Posts Tagged ‘darkness’

nostos and algos cover

ΟΡΚΟΣ

Στάθηκε στο παραπέτο του παλιού κάστρου

από κάτω μας η πεινασμένη άβυσσο

λίγο βαθύτερα η θάλασσα λαμποκοπούσε

κι ημερωμένα κύματα χαιδεύαν

το κίτρινο αμμουδερό ακρογιάλι

 

και σήκωσε το χέρι του οριζόντια

λες κι ορκιζόταν στ’ ατέλειωτο του ήλιου

σαν να υποσχόταν να ξαναγυρίσει

μιαν άλλη φορά σαν χρειαστούμε

καινούριο σύμβολο, κάποιον

που να σταθεί κατά της απληστίας

και της αδηφαγίας μερικών

 

που όλοι μέσα τώρα κολυμπούσαν

βολεμένοι και παχουλοί

στη πρόσκαιρη χαώδη χόρταση

και το κάστρο τούτο που δεν ανεχόταν

ηγέτες με τις παρωπίδες έτριξε κι ίσως

 

γι’ αυτό κι ο ήρωάς μας επέμενε να δείχνει

τη θάλασσα προς κάτω και σιγοπερπάταγε

προς την άκρη του τειχιού κι έκανε το σχήμα

του σταυρού πάνω απ’ το αιώνειο κενό

πριν αφεθεί στη λύτρωση του μηδενός

 

OATH

 

He stood at the edge of the old

castle’s parapet

below it the hungry abyss

even lower the gleaming sea

ready to splash its first wave

onto the yellow soft sandy beach

 

and he raised his arm

as though taking an oath

as though promising to come back

at another time when we’ll need

 

a new leader to guide us

to our final victory against

our own greed and gluttony that

we’re comfortably in

and exquisitely satisfied

 

and the old castle creaked as

it couldn’t tolerate leaders with blinkers

though our hero pointed to the horizon

while stepping on the parapet’s edge

and crossed himself over

the void before he flew

to the deliverance of emptiness

 

~Nostos and Algos, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC 2012

images

ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΑΣ

Στον ήλιο του Απόλλωνα μεγάλωσα

λεπτά εκφραστικά
μόνος στα σκοτεινά
πρoτού τα μάτια ανοίξω
είχα για συνοδία
το νόμο της αποτυχίας
που εγεννήθηκα τυφλός
μ’ είπαν κι αιρετικό
μια επανάσταση στη γέννησή της
πριν καν μια λέξη να ειπώ
κλάμα λυπητερό ή πόνου

συγκέντρωσα όλη τη δύναμή μου
το ραντεβού μου με το θάνατο εταχτοποίησα
ώρες πριν γεννηθώ
στα χέρια της μητέρας
νιογένητη γιορτή
λάθος επιτρεπταίο
δυο πόδια για να παρπατώ
μία καρδιά
για να αισθάνομαι
κι άλλα ανθρώπινα
μεγαλοσύνης σύσσημα
APOLLO

And I grew under Apollo’s sun

minutes of expressiveness
alone in darkness and
before I opened my eyes
I was accompanied
by the rule of failure
born blind and
accused of heresy
a revolution in its making
even before I could utter
a groan or a begging cry

I gathered all my strength
to pick a date with death
hours before I appeared
in my mother’s arms
newborn festivity
error permitted
two legs just to walk
a heart as if
to feel emotion and
other human traces
of grandeur
~Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη ΔΕΥΤΕΡΗ ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΔΙΑ//SECOND ADVENT OF ZEUS, by Manolis Aligizakis, συλλογή εν εξελίξει — collection in progress


Η ΟΡΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΕΡΩΤΑ

Τυφλώθηκα
γιατί έχασα την όραση του έρωτα
εκείνη που με τη δική της λειτουργία
κρατάει τα μάτια κλειστά
και δε μισεί το σκοτάδι.
Πιο πολύ με όσφρηση μοιάζει
αφού απ’ το πρόσωπο που αντικρύζεις
χύνεται ένα άρωμα
που μόνο εσύ μπορείς να μυρίσεις
μόνο απ’ τη δική σου αναπνοή αναβλύζει.
Χωρίς αυτή την όραση
μπροστά σου ίσως να περάσει
το ιδανικό είδωλο του πάθους
κι εσύ δεν το βλέεπις
δε βλέπεις τον καινούριο ουρανό
που κουβαλάει στη ράχη του
έναν ουρανό όπου η Δύση και Ανατολή
αγαπιούνται, χαμογελούν μαζί
και τρέφουν τα μαγικά παιγνίδια
της φαντασίας.
Τώρα, μες στον αόρατο νου μου
ξαναφέρνω ονειρα παλιά
μήπως και ξαναδώ
το φάντασμα του έρωτα.

