's that I (more...)
 

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