The Poetics of Manhood, Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village, by Michael Herzfeld
Published by Princeton University Press, 313 pages. Paperback (N2083)
Brand New Book
The Cretan mountain-dwellers are in particular famous for their sustained resistance to Turkish rule and then to German occupation. Their values, well-expressed in the motto of the Cretan writer Kazantzakis - 'I hope for nothing; I fear nothing; I am free' - made them heroes at times when such qualities were positively endorsed in a Greece fighting to escape foreign domination.
But today inevitably they are frowned on; Cretan shepherds are now caricatured as 'goat thieves and knife pullers', a survival of primitivism outrageous in a modern state.
Herzfeld's excellent and sensitive ethnography of the pseudonymous village and inhabitants of Glendi, a mountain village in central Crete, is concerned with just these attributes.....