THE VISION OF EROS

I went blind
since I’ve lost the vision of Eros
that with its power
keeps the eyes closed
and doesn’t hate darkness.
It relates to your smell
since you smell a fragrance
from the face you see
a fragrance only you can smell
it only springs out of your breath.
Without this vision
perhaps it may pass before you
a semblance of the ideal passion
though you won’t see it
you won’t see the clear sky
that it carries on its back
the sky where West and East
love each other, smile to each other
and inflame their magical games
of fantasy.
Now in my invisible mind
I recall old dreams
just as if I would see again
the ghost of Eros.

~Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, translated by Manolis Aligizakis

kiki-dimoula

ΜΕΛΑΓΧΟΛΙΑ

Στον ουρανό ακροβατεί μεγάλη σκοτεινιά.
Κι έτσι καθώς με πήρε το παράθυρο αγκαλιά
με το ένα χέρι
στο δωμάτιο μέσα σέρνω
του δρόμου την απίστευτη ερημιά
με το άλλο παίρνω
μια χούφτα συννεφιά
και στην ψυχή μου σπέρνω.

MELANCHOLY

A great darkness skates on thin ice upon the sky.
Thus as the window hugged me
with one hand
I pull inside the room
the unbelievable loneliness of the street
with the other hand
I grab a handful of darkness
and throw it on my soul

~ΕΡΕΒΟΣ-EREBUS, by KIKI DIMOULA, ΙΚΑΡΟΣ, 1956, // translated by Manolis Aligizakis

 

ΤΟ ΑΓΝΩΣΤΟ

Ήξερε τί παράσταιναν οι διαδοχικές του μεταμφιέσεις
(συχνά κι αυτές αναχρονιστικές και πάντα αόριστες)
τον ξιφομάχο, τον κήρυκα, τον ιερέα, τον σκοινοβάτη,
τον ήρωα, το θύμα, τον νεκρό, την Ιφιγένεια. Δεν ήξερε
εκείνον που μεταμφιεζόταν. Τα πολύχρωμα κοστούμια του
σωρός στο πάτωμα, καλύπτοντας την τρύπα του πατώματος,
και στην κορφή του σωρού το λαξευμένο, χρυσό προσωπείο,
και μες στο κούφωμα του προσωπείου το αχρησιμοποίητο πιστόλι.

THE UNKNOWN

He knew what his successive disguises stood for
(even them often out of time and always vague)
a fencer, a herald, a priest, a rope walker,
a hero, a victim, a dead, Iphigenia. He didn’t know
the one he disguised himself as. His colorful costumes
pile on the floor, covering the hole of the floor,
and on top of the pile the carved golden mask,
and in the cavity of the mask the unfired pistol.
ΤΟ ΑΔΙΕΞΟΔΟ

Με το φθινόπωρο ακούσαμε ξανά κάτω απ’ τις καμάρες
το κέρας των αρχαίων κυνηγών. Ο ραβδοσκόπος καθόταν στην
πόρτα.
Μπροστά στο Διοικητήριο έκαιγαν τους χαρταητούς. Λίγο πιο πέρα,
μονάχο το άγαλμα, γυμνό, τρέμοντας όλο πάνω στο βάθρο του,
(αυτό που τόσα είχα τραβήξει ώσπου να γίνει άγαλμα), αυτό,
ολότελα πια λησμονημένο, μελετούσε κρυφά, μέσα στην πέτρα,
ένα καινούργιο, εκπληχτικό διασκελισμό, που να επισύρει
την προσοχή των κυνηγών, του κρεοπώλη, του φούρναρη, της χήρας,
διαψεύδοντας ό,τι περσότερο είχε ονειρευτεί: την άσπιλη εκείνη,
την ένδοξή του, τη μαρμάρινη, την αναπαυτικά εσταυρωμένη ακι-
νησία.
DEAD END

In the fall we heard the ancient hunters’ horns
blare under the arches. The dowser
sat by the door.
In front of Government House they burned kites. Farther on
the statue was alone, naked, completely shivering on its pedestal,
(the one that had endured so much to become a statue),
now, totally forgotten, secretly contemplating in the rock
of a new amazing straddle, that would draw
the hunters’ attention, the butcher’s, the baker’s, the widow’s,
disproving what it had dreamed the most: its unblemished,
its glorified the made-of-marble comfortably crucified
motionlessness.

