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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Half the Perfect World : Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'`Their years in the Aegean may have been half perfect at best, but it was on Hydra that they connected to a place, a lifestyle and a community that allowed them to live and express themselves intensely, and as they wished. They refused to believe their dreams were an illusion, or that boldness, ambition and a leap-of-faith might not allow them to reach beyond the constraints of their birthright'.

'Half the Perfect World tells the story of the post-war international artist community that formed on the Greek island of Hydra. Most famously, it included renowned singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and his partner Marianne Ihlen, as well as many other artists and writers including the Australian literary couple, Charmian Clift and George Johnston, who fostered this fabled colony.

'Drawing on many previously unseen letters, manuscripts and diaries, and richly illustrated by the eyewitness photographs of LIFE magazine photo-journalist James Burke, Half the Perfect World reveals the private lives and relationships of the Hydra expatriates. It charts the promise of a creative life that drew many of them to the island, and documents the fracturing of the community as it came under pressure from personal ambitions and wider social changes. For all the unrealised youthful ambitions, internal strife and personal tragedy that attends this story, the authors nonetheless find that the example of these writers, dreamers and drifters continues to resonate and inspire.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • In May 2019, it was reported that Half the Perfect World would be adapted for film. The film adaptation rights were acquired by Cascade Films. (Books + Publishing News)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Clayton, Murrumbeena - Oakleigh - Springvale area, Melbourne South East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Monash University Publishing , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6592662667708491635.jpg
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      Extent: 304p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 1st October 2018

      ISBN: 9781925523096

Works about this Work

Vanished Bohemia Emma Fajgenbaum , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , February no. 158 2019; (p. 56-58)

— Review of Half the Perfect World : Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964 Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2018 multi chapter work biography

'My Brother Jack, George Johnston’s tilt at the Great Australian Novel, is distinguished for being penned from afar—not from Patrick White’s England, nor from Christina Stead’s adopted America, but from a place altogether more foreign and remote: the island of Hydra in Greece’s Saronic Gulf.'  (Introduction)

Review of Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964, by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell Susan Lever , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , December vol. 33 no. 4 2018;

— Review of Half the Perfect World : Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964 Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2018 multi chapter work biography
The Audacious Bite of Decision' : Hydra's Cast of Characters Brian Matthews , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 406 2018; (p. 35-36)

'In August 1964, Charmian Clift returned to Australia from the Greek island of Hydra after nearly fourteen years abroad. As Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell portray her return – a description based, as always in this book, on solid or at least reasonably persuasive evidence – she ‘was leaving her beloved Hydra forever, with the pain of her departure sharpened by the sting of humiliation and exile’. By the time the return voyage had begun, she later recalled, ‘the audacious bite of decision has long since been blunted … The freshness of the adventure has worn off and uncertainty, alas, is practically all that remains.’' (Introduction)

Review of Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964, by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell Susan Lever , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , December vol. 33 no. 4 2018;

— Review of Half the Perfect World : Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964 Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2018 multi chapter work biography
Vanished Bohemia Emma Fajgenbaum , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , February no. 158 2019; (p. 56-58)

— Review of Half the Perfect World : Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964 Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2018 multi chapter work biography

'My Brother Jack, George Johnston’s tilt at the Great Australian Novel, is distinguished for being penned from afar—not from Patrick White’s England, nor from Christina Stead’s adopted America, but from a place altogether more foreign and remote: the island of Hydra in Greece’s Saronic Gulf.'  (Introduction)

The Audacious Bite of Decision' : Hydra's Cast of Characters Brian Matthews , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 406 2018; (p. 35-36)

'In August 1964, Charmian Clift returned to Australia from the Greek island of Hydra after nearly fourteen years abroad. As Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell portray her return – a description based, as always in this book, on solid or at least reasonably persuasive evidence – she ‘was leaving her beloved Hydra forever, with the pain of her departure sharpened by the sting of humiliation and exile’. By the time the return voyage had begun, she later recalled, ‘the audacious bite of decision has long since been blunted … The freshness of the adventure has worn off and uncertainty, alas, is practically all that remains.’' (Introduction)

Last amended 28 May 2019 09:56:27
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  • Hydra, Greek islands,
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    Greece,
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    Western Europe, Europe,
  • 1955-1964
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