Greek Visitors in Cyprus during the 20th Century: Experiences, Perceptions, Acceptances
Searching catalogues of works and descriptions by travellers concerning Cyprus, the first observation emerging is that the island has attracted great interest from foreign and mainly Greek visitors. The reasons for this phenomenon beg some questions. Many of the literary figures involved were widely known authors who documented their observations, and later published their experiences and perceptions accompanied by rich descriptions of the country.
Cyprus has a long history going back thousands of years and experiences of wars, occupation and constant transformation. Social, political and economic processes were set in motion after each historic episode, their consequences reflected in every-day life as well as in more collective responses. Many visitors inquired and have studied these responses. Works gradually multiplied so that they offer today a consistent body of work with valuable insights, especially during the 20th century, on which this paper will focus.
Despite stark contrasts, heterogeneous sources often also share common characteristics. Several examples will be looked at in this paper, e.g. literature books, travel guides etc. and a comparative approach will be used to trace the way key historical facts were presented. Variables such as visitors' origin, identity and timing are central in the analysis. Sources are initially documented and placed in context so that through this process we get to know the profile of the visitors, their motives, views, and their connections to the island. Finally an attempt is being made to evaluate the influence of their work on the general reading public.