http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com
http://www.libroslibertad.ca
http://www.ekstasiseditions.ca

5428639632_7a02b23b3e_b

Αυτοκριτική / Self-critisism

Ζούμε με κοινότυπους αφορισμούς / We live with common aphorisms
Τα φαντάσματά μας επανέρχονται απρόσκλητα / Our ghosts come back uninvited
Το σαρκίο μας περιέχει μια περιορισμένη λογική / Our flesh contains a limited logic
Περιφέρει την εκκωφαντική του ασημαντότητα / Our flesh carries around its deafening insignificance
Δεν εξαφανιζόμαστε παρά προσδοκούμε / We don’t disappear we only expect
Οι κοινοί μας φόβοι είναι σαν εχθρικά πεδία / Our common fears are our hostile fields
Το ιδιωτικό μας κουβούκλι μοιάζει απόρθητο / Our private armory looks impregnable
Ποιος θα διακυβεύσει τις πράξεις μας; / Who will jeopardize our actions?
Κανένα κίνητρο δεν θα τις ανατρέψει / No motive will overthrow our actions
Περιφερόμαστε με τον μανδύα της αυτοπραγμάτωσής μας / Wandering around dressed in the cloak of our self-realism
Το είναι μας θρυμματίζεται σε εμπορεύματα / Our being is crumbled in consumerism
Το μέλλον μας είναι η υπεραξία του εγώ μας / Our future is the excess value of ourselves
Εξαπολύουμε πογκρόμ εναντίον μας / We launch the pogrom against us
Υποτίθεται ότι αναστοχαζόμαστε συλλογικά / We supposedly re-consider collectively
Αλλά απαξιούμε το παρόν μας / But we scorn our present
Κάποιες προβολές ανατροπής παραμένουν νόθες / Some projections of inversion remain illegitimate
Γιατί κάθε μας δράμα είναι παρελθοντολογικό / Because our every drama belongs to the past
Αλλά κάποια “ιερή” στιγμή κρίσης θα φτάσει / But some “holy” moment of judgment will come
Ενάντια στους ευτελείς εισαγγελείς / Against the worthless public prosecutors
Ενάντια στους ταξικούς υποτελείς / Against the class subjugators
Ενάντια στους υπηρέτες της γραφίδας / Against the servants of the quill
Ενάντια στο εξουσιαστικό ξίφος / Against the authoritarian sword
Έτσι που η ιστορία κάνει πάντα κύκλους / As the history makes always circles
Και το τραγούδι γίνεται ποταμός / And the song becomes river
Κι ο ποταμός γίνεται τραγούδι / And the river becomes song
Γυμνάσματα προετοιμασίας αδρά / Rough exercises of preparation
Ενέργειες που μετριούνται με ανάστημα ιδεολογίας / Actions measured by an ideology stature
Πασχαλιές βγαλμένες από νεκρές γαίες / Lilacs that have sprung off dead grounds
Ενάντια σε ελιτίστικες πρωτοπορίες στην καταχνιά / Against elitist vanguards in the fog
Ενάντια στην αρχιτεκτονική διάχυση της υποταγής / Against the architectural diffusion of subjugation
Ενάντια σε άκαρπους ηχητικούς πειραματισμούς / Against fruitless experiments in acoustics
Ενάντια σε ασάλευτες ιδιοτυπίες που επανέρχονται / Against unshaken peculiarities which repeat themselves
Όμως οι αισθήσεις κεντρίζονται ξανά / However the feelings are stirred again
Συγχορδίες εξέγερσης σε οικείο φως / Chords of revolt under a familiar light
Διάθεση φυγής από μαρτυρικούς χώρους / Intention for an escape from martyrdoms
Πορεία στα χνάρια της επανάστασης / Following in the footsteps of revolution
Συνειδητή προσπάθεια ανατροπής του παλιού / Conscious effort to overthrow the old
Συνειδητή προσπάθεια να αναδυθεί το νέο / Conscious effort to help the emergence of the new
Σαν να μπολιάζεται ο κορμός του δέντρου / Like grafting the trunk of the tree
Γόνιμο σπέρμα που γεννά νέες μορφές / Fertile sperm that gives birth to new forms

