Kazantzakis, Volume 2

Kazantzakis, Volume 2 : Politics of the Spirit

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Description

Putting Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis's vast output into the context of his lifelong spiritual quest and the turbulent politics of twentieth-century Greece, Peter Bien argues that Kazantzakis was a deeply flawed genius--not always artistically successful, but a remarkable figure by any standard. This is the second and final volume of Bien's definitive and monumental biography of Kazantzakis (1883-1957). It covers his life after 1938, the period in which he wrote Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ, the novels that brought him his greatest fame. A demonically productive novelist, poet, playwright, travel writer, autobiographer, and translator, Kazantzakis was one of the most important Greek writers of the twentieth century and the only one to achieve international recognition as a novelist. But Kazantzakis's writings were just one aspect of an obsessive struggle with religious, political, and intellectual problems. In the 1940s and 1950s, a period that included the Greek civil war and its aftermath, Kazantzakis continued this engagement with undiminished energy, despite every obstacle, producing in his final years novels that have become world classics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 640 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 39.12mm | 992g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 3 line illus.
  • 0691128138
  • 9780691128139

Back cover copy

"Bien's book is at once a comprehensive intellectual biography of its subject, and the definitive synthesis of many years of scholarship. With the first volume, it offers the fullest study of Kazantzakis's prodigious oeuvre ever published in any language. It admirably bridges the gap between readers worldwide who approach Kazantzakis's work through translation and specialists with access to the originals, and to the huge bibliography of minor and secondary material available only in Greek. It establishes the standard in Kazantzakis scholarship and will be an essential point of reference for all future studies of him."--Roderick Beaton, King's College London, author of George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel, A Biography

"This is a magisterial work, without equal in English or Greek, and promises to be the single most significant book on Kazantzakis for a generation, or more."--Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
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Table of contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xvii Technical Notes xix CHAPTER ONE: KAZANTZAKIS'S ATTRACTION TO FASCISM AND NAZISM IN THE 1930s 1 CHAPTER TWO: TRAVEL WRITING 16 CHAPTER THREE: SPAIN 22 CHAPTER FOUR: JOURNEY TO THE MOREA 33 CHAPTER FIVE: GREEK POLITICS, 1922-1936; METAXAS 43 CHAPTER SIX: WRITINGS CA. 1935-1939: JARDIN DES ROCHERS 60 CHAPTER SEVEN: WRITINGS CA. 1935-1939: OTHELLO RETURNS 81 CHAPTER EIGHT: WRITINGS CA. 1935-1939: MELISSA 86 CHAPTER NINE: WRITINGS CA. 1935-1939: JULIAN THE APOSTATE 100 CHAPTER TEN: PERIOD 1940-1944: THE ALBANIAN CAMPAIGN AND AXIS OCCUPATION 111 CHAPTER ELEVEN: BUDDHA 134 CHAPTER TWELVE: ALEXIS ZORBAS: A PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATION 144 CHAPTER THIRTEEN: ALEXIS ZORBAS: A POLITICAL INTERPRETATION 157 CHAPTER FOURTEEN: PROMETHEUS TRILOGY AND GREEKNESS 165 CHAPTER FIFTEEN: KAPODISTRIAS 197 CHAPTER SIXTEEN: CONSTANTINE PALAIOLOGOS 224 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: ATHENS, OCTOBER 1944-JUNE 1946 237 CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: LONDON AND PARIS, 2 JUNE 1946-2 JUNE 1948 273 CHAPTER NINETEEN: SODOM AND GOMORRAH 279 CHAPTER TWENTY: THE POLITICAL COMPREHENSIVENESS OF CHRIST RECRUCIFIED 292 CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE FRATRICIDES 328 CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: KOUROS 356 CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: KAZANTZAKIS'S FINAL PLAY 363 CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: O KAPETAN MIHALIS: AN EPIC MANQUE 372 CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: KAZANTZAKIS'S LONG APPRENTICESHIP TO CHRISTIAN THEMES 394 CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: THE LAST TEMPTATION AS A RELIGIOUS NOVEL 428 CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: IS THE LAST TEMPTATION A RELIGIOUS NOVEL OR A POLITICAL NOVEL? 442 CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: KAZANTZAKIS'S META-CHRISTIAN SAINT FRANCIS AS A MODEL OF SOUL-FORCE CREATING HIS OWN FATE 453 CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE: REPORT TO GRECO 524 APPENDIX. KAZANTZAKIS AND WOMEN 547 Notes 551 Bibliography 583 Index 603
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Review quote

"Although others have tried to account for Kanzantzakis's life and literary art, no other book so comprehensively and insightfully captures it like Politics of the Spirit. Readers will marvel at Bien's tirelessly attentive approach to historical detail and acclaim his adroit description of Kazantzakis's ironic soul. A sympathetic though not uncritical account of a flawed genius, this book is a towering achievement. Every reader of modern literature can learn from it."--Darren J. N. Middleton, Modernimsm/modernity "The sequel to Bien's very successful Kazantzakis: Politics of the Spirit consolidates our impressions of the first volume, creates an elaborate, almost complete picture of the Cretan author, and spreads the interest in Kazantzakis to a far greater audience."--Lena Arampatzidou, Hellenic Review "Bien is fair and balanced, and he avoids black-and-white simplifications. In a masterly manner, he sorts out the good from the bad, sensing what Kazantzakis was trying to achieve and seeing where he went wrong and where he got it right. Bien brilliantly shows how Kazantzakis progressed from his concern with politics, sensuality and ethics to a love of art."--Peter Mackridge, Journal of Hellenic Studies
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About Peter Bien

Peter Bien is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. His "Kazantzakis: Politics of the Spirit, Volume 1" was first published by Princeton in 1989 and was translated into Greek in 2001. It will be published in paperback by Princeton in February 2007. Bien has translated Kazantzakis's books "The Last Temptation of Christ, Saint Francis", and "Report to Greco" into English, and is the author of "Kazantzakis and the Linguistic Revolution in Greek Literature" (Princeton).
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