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Reviews 123 conductor took the money and purposely dropped the ticket onto the floor. He walked away grumbling to himself. George Kanarakis has pulled up a shade allowing us suddenly to look out upon an aspect of diaspora experience that was there all the time but obscured. Will this particular diaspora produce its Cavafy? The conditions are favorable. Peter Bien Dartmouth College Ruzena Dostálová, ed., Nikos Kazantzakis. Beiträge zu seinem Werk und Leben. Prague: Seminar for Greek, Roman, And Latin Studies of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. 1985. Pp. 135. In 1929-30 and 1931-32, Kazantzakis spent two extended periods in a remote farmhouse outside of the Czechoslovakian town of Gottesgab, now called Bozi Dar. In October 1983, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, scholars from the socialist countries gathered in Gottesgab to hold a three-day symposium. Besides listening to papers, they mounted an exhibition of relevant photographs, listened to a ceremonial recitation of passages from Kazantzakis' letters on the site of the now-demolished farmhouse, and were treated to excerpts from the new recording of Bohuslav Martinu's opera The Greek Passion. The 25 symposiasts included, besides Czechs, representatives from universities in East Germany, Hungary, and the Soviet Union. At the symposium's conclusion they passed a resolution calling for neohellenists from the socialist countries to meet regularly in the future on a biennial basis. The present volume contains the proceedings of this symposium , sensibly photo-offset from typewritten copy. The German language is used exclusively, except for some quotations from original documents. The most valuable contribution to Kazantzakis scholarship, one appropriate to the venue, is contained in the two articles dealing with Kazantzakis and Martinu. The first, by the volume's general editor, Ruzena Dostálová of Prague, is called "Two Encounters between Nikos Kazantzakis and Bohemians" and deals first with Kazantzakis ' stay in Gottesgab and then with his relationship to Martinu during the period when the latter was contemplating, and then composing , his opera based on Kazantzakis' novel. Dostálová is able to avail herself of the Kazantzakis-Martinu correspondence luckily pre- 124 Reviews served in the Municipal Museum of the Moravian town of Policka, Martinu's birthplace. Regarding the stay in Gottesgab, she reproduces Kazantzakis' touching, Franciscan-style entry in his hosts' guestbook, previously unpublished (but now printed also in Folia Neohellenica 5 [1983], 217), attesting to the splendid conditions for work and peace of mind that attracted Kazantzakis to this location at a crucial period in his life, when he was elaborating the Odyssey: Hier, in diesem begnadeten Haus . . . habe ich zwei von den schönsten, ruhigsten und fruchtbarsten Jahren meines vielgereisten Lebens erlebt. Hier habe ich das größte Werk meines Lebens, die "Odyssee" geschrieben. Hier meine Seele, mein Geist und mein Körper haben die höchste Harmonie erreicht. . . . Danbar bin ich den ewigen Tannen, dem gesunden, rohen Wind, dem mackellosen Schnee und den Erdmüttern, den Kühen mit ihren [sie] heiligen Milch und den zweien schönaugigen Rehen die dreimal vor meinem [sie] Fenster kamen. . . . The second article dealing with Kazantzakis and Martinu, by Jaroslav Mihule, also of Prague, is called "Kazantzakis and Bohuslav Martinu's Opera The Greek Passion." It reproduces their correspondence , which shows an exemplary working relationship between the two artists. Kazantzakis helped with details such as the correct pronunciation of Greek names, made suggestions about the costumes (". . . ce ne sera pas un opéra folkloriste; les costumes doivent être simples sans aucune nationalité spéciale; en tout cas costumes méditerranéens"), and in general allowed Martinu the liberties required if the opera were to obey its own aesthetic requirements: Je comprends bien Vos difficultés; le dernier acte doit être rapide, d'un rythme accéléré; par principle je suis d'accord avec Vous qu'il faut tâcher de trouver quelquechose qui diffère du roman; au point de vue spectacle c'est bien Votre idée de fair mourir Manolios là où vous dites; notre but est de faire sortir du roman un opéra très bon; travaillez donc comme Vous croyez le mieux et venez un jour avec votre manuscrit me voir; nous prendons...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 123-125
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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