http://www.tokoskino.wordpress.com

ubermensch cover

FUNERAL

We buried him, yesterday afternoon, in the freshly dug soil,
a small twig that he was, the poet with his thin gray beard.
His only sin: so much he loved the birds that didn’t come
to his funeral.
The sun went down behind the army barracks where the future
dead slept and the lone hawk, lover of songs, sat on the oak
branch; women lamented for the day’s yellow rapture and after
approving everything the hawk flew away, as if to define
distance. Wind blew over the surface of the lake searching
for the traitor who had run to the opposite shore where
judgement was passed and the ancient cross remained with
no corpse.
Everyone felt joyous, wine and finger food had to do with it
the hawk returned without news and the beggar extended
his hand and softly begged:
“two bits, man, God bless your soul, two bits.’

ΚΗΔΕΙΑ

Χθες το απόγευμα, τον θάψαμε στο φρεσκοσκαμμένο χώμα,
λες να `τανε βλαστάρι ενός δεντρού, το ποιητή με τ’ αραιό
γκρίζο γενάκι. Μόνη του αμαρτία που αγαπούσε πολύ
τα πουλιά κι αυτά ξέχασαν στην κηδεία του να έρθουν.
Ο ήλιος έδυσε πίσω απ’ το στρατόπεδο με τους νεκρούς
της αύριον και το γεράκι, μονιάς της λαγκαδιάς, καθόταν
στης οξιάς κλαδί. Γυναίκες κλάψαν για το κίτρινο συναίσθημα
της μέρας και το γεράκι αφού όλα τα επιδοκίμασε, πέταξε
μακρυά τις αποστάσεις για να καθορίσει, ο αγέρας φύσηξε
πάνω απ’ τη λίμνη, λες κι έψαχνε για τον προδότη που είχε
πάει στην αντιπέρα όχθη, εκεί που κρίνονται οι δίκαιοι
κι ο πανάρχαιος σταυρός έμεινε δίχως κορμί.
Όλοι ένιωσαν ευέλπιστοι απ’ το κρασί και τους μεζέδες,
ξανάρθε το γεράκι δίχως να φέρει νέα κι ο ζητιάνος έτεινε
το χέρι και καλοκάγαθα ψυθίριζε:
‘ελεημοσύνη χριστιανοί, ελεημοσύνη.’

~Υπεράνθρωπος/Ubermensch, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2013

http://www.ekstasiseditions.com

Edouard_Schuré_01

Eduard (Édouard) Schuré (January 21, 1841 in Strasbourg – April 7, 1929 in Paris) was a French philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, music critic, and publicist of esoteric literature.
Biography

Schuré was the son of a doctor in the Alsatian town of Strasbourg, who died when Édouard was fourteen years old. Schuré mastered French as well as German, and was influenced by German and French culture in his formative years. He received his degree in law at the University of Strasbourg, but he never entered into practice. Schuré called the three most significant of his friendships those with Richard Wagner, Marguerita Albana Mignaty and Rudolf Steiner.[1]
Schuré’s interest and studies led to an extensive knowledge of German literature. The discovery of Wagner’s “music drama” Tristan and Isolde impressed him sufficiently to seek—and obtain—Wagner’s personal acquaintance.
In France, he published his first work Histoire du Lied—a history of the German folk song, which earned him some recognition in the country of his family. With the publication of the essay Richard Wagner et le Drame Musical, he established himself as a major French Wagner expert and advocate of the time.
When the Franco-German war of 1870-71 poisoned the German arts for many French, it would seem that Schuré was not immune from this influence. His nationalism is reflected in his remarks of this time—and later in his life—in a comparison of glorified Celtism (France) and a negatively viewed “Teutonism” (Germany).
On a trip to Italy during this time he met, twenty years his junior, a Greek girl, Marguerita Albana Mignaty, whom he subsequently described as his “muse”, although he himself was married.
After the tide of war had ebbed, Schuré reestablished his relationship with Wagner. In 1873, he met the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; with frequent contact they shared enthusiasm for Wagner. The cultist veneration of Wagner, however, seeded Schuré’s alienation from the composer.
Schuré now turned increasingly to the esoteric and the occult; his major influence being the famous French occultist-scholar Fabre d’ Olivet. In 1884, he met the founder of the Theosophical Society Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Although unwelcome in the Theosophical Society, he nevertheless entered. In 1889, he published, after some smaller works on similar topics, his major work Les Grands Initiés (The Great Initiates).
In 1900, the actress Marie von Sivers came into contact with him because she intended to translate his works into German (The Great Initiates, The Sacred Drama of Eleusis and The Children of Lucifer). At the German Section of the Theosophical Society, he met the Austrian philosopher and later founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. In 1906, Sivers brought about a meeting between Schuré and Steiner. Schuré was deeply impressed and thought of Steiner as an authentic ‘initiate’ in line with his The Great Initiates. After hearing Steiner lecture in Paris for the first time in 1906, Schuré in an ecstatic state ran home and wrote down the entirety of the lecture from memory. This first lecture, and the other lectures in the series (which Schuré wrote down) were published as Esoteric Cosmology.[2] Subsequently, Steiner and von Sivers staged Schuré’s esoteric dramas at the following Theosophical Congresses in Berlin and Munich. Schuré’s The Children of Lucifer, served as a precursor of Rudolf Steiner’s own esoteric dramas.
In 1908 Schuré brought out Le Mystère Chrétien et les Mystères Antiques,[3] a French translation of Steiner’s work Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity.[4] With the outbreak of World War I, Schuré’s relationship with Steiner and his wife became strained. Schuré threw in the two secret intentions about Germanic and Pan and stepped out of Steiner’s Anthroposophical Society. Four years after the war, Schuré re-consolidated his friendship with Steiner.
In subsequent years, Schuré published his autobiography.
Esoteric and literary meaning

