Nikos Kazantzakis's The Odyssey can profitably be analyzed in terms of Thomas Kuhn's theory regarding the structure of scientific revolutions. Odysseus finds himself in a transitional period between a decaying cultural/civilizational paradigm and a new one he is inventing. He contributes to the destruction of the old paradigm, which represents Western civilization in decline, in order to replace it with his own new theory of the world and of human destiny inspired mainly by Henri Bergson's evolutionist philosophy as reinterpreted by Kazantzakis in his treatise, Askitiki, incommensurable with Western Kultur. Equally incompatible are the new terms used to formulate this vision. To Odysseus's followers, as well as to Kazantzakis's readers conditioned by the old paradigm, the new world-view is incomprehensible. An additional impediment for the readers is the author's almost unintelligible demotic form of Greek. Kazantzakis aspired to create a new cultural/civilizational paradigm, but he failed since his epic remained an individual affair not adopted by any larger community.


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pp. 115-142
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