There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born ‘islomanes’…are the direct descendants of the Atlanteans, and it is towards the lost Atlantis that their subconscious yearns throughout their island life… This book is by intention a sort of anatomy of islomania, with all its formal defects of inconsequence and shapelessness: of conversations begun and left hanging in the air: of journeys planned and never undertaken: of notes and studies put together against books unwritten…. It is to be dedicated to the resident goddess of a Greek island—Rhodes. I should like, if possible, to recall some part of those golden years, whose ghosts still rise up and afflict me whenever I catch sight of a letter with a Greek stamp on it, or whenever, in some remote port of the world, I happen upon a derelict tanker flying the Aegean blue-and-white.
Lawrence Durrell – Reflections on a Marine Venus – Chapter I, extract.