Schuré’s The Great Initiates is described by some as a masterpiece. In it, he describes the path allegedly followed by some of the ancient philosophers in search of profound esoteric knowledge, often called the “initiation”, as describing the process of becoming a mystic master or spiritual healer.
Those familiar with Rama, Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Jesus, Orpheus will find frequent references in Schuré’s work. Schuré pursued the notion that a secret esoteric knowledge was known to them all, that this group were among the pillars of civilization and represented the founders of spiritual and philosophical ways of being as well as in some cases—though contrary to their message—religions. Schuré recognized that the path to a harmonious world was not to be found through a bigoted denial of the value found by other civilizations by their own sages. He wanted people to recognize the value of democracy in spiritual, philosophical, and religious ways. .
Schuré wrote a considerable number of books and plays. His plays enjoyed relative fame in his days in Europe, and some of them were put on stage by Steiner. He also influenced Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.
~Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

800px-Nietzsche187aubermensch_cover


Posted on January 17, 2015

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the pangs of a guilty conscience drive Lady Macbeth to madness. Her doctor remarks that medicine cannot cure a sense of guilt. “More needs she the divine than the physician.” Guilt overwhelms Lady Macbeth until she finally commits suicide at the end of the play.
Considering the powerful influence that guilt can have over a person, it is important to explore the origin and nature of this emotion in order to possibly gain some control over it. In this video, we will discuss Nietzsche’s theory concerning the origin of guilt, and we will also explain what it indicates for the future of mankind.
To feel guilty means to feel painful regret for some wrong committed. According to Nietzsche, the concepts of right and wrong arose with the development of societies. He describes guilt as a disease that humanity caught when it formed these social communities. “I look on bad conscience as a serious illness to which man was forced to succumb by the pressure of the change whereby he finally found himself imprisoned within the confines of society and peace.”
When man left the lawless wilderness and entered into societies, he entered into an entirely new world where his old instincts were worthless. Nietzsche compares this radical change experienced by man to the change experienced by the first sea animals to venture onto land. “It must have been no different for man, happily adapted to the wilderness, war, the wandering life and adventure than it was for the sea animals when they were forced to either become land animals or perish – at one go, all instincts were devalued and ‘suspended’. The poor things were reduced to relying on thinking, inference, calculation, and the connecting of cause with effect, that is, to relying on their mind, that most impoverished and error-prone organ!”
Man’s wild instincts, however, did not fade away. Instead, he was forced to turn his instincts for cruelty inwards because the new laws of societies prohibited violence. “Those terrible bulwarks with which state organizations protected themselves against the old instincts of freedom had the result that all those instincts of the wild, free, roving man were turned backwards, against man himself. Animosity, cruelty, the pleasure of pursuing, raiding, changing and destroying – all this was pitted against the person who had such instincts.”
After diverting his cruel instincts towards himself, man began to grow sick of existence. Nietzsche refers to this sentiment as the worst and most insidious illness ever to afflict man, and an illness from which man has yet to recover. “Lacking external enemies and obstacles, and forced into the oppressive narrowness and conformity of custom, man impatiently ripped himself apart, persecuted himself, gnawed at himself, gave himself no peace and abused himself, this animal who battered himself raw on the bars of his cage and who is supposed to be ‘tamed’; man, full of emptiness and torn apart with homesickness for the desert, has had to create within himself an adventure, a torture-chamber, an unsafe and hazardous wilderness – this fool, this prisoner consumed with longing and despair, became the inventor of ‘bad conscience’.”
Despite the dismal diagnosis of civilized man’s illness, Nietzsche regarded the disease of guilt, like all other afflictions in life, to be an opportunity to enhance human excellence. To him, mankind’s ability to turn against itself is indicative of man’s potential to achieve something great in the future – to achieve the meaning of the earth – to achieve the birth of the Ubermensch. “The prospect of an animal soul turning against itself was something so new, profound, puzzling, contradictory and momentous that the whole character of the world changed in an essential way. Man arouses interest, tension, hope, almost certainty for himself, as though something were being announced through him, were being prepared, as though man were not an end but just a path, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.”
To conclude, Nietzsche asserts that a guilty conscience developed when mankind formed societies and established laws. These social institutions forced man to turn his cruel and wild instincts inwards against himself. When man finally overcomes his bad conscience – which is nothing more than contempt for life – he will be one step closer to giving birth to the Ubermensch.
http://www.orwell.wordpress.com

