Abstract

For Nikos Kazantzakis, the Divine Flame, embedded in the struggle for freedom, issues forth through the virtue ανδρεία of the Cretan Glance. Tracing the various manifestations of the Glance as it struggles to subdue the fear of death to attain its completion has been one of Kazantzakis's dominant literary and ethical concerns. The Cretan Glance goes back to Kazantzakis's study of Nietzsche and finds its early expression as the quest for absolute freedom in his early novels. The struggle for freedom to reach its absoluteness was fittingly articulated in his manifesto, Spiritual Exercises, and found its embodiment as Odysseus and in The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, both written in the 1930s. The conception of absolute freedom demanded the recasting of the classical view of courage as the highest expression of the glory of the Divine Flame, demanding in turn the denouncing of even the slightest dependence on any hope for deathlessness. This calls for a reconsideration of the meaning of the Divine Flame as discussed in Kazantzakis's Report to Greco and its implications for the potential convergence of East and West as it may affect a re-casting of the understanding of human freedom.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 173-187
Launched on MUSE
2010-07-09
Open Access
No
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