Kazantzakis by Peter Bien
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By Peter Bien


Politics of the Spirit

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Format: Paperback

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Kazantzakis by Peter Bien

Book Description

"No author who lives in Greece," writes Peter Bien, "can avoid politics." This first volume of his major intellectual biography of Nikos Kazantzakis approaches the distinguished--and controversial--writer by describing his struggle with political questions that were in reality aspects of a fervent religious search. Beginning with Kazantzakis's early career in fin-de-siecle Paris and his discovery of William James, Nietzsche, and Bergson, the book continues by describing his experiments with communism in turbulent Greece, his visits to Soviet Russia, and the publication of his epic Odyssey in 1938. Bien demonstrates that politics and religion cannot be separated in Kazantzakis's development. His major concern was personal salvation, but the method he employed to win that salvation was political engagement. Did deliverance lie in nationalism? Communism? Fascism? He eventually rejected each of these possible solutions as morally appalling. Abused by both left and right, he insisted on an "eschatological politics" of spiritual fulfillment. This compelling biography will be essential reading for Kazantzakis scholars and for a wide audience of those who already admire the Greek author's work. In addition, it will provide an introduction to the first three decades of Kazantzakis's career for those who have yet to enjoy such passionate and stirring novels as Zorba the Greek, The Greek Passion, and The Last Temptation of Christ. This first volume provides an introduction to the initial three decades of Kazantzakis's career for those who have enjoyed such vibrant and stirring novels as Zorba the Greek, The Greek Passion, and The Last Temptation of Christ.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691128801
ISBN-10: 0691128804
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 344
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 2-Jan-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Peter Bien

Selected Letters of Nikos Kazantzakis by Peter Bien Selected Letters of Nikos Kazantzakis, Hardback (December 2011)

The life of Nikos Kazantzakis - the author of "Zorba the Greek" and "The Last Temptation of Christ" - was as colorful and eventful as his fiction. And nowhere is his life revealed more fully or surprisingly than in his letters. This title offers a comprehensive selection of Kazantzakis' letters that touches on various aspects of Kazantzakis' life.

Kazantzakis by Peter Bien Kazantzakis, Hardback (January 2007)

Putting Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis's (1883-1957) vast output into the context of his lifelong spiritual quest and the turbulent politics of twentieth-century Greece, this title argues that Kazantzakis was a deeply flawed genius. It covers his life after 1938, the period in which he wrote "Zorba the Greek" and "The Last Temptation of Christ".

» View all books by Peter Bien


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Author Biography - Peter Bien

Peter Bien is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. "Kazantzakis: Politics of the Spirit, Volume 2" is published in hardcover by Princeton. Bien has translated Kazantzakis's novels "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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