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ODYSSEY A

And when in his wide courtyards Odysseus had cut down
the insolent youths, he hung on high his sated bow
and strode to the warm bath to cleanse his bloodstained body.
Two slaves prepared his bath, but when they saw their lord
they shrieked with terror, for his loins and belly steamed
and thick black blood dripped down from both his murderous palms
their copper jugs rolled clanging on the marble tiles.
The wandering man smiled gently in his horny beard
and with his eyebrows signed the frightened girls to go.

ΟΔΥΣΣΕΙΑ Α

Σαν πια ποθέρισε τους γαύρους νιους μες στις φαρδιές αυλές του,
το καταχόρταστο ανακρέμασε δοξάρι του ο Δυσσέας
και διάβη στο θερμό λουτρό, το μέγα του κορμί να πλύνει.
Δυο δούλες συγκερνούσαν το νερό, μα ως είδαν τον αφέντη
μπήξαν φωνή, γιατι η σγουρή κοιλιά και τα μεριά του αχνίζαν
και μαύρα στάζαν αίματα πηχτά κι από τις δυο του φούχτες
και κύλησαν στις πλάκες οι χαλκές λαγήνες τους βροντώντας.
Ο πολυπλάνητος γελάει πραγά μες στα στριφτά του γένια
και γνέφει παίζοντας τα φρύδια του στις κοπελλιές να φύγουν.
Το χλιο πολληώρα φραίνουνταν νερό κι οι φλέβες του ξαπλώναν
μες το κορμί σαν ποταμοί, και τα νεφρά του δροσερεύαν
κι ο μέγας νους μες στο νερό ξαστέρωνε κι αναπαυόταν.

~ODYSSEY, by NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS, translated by KIMON FRIAR

Nikos Kazantzakis
1883-1957
Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion, Crete, when the island was still under Ottoman rule. He studied law in Athens (1902-06) before moving to Paris to pursue postgraduate studies in philosophy (1907-09) under Henri Bergson. It was at this time that he developed a strong interest in Nietzsche and seriously took to writing. After returning to Greece, he continued to travel extensively, often as a newspaper correspondent. He was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Social Welfare (1919) and Minister without Portfolio (1945), and served as a literary advisor to UNESCO (1946). Among other distinctions, he was president of the Hellenic Literary Society, received the International Peace Award in Vienna in 1956 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Kazantzakis regarded himself as a poet and in 1938 completed his magnum opus, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, divided into 24 rhapsodies and consisting of a monumental 33,333 verses. He distinguished himself as a playwright (The Prometheus Trilogy, Kapodistrias, Kouros, Nicephorus Phocas, Constantine Palaeologus, Christopher Columbus, etc), travel writer (Spain, Italy, Egypt, Sinai, Japan-China, England, Russia, Jerusalem and Cyprus) and thinker (The Saviours of God, Symposium). He is, of course, best known for his novels Zorba the Greek (1946), The Greek Passion (1948), Freedom or Death (1950), The Last Temptation of Christ (1951) and his semi-autobiographical Report to Greco (1961). His works have been translated and published in over 50 countries and have been adapted for the theatre, the cinema, radio and television.