THE ODYSSEY – A MODERN SEQUEL
Nikos Kazantzakis’s Odyssey is a hymn for the grandness of τηε human being. In 33,333 verses of unparalleled beauty, Nikos Kazantzakis’s Odysseus does what he does best: being Odysseus, a human being of kingly stature set out to shutter all human boundaries, reach the edges of the Εarth and gaze fearlessly at the Abyss.
A classical author such as Nikos Kazantzakis dares re-visit the ancient tale of Odysseus, who having arrived at his beloved Ithaca, he feels… bored, so he sails to Sparta and steals Helen once again, to start the myth anew.
The plot may be better summarized by the author himself: “…The entire time a person creates, he has the morning sickness of the woman nourishing a child with her vitals. I found it impossible to see anyone. The slightest noise made my entire body quake; it was as though Apollo had flayed me and my exposed nerves were being wounded by mere contact with the air. The octameters rolled clamorously one behind the other and spread sea-like over the paper. Stationary in my chair, I was experiencing the exploits and ordeals of Odysseus. He had weighed anchor for the great journey from which there is no return; his minuscule island, insignificant little wife, and simple-minded, well-meaning son were too constricting for him now. Disgusted, he picked up and left. He stopped at Sparta and abducted Helen, who felt constricted in her own right by the peaceful life. Going down to Crete and joining the barbarians, he burned the decadent palace. But he was suffocating, even this great arch-island constricted him, and he shaped a course southward once more.
I myself had boarded his ship; I was journeying with him, a mermaid figurehead on his prow. My mind had become a perfect sphere, a terrestrial globe on which, in red ink, I marked the ports we had called at and those which still remained—to the ends of the earth.” (Report to Greco, transl. Peter Bien)