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Keywords: Gillian Bouras

  • INTERNATIONAL

    A Peloponnesian Anzac

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 April 2022
    3 Comments

    The lives of migrants often consist of divisions and collisions at the border between the old life and the new. But sometimes both lives come together in unexpected ways, and one such conjunction is about to happen to me. On Anzac Day my granddaughter will join the great flow of Orthodoxy, but I hope one day she will know about her little trickle of Australian blood. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Power but no glory

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 March 2022

    People who understand more about international affairs than I do tell me that the Ukrainian/Russian matter is complex, but to me the matter seems simple enough, involving the obsessions of a powerful man, and the suffering of an innocent population. As usual, it is the women and the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, while President Putin remains supremely indifferent to their fate. And, as so often, I wonder what makes him tick.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kermit and the green-eyed monster

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 22 February 2022
    12 Comments

    Kermit the Frog, of enduring Muppets and Sesame Street fame, was always a favourite with my children and me: he was so amusing and appealing, and also had a way of unobtrusively communicating simple goodness along with the occasional moral message. He was also concerned with the most important matter of the self, so that in his most famous song he puts a positive spin on the matter of greenness, the colour of envy and jealousy. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    From before the flood

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 January 2022
    8 Comments

    I’m not sure that my Greek grandchildren know the word antediluvian or whether they have heard of Methuselah, but they certainly consider me an ancient relic who occasionally tells tall tales and true from the legendary past, and from another land. Of course they are unable to conceive of life or domestic space without screens: even my youngest grandchild, who has just had her first birthday, knows when a Skype call is imminent, and coos accordingly.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The sovereign good

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 November 2021
    20 Comments

    Attitudes towards truth have changed. Now we accept the idea that there are different sorts of truth: the phrases historical truth, narrative truth and emotional truth come trippingly off the lips of vast numbers of people. Then there are the complex notions of fantasy and fiction: we have long subscribed to the notion of novelists making up various ‘lies’ or fantasies in order to tell underlying truths about human nature. But we also have to accept, I think, that a gentleman’s word is no longer his bond.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Revisiting American Dirt

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 November 2021
    12 Comments

    Writers inevitably learn bitter lessons, including one about readers who will be wounded, hurt, or at least deeply offended by their work. There is usually more than one group of these, for people become upset for reasons that are many and varied. Such is the case in the reaction to Jeanine Cummins’ fourth book, American Dirt. Cummins has been variously accused of stereotyping, racism, narcissism, and of lacking in empathy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The matter of trust

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 19 August 2021
    9 Comments

    My son’s Athenian flat was burgled last month. I had been visiting Athens for the first time in more than a year, and so was with the family when they arrived back, after a fairly brief evening absence, to sheer chaos. Anybody who has had this experience will be able to picture the scene: every drawer and cupboard had been opened, with the contents spilled and strewn everywhere. Even the loft had been checked.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The value of novels

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 July 2021
    19 Comments

    I was at university when I first heard of the so-called death of the novel, and was frightened by the thought. But I’ve since heard the phrase many times during the ensuing decades, and am cheered by the fact that so far the novel has clung to life, albeit precariously, while novelists persist in writing, despite the many drawbacks attendant upon the practice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A new view of exile

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 18 May 2021
    18 Comments

    Even though I tried to count my blessings and to avoid my besetting sin of self-pity, migration was hard. And decades later I still think it was hard. Sometimes I wonder how I survived it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Remembering revolution

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 March 2021
    9 Comments

    In normal times this month would be one of great celebration in Greece and throughout the diaspora, for 25 March marks 200 years since the Greeks rose in revolt against the Ottoman Turks. But not this year: student parades have been banned, while military ones will go ahead with strict safety measures in place.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tattoos and the endless learning curve of life

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 11 March 2021
    26 Comments

    Of my three sons, two have tattoos. Not all-over body-as-art ones, but tattoos, nonetheless, with my army son leading the way. When he rang to tell me about this new venture, I sarcastically remarked that the only way I could cope with a tattoo was that if it depicted a heart, an arrow and the message MUM. Needless to say, a guffaw greeted this remark.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    On the beach, in the storm

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 February 2021
    15 Comments

    It was all very quiet, and the waterfront was practically deserted. But I suddenly noticed a sole woman right at the water’s edge. She had her back to me, but I saw her lift what was clearly an icon, which she then venerated. I couldn’t hear her precise words, but it seemed obvious she was repeating the forms of the liturgy to herself.

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