Friday, July 31, 2009

Vintage pick: field taxidermy

We wanted to draw your attention to another little treasure Moufflon Nicosia is harboring - Polish author Waclaw Korabiewicz's Matto Grosso. The book is a travelogue from the 1950s that rather colourfully combines field taxidermy, the exploration of Brazil's Pantanal by canoe and bird watching, among other, equally special, pursuits. Take for example, this passage. If this doesn't wet your appetite for this book, I don't know what will!

"Our stuffing was academic stuffing, exclusively for the use of museums, and so we stuffed each bird in a stereotyped attitude, that of flight, but with shut wings, legs crossed and beak outstretched. We wrapped them in cloth, like Egyptian mummies, wrote a hieroglyphic sign and laid them in the case. Every week or two Tadeusz inspected the state of the collection and always found something wrong: either the feet had oozed grease, or ants had eaten a nostril (too little arsenic), or the feathers had become dishevelled".

"Stuffing can be very hard work, especially when you come up against a hawk. There is no need to fear going through its skin; it is tough as shoe leather, grown to the flesh and very difficult to separate.
As for the ururbu, it is better not to speak of it. And God preserve you from puncturing its stomach or entrails. These will be stuffed with a stinking mass of decomposed crocodile carrion, and the revolting mess will fall out over your hands and spread out over the table. Ugh!"

"Parrots, again, have unforgivably large beaks which make it impossible to draw the skins over their heads. You have to cut a nick in the neck and work the beak through the hole, which takes a lot of doing.
There's no disguising it - taxidermy is a mean occupation. Tadeusz and I both stuffed. He did it far more artistically than I, but he was dreadfully slow. He even did it with a certain relish, breathing and blowing into the feathers, smoothing and inspecting them against the light, as though he were making a doll. " (page 118)

Besides the wonderful cover art and delightful taxidermy descriptions, this book is a fascinating narrative of an expedition into Brazil's Mato Grosso ("thick woods"), one of the worlds most extraordinary regions. Look out for Moufflon Nicosia and the Pharos Art Foundation's Brazil programme in October.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The 13th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, Cyprus

The 13th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama is now in full swing and to celebrate, we found a copy of Kenneth Mackinnon's book "Greek Tragedy into Film" (1986). The annual festival, running from the 1st to the 31st of July 2009, features artists from places as diverse as Israel, Italy and Romania reinterpreting key Greek dramas. Greek drama continues to find and challenge new forms of performance and media and as such, Mackinnon's book reflects a renewed interest in the interrogration of these newer forms. He writes,

"Many interesting questions are raised by the transference of a highly stylised form such as Greek tragedy to what is often claimed to the 'realistic' medium of film: 'fidelity' appears to be a chimera, and Cacoyannis seems, paradoxically, more 'tragic' than his original, Euripides. What becomes clear is that the heroic myths retain wtih ease the power to move audiences in very different milieux through often strikingly different means".

This month's Drama Festival continues this investigation with new audiences in old spaces. Book your tickets to the National Theatre of Greece's production of Alcestis this weekend and Israel's Herzliya Ensemble's performance of Iphigenia at Aulis early next week. The festival runs across the island at theatres in Paphos, Limassol and Nicsia. For more information see pamphlet or ring 99 542 165.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The latest on Mediterranean archaeology has arrived.

Moufflon’s latest archaeological release:
Cyprus and the East Aegean: Intercultural Contacts from 3000-500BC
Vassos Karageorghis and Ourania Kouka (Eds.)
Language: English, soft cover, 264 pages, colour, black and white plates.
Moufflon price: €55,00 (incl. VAT)

Interested in Cypriot archaeology? Moufflon has the best collection of books on Cypriot anthropology and archaeology on the island. This is the latest collection of papers, resulting from an international archaeological symposium held at Pythagoreion, Samos in October 2008.

The research centres on a topic that is intent on holding the spotlight within Mediterranean archaeology. Modern trends in archaeology consider the Mediterranean a cultural lake in which Cyprus played a pivotal role from around 1500-500BC. People are now realising the significant role of intercultural relations in shaping the civilisations of the Aegean and the Western Mediterranean. In this new scenario, Cyprus plays an important role, not only as a place which receives foreign influences, but also as a place of cultural production which in turn influenced neighbouring civilizations.
Interested in purchasing?
Order online from (International shipping available).

