The Greeks are all for chatter, and political chatter is the most seductive means of wasting time. Few Greeks read anything but newspapers, though literary coteries abound, usually revolving round the poets. If you ask why there aren't more novelists you are told the political situation makes it dangerous for Greeks to write novels. As so many Greeks have been prepared to die for their political beliefs, I can only feel that they are not prepared to forgo their chatter for the long and arduous stretches of seclusion which the writing of a novel demands. The chatter is amusing, stimulating, till you begin to see it as another kind of drug abuse. Then you long to escape from its clutches.
Patrick White: Flaws in the Glass. A Self-Portrait