Alexander Chee on Rediscovering Art for Pleasure in Greece

Longreads

In creating a routine “entirely alien to his normal life,” Alexander Chee attempted a real vacation from his work as a writer on a recent trip to Greece. For the New York Times, he sketches his way around Sifnos, capturing both the “least famous” Greek island and his memories of it in a Moleskine notebook. In rediscovering the pure pleasure of art, he draws fresh strength to fuel his writing. (You can read the first chapter, The Queen of the Night, Chee’s latest novel, here.)

Drawing is an excellent way to remember a place. In my mind I can still see clearly the towns I drew and the mornings I spent there.

When I left on the ferry home, I could feel I had in fact relaxed, deep down, in some way that was entirely new to me. But also, drawing had opened that new door to…

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