Dreams of freedom and irresponsibility

The English journalist and author Polly samson (do not call here Mrs. David Gilmour) is based on written source material in his new novel A Theater for Dreamers , as well as on the photographs of Johnston's friend – the then Athens – based photojournalist James Burke, who in 1960 took 1573 Leica photographs for LIFE.

Hydra anno 1960

The port of the Greek island Hydra is built like a marble amphitheater. The extras and stage workers are men unloading ships, and sacks of sand, boxes of tangerines and clay jars are sent from shoulder to shoulder and down on wooden carts. The fishermen shout for scuba divers, baskets of squid are put on the quay.

At the harbor cafe sits a tanned superstar, the Australian essayist Charmaine Clift with her husband George Johnston, the war journalist from LIFE Magazine. Both drink more, write more, swear more and help others more than anyone else in the artist colony at Hydra, 1960. A young Canadian poet, Leonard Cohen, has just moved in with Charmaine,. . .

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