Download A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan by Michael Herzfeld PDF

By Michael Herzfeld

Michael Herzfeld describes what occurs while a paperwork charged with old conservation clashes with a neighborhood population adversarial to the kingdom and suspicious of tourism. targeting the Cretan city of Rethemnos, as soon as a middle of studying less than Venetian rule and later inhabited via the Turks, he examines significant questions confronting conservators and electorate as they negotiate the "ownership" of background: Who defines the prior? To whom does the prior belong? what's "traditional" and the way is that this made up our minds? Exploring the meanings of the outfitted atmosphere for Rethemnos's population, Herzfeld reveals that their curiosity in it has extra to do with own histories and the instant social context than with the formal background that pulls the conservators. He additionally investigates the population' social practices from the standpoints of family and kinfolk staff, political organization, local, gender ideology, and the consequences of those on attitudes towards domestic possession. within the face of modernity, the place culture is an item of either reverence and commercialism, Rethemnos emerges as an incredible ethnographic window onto the ambiguous cultural fortunes of Greece.

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Additional info for A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town (Princeton Studies in Culture, Power, History)

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In the early years of the Turkish occupation, as perhaps also at a comparable 28 CHAPTER ONE stage of the Venetian period, prostitutes were sometimes women raped by the invaders or their officials and therefore unable to marry (Stavrinidis 1 9 8 6, I : 94-96 ) . While the Turkish authorities sometimes attempted to limit b oth the prostitution and concubinage of Christian women, as well as the infanticide that often ensued from unwanted pregnancies (Deto­ rakis 1 9 8 6 : 2 8 8-2 8 9 ) , their efforts were often cursory and u ltimately un­ s uccessful.

Rethemnos exemplifies the often stormy tension between a powerful model of a monumentalized "European" culture and the lov­ able imperfections of experienced social life with its more fragmented, p olyphonous pasts . The poems of Yoryis Kalomenopoulos ( 1 9 6 4 ) are de­ scriptive tableaux that revive the intimacy of Christian-Muslim interac­ tion in the marketpl ace, the harbor, and the coffee shops of Rethemnos before the enforced departure of the Muslims in the mid- 1 920s. They, THE TOWN OF THE TALE 25 too, portray the precarious balance between East and West, rusticity and cosmopolitanism, the rough Cretan camaraderie and the "patisserie-con­ fiserie" that was still a fond memory for one of my older and more con­ servative friends and that was the last trace left by the "international [peacekeeping] forces" that briefly occupied to Rethemnaki ( "little Re­ themnos " ) in 1 8 9 8 on the eve of Cretan independence ( Kalomenopoulos 1 964 : 1 26 ) .

It is a true agro-town. Most of its inhabitants hail from hinterland villages and represent immigration to the town within the past quarter of a century. While the same process has been going on for years, the yearning for urban comforts certainly fueled a considerable acceleration from about 1 9 60 on. Virtually all the Rethem­ niots who immigrated within two generations o f the present own land in their ancestral villages ; moreover, since a common pattern is for marriage between people from different villages to lead to residence in town, most such families have agricultural properties in at least two different places and continue to assume responsibility for their cultivation.

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