Alternatively, call, fax or drop by:
Moufflon Bookshop,
PO Box 22375,
1521 Lefkosia
Tel: +357-22-665-155
Fax: +357-22-668-703

Monday, July 13, 2009

Caribbean Circuit by Sir Harry Luke (1950)

Caribbean Circuit by Sir Harry Luke

Sir Harry (1884-1969) served as the Private Secretary to the High Commissioner of Cyprus, a role that would lead him into a relationship with the island that lasted the span of 50 years. His job sent him on voyages to far flung places inspiring, in turn, a wealth of books and endless geographic articles on such locations as the South Pacific, Palestine and Cyprus.

He had a special relationship with Cyprus and its people. Legend has it that whenever Sir Harry was invited into a local home, he would make straight to the kitchen and involve himself in the rhythms of food prepreation. Many of the recipes he soaked up in these homes were included in his cookery book from 1954, The Tenth Muse.

The book pictured above, is included here due to a transformation brought about by its original owner. He/she has turned the book into an even greater treasure by his/her layering of newspaper aricles regarding Sir Harry and the Caribbean over numerous pages in the book, thus imbuing the book with a rather strange alternative historical reality.

The book sets exquisite photography amongst elegant writing. Add to this the layers of carefully cut out and pasted in clippings, the book becomes a work of art in itself. There are a multitude of stories and secrets to be discovered here...

Come into the shop and see for youself.

Diana Wood Conroy reads from her book "The Fabric of Ancient Theatre"

The Australian Broadcasting Company's show, "First Person", will be featuring Diana Wood Conroy, who in this rare oppurtunity will be presenting her own work, "The Fabric of Ancient Theatre" (Moufflon Publications Ltd).

The Fabric of the Ancient Theatre is an imaginative journey through the evolution of the theatre that uncovers the complex and layered world of the Eastern Mediterranean, both ancient and modern.

From the start of 27th of July, 2009, Diana will be broadcasting a readings of her works for a week. These recordings can be heard live and will continue to available for a month after. Interested listeners should click here to visit ABC's "First Person" site and follow the instructions there for the free subscription.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cyprus - rich grounds for inspiration

Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell, 1958 (SOLD)

We recieved this book today. Besides being blown away by the fabulous sixties design of the cover, Durrell's time spent living in Cyprus got us thinking about other authors to whom the island was either a motivational or inspirational space. Let's talk about Durrell first.
Durrell moved to Cyprus in 1952. The Durrell family's relationship with the Mediterranean was already well established from their years on Corfu (see Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals - a must-read for kids and adults alike). Durrell moved to Cyprus to write, but found himself working again for the British government in public relations. In the end, perserverance paid off. After publishing Bitter Lemons, the alternatively comic and serious, but nonetheless charming, portrayal of Cyprus and its people, Durrell started what has become known as his most famous and highest regarded work - The Alexandria Quartet, to which Balthazar (above) belongs.
"The lush and sensuous tetralogy, which consists of Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960), is set in Alexandria, Egypt, during the 1940s. Three of the books are written in the first person, Mountolive in the third. The first three volumes describe, from different viewpoints, a series of events in Alexandria before World War II; the fourth carries the story forward into the war years. The events of the narrative are mostly seen through the eyes of one L.G. Darley, who observes the interactions of his lovers, friends, and acquaintances in Alexandria. In Justine, Darley attempts to recover from and understand his recently ended affair with Justine Hosnani. Reviewing various papers and examining his memories, he reads the events of his recent past in romantic terms. Balthazar, named for Darley's friend, a doctor and mystic, reinterprets Darley's views from a philosophical and intellectual point of view. The third novel is a straightforward narrative of events, and Clea, volume four, reveals Darley healing, maturing, and becoming capable of loving Clea Montis, a painter and the woman for whom he was destined. -- The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature ".
Buy the Alexandria Quartet - Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea - from Moufflon by either sending us an email or contacting us through our website.


On behalf of all the staff at Moufflon Bookshop, Nicosia, Cyprus, we want to welcome you to our new blog where you can read our latest news, find info on newly released books, and other interesting titbits of information about Cyprus. We would love to hear from you! We welcome your comments within the blog itself or by emailing us at

For those of you interested in ordering books online, or simply finding out what types of books we have in our collection, please visit us here:

Moufflon team