Freedom and Death is Kazantzakis’s modern Iliad. Nikos Kazantzakis was born in in Herakleion on the island of Crete. During the. FREEDOM OR DEATH 1 NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS FREEDOM OR DEATH By Nikos Kazantzakis First published in Dear Friends, this is a backup copy of the. Zorba The Greek () and The Greek Passion () brought Kazantzakis critical attention and this new translation proves him to be among the major writers.

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FREEDOM OR DEATH by Nikos Kazantzakis | Kirkus Reviews

Michales suffers from the same demons as other men. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and the last scene, with Zorbas and Basil dancing like mad on the ruins of their failed mining facility, is one of my favourite movie scenes altogether.

The novel gives us many interesting glimpses into the life of a Cretan town in the late 19th century. Michales is the liberated spirit, refusing to be made into something he is not by a world unconcerned with individuals.

The various characters respond to these urges in different ways, but one man towers above them all: This site uses cookies. Anyway, thanks for your comment — I’ll try to avoid buying any further books by Kazantzakis, seeing that they can be had for free at nikks libraries I will try not to disappoint!

Anyway, little by little the Greeks realize that the Turkish army is too strong for them, and news reach them that they cannot expect any concrete support from mainland Greece, nor from the Great Powers not even Russia, to which some of them look with so much hope.

Retrieved from ” https: Tags booksbook reviewbooks. The word Captain is not used in fredom naval rank sense, but as the title of leader of guerilla group the writer’s father Michalis Kazantzakis was a leader of such a group, hence the title.

Zorba musical Zorba the Greek film.

It’s nice to see that our translator was more faithful to the original title, although the English translator’s decision to use Freedom and Death instead also has its merits I’ll have more to say on the title next week in Part 2 of this post. This is much more than a story about a long-ago rebellion on a distant island.



Set against this backdrop, the novel presents a number of little strands of story as we encounter numerous characters several times in the book and thus get the chance to observe their path through the tumultous events.

Michales is a chief, or Captain, of the Cretans in Megalokastro modern Heraklionthe city in which the Ottoman Pasha resides. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. So most of the Greek captains and their warriors accept the offers of amnesty, bury their weapons again and return to the same uneasy peace that had been broken a few months earlier.

This kazantzwkis definitely did not disappoint. However, the person who gets the most attention in the novel is one Captain Michales. He seems to pretty much wilfully deny himself any joy or pleasure in life, any lighthearted fun, as if this somehow hurt the cause that the lives for, i. Before reading this book, my only encounter with Kazantzakis was the fact that I once saw the film Zorba the Greek freeedom, based on one of his novels and with Anthony Quinn in the title role.

I suppose that a more experienced reader than me would probably say that kazahtzakis are merely old tricks of the genre, but I was almost truly touched by that scene. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Zorba The Greek and The Greek Passion brought Kazantzakis critical attention and this new translation proves him to be among the major writers.

#31: Freedom or Death by Nikos Kazantzakis

Kazantzakis is a native of Crete, and this book is certainly a powerful evocation of the spirit of his native island. He similarly feels contempt for his fellow Cretan patriot Captain Polyxigis, with whom they fought together in a previous uprising.

An insult to the Moslem populace causes him to kill Michaeles’ brother. Every few months Michales invites a few acquaintances to a feast lasting a whole week, during which he forces them as well as himself to drink almost without interruption; but the drink doesn’t seem to affect him, and he merely sits glumly and enjoys a kind of dark sense of contempt at the sight of the antics and carousings of his drunken companions 3. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


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ill-advised: BOOK: Nikos Kazantzakis, “Freedom and Death” [1/4]

I had a curious nikow while reading these kazantaakis scenes of the story; rationally I know what utter madness and insanity such a suicidal struggle is and it seems to me that Michales deahh this as wellbut at the same time I can almost feel my feet being lifted off solid ground and transported into some sort of atavistic fog in which blood spurts all round and a pointless and suicidal fight to the bitter end is somehow glorious, splendid and commendable. It is one of the most widely read books of modern Greek literature which has been translated and published in several languages.

Initially one has the impression that Michales is just a very ardent patriot, somewhat more fanatical than the majority perhaps, but little by little we come to realize that his obsessiveness transcends any sane definition of patriotism; he often gives us the impression of a akzantzakis possessed by demons, and he reminded me somewhat of the sort of romantic heroes that one encounters in Byron or Lermontov. He and his fellow palikars know that they are fighting a losing war.

Cover of the second edition in Greek, Athens The scene is Crete, about a century ago but there is no sense of detah or foreignness in the story of the bitter division of Greek Orthodox and Moslem, of honor and courage, treachery and death, and of the many actors who play their parts.