[Nikos Kazantzakis, major Greek writer.] Eight-page typed Synopsis in French of his 'The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel', with Autograph Corrections in pencil.

Author: 
Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), major Greek writer, nominated nine times for the Nobel Prize in Literature
Publication details: 
No place or date [between 1924 and 1938].
£2,500.00
SKU: 20847

Kazantzakis considered 'The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel' his greatest work. He began writing it in 1924, and reworked it constantly, drafting seven different versions, until its completion in 1938. The poem takes up where Homer's epic leaves off, and describes in heavily-symbolic style the final journey of Odysseus. The poem follows the structure of Homer's original, its 33,333 lines being divided into 24 rhapsodies. 8pp., 8vo. The first page unnumbered, the last seven pages numbered 2-7 in type at top right. On eight sheets of cartridge paper. In good condition, lightly aged and creased. The first page is a carbon copy and the other seven pages top copies. An accompanying manuscript note in ink states that the item was 'formerly in the possession of [name deleted], a friend of Kazantakis [sic]'. The beginning of the deleted name reads 'Prof. John', and the surname would appear to read 'Waterton': with care it could probably be made out. The typescript carries thirteen minor autograph corrections in pencil by Kazantzakis, mainly correcting spelling mistakes by a non-native French speaker, but with a couple of a somewhat Freudian nature: 'Mère' in 'Mariage mystique du roi avec la Mère' corrected to 'avec la mer.', and 'Père' in 'genre humain, Père, Univers' to 'Terre'. Untitled, but certainly complete. The synopsis follows the narrative of the final version, recounting the adventures of the poem's hero in Ithaca, Crete, Egypt and Central Africa, before his death in Antarctica. Begins: 'Ulysse revient à Ithaque, il dompte le peuple révolté, il met de l'ordre à sa maison, il regarde sa femme, son fils, son père, il étouffe. - Il va saluer les ancêtres et danse sur leurs tombeaux – il convoque son peuple à un festin; l'aède chante Ulysse quand il était nouveau-né et un soir entrèrent dans le palais les trois grands ancêtres pour le bénir dans son berceau: Tantale, (le coeur insatiable), Promethée, (l'intelligence humaine) et Hercule (le grand lutteur qui s'efforce à dépassé les frontières humaines) – Ulysse écoute et sent son coeur frémir:il comprend qu'il a rien encore accompli de grand.' The following section comes towards the end: 'Les grandes rencontres avec les différents chefs de l'humanité: | 1) Bouddha – Ulysse et la belle étaire Margaro. | Rencontre 2) avec un viellard assoiffé de connaissances (Faust) – Le vieillard rêve qu'il est un grand conquérant mais son coeur reste encore vide – Mort de vieillard; une poignée de terre – Ulysse continue son chemin. Rencontre 3) avec L'aède chante; la toute-puissance du chant. Rencontre 4) avec le capitain-Un (Don Quichotte) – Le capitain-Un se lance à son aventure – Ulysse visite 5) le châtelain des eaux stagnantes (Hamlet)'.