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Freedom or Death af Nikos Kazantzakis
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Freedom or Death (original 1950; udgave 1983)

af Nikos Kazantzakis, Jonathan Griffin (Oversætter)

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386649,200 (3.99)12
Freedom and Death is Kazantzakis's modern Iliad. The context is Crete in the late nineteenth century, the epic struggle between Greeks and Turks, between Christianity and Islam. A new uprising takes place to rival those of 1854, 1866 and 1878, and the island is thrown into confusion yet again. In the village of Megalokastro a Cretan resistance fighter, Captain Michales, is matched by the Turkish bey, his blood-brother. The life of the local community continues shakily, but is disrupted by explosions of violence.… (mere)
Medlem:ACTrebinje
Titel:Freedom or Death
Forfattere:Nikos Kazantzakis
Andre forfattere:Jonathan Griffin (Oversætter)
Info:New York: A Touchstone Book, 1983
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:fiction, greek, novel

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Freedom or Death af Nikos Kazantzakis (1950)

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Während Griechenland im ersten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts seine Unabhängigkeit erlangte, verblieb Kreta Teil des osmanischen Reichs. Die Kreter haben diesen Umstand nie akzeptiert und revoltierten mehrmals gegen die türkischen Besatzer. Einen dieser Aufstände behandelt der griechische Nationalliterat Nikos Kazantzakis in seinem Roman "Freiheit oder Tod".

Kazantzakis Roman ist voll von nationalem Pathos. Seine antiquierte Sprache, die martialische Grundeinstellung und Opfebereitschaft seiner Hauptprotagonisten muten seltsam anachronistisch an, doch gelingt es dem Autor gerade deshalb, die Stimmung im Kreta des 19. Jahrhunderts glaubhaft einzufangen. Kazantzakis hat ein Stück Geschichte auf literarische eindrucksvolle Weise verarbeitet. Lesenswert ist sein Werk abseits der spannenden Rahmenhandlung auch aufgrund der Schilderungen des kretischen Landlebens, der (auf beiden Seiten) patriarchalischen Gesellschaft sowie der fragilen Koexistenz von Türken und Griechen im kretischen Mikrokosmos. ( )
  schmechi | Dec 28, 2020 |
Oh, we've got so many problems here. Machismo worship, deeply gender normative, rampantly misogynistic, glorification of violence, and tons of other dubious things.

It's mostly interesting for the historical characterization of life and culture in Crete around the late 1880's. The story is ok, the writing solid, the characters are well depicted (and problematic). It meanders a bit at the end. Not a great book, but readable and sometimes interesting. It did make me want to learn more about Crete. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Никос Казандзакис е благословен с онази рядка писателска дарба, която превръща автора в безсмъртен творец. В романа си "Капитан Михалис" той успява почти физически да отведе читателя на остров Крит, да върне часовниците обратно до 1889 г., за да ни покаже, че любовта, омразата и чувството за дълг са понятия, неподвластни на времето и пространството. Изключително тънкото чувство за хумор, прокрадващо се навред из страниците на романа, бива увлечено от урагана от барут, кръв и себеотрицание, и създава шедьовъра на "Капитан Михалис". ( )
  terrigena | Sep 22, 2018 |
The story of the 1889 revolt by the suppressed people of Crete against their Turkish oppressors, told by a Cretan who lauded their bravery and celebrated the fierceness with which they lived their life: to the full, with directness and passion. The Cretans proclaimed ‘Freedom or Death!’, and indeed go proudly to their death in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s a very masculine novel, and one that’s great to read while travelling in Crete.

Quotes:
On Crete, and the differences between the cities (all of which are beautiful):
“…she herself was from Rethymno and proud of it. Kanea for weapons, Rethymno for books, Megalokastro for mugs. Scarcely were the Kastrians done with their work in the evening when they were all lolling in the taverns and swilling away, chewing dried fish and gobbets off the spit, and reeking of wine, ouzo and meat – How unlike the Rethymniots with their slow, dignified gait, deep bows and lordly ceremony!”

And this one:
“We are not leaving. Here we shall die as a sacrifice for Crete. Let her speak. We who are dying are doing better than they who will live. For Crete doesn’t need householders, she needs madmen like us. Such madmen make Crete immortal.”

On fighting:
“’Freedom or death! O poor Cretans! ‘Freedom and death’ – that’s what I should have written on my banner. That’s the true banner of every fighter: Freedom and death! Freedom and death!’”

On God:
“And sorrow over her three tormented, Turk-oppressed towns with their Venetian walls and their Turkified churches: Kanea, Rethymno and Megalokastro.
God too, higher than an eagle, must have the same view – if He had not forgotten Crete, generations and generations ago, and delivered her, soul and all, into the hands of the Turks.
No, without the soul. For the Cretans resisted, boiled with rage and refused to place their seal under God’s seal. It was injustice! They raised their heads to Heaven and shouted ‘Injustice!’ and bestirred themselves like good Christians to put right this intolerable divine injustice. God too is a fighter, they reflected. He must be waging war somewhere else, on some other star, against other Turks. We will call him till He hears us.”

On insomnia:
“Heavy night, full of sultry spring air. Shortly before midnight the crisp breeze from the north had dropped, and now a warm, damp wind too its place …. [and] fell upon the women like a man and upon the men like a woman, allowing them no sleep. Malignant April came to Crete like a thief in the night.”

On life, and stoicism:
“We live haphazardly, we die haphazardly, rudderless, with sails bellying. A wind blows. Where it blows, there we go. Water rushes into our ship, we work at the pumps day and night. But the water keeps rising and the pumps are rusty. The wretched things won’t work any more, and we go to the bottom. That’s human life, and you can yell as loud as you like. What’s our duty? To serve the pumps day and night, not to fold our arms, not to complain, not to moan.”

On old age:
“It’s really a shame that youth in human beings doesn’t last a thousand years! Is God perhaps afraid that we’ll take His throne away from Him? Is that why he craftily dismantles us, piece by piece? He pulls out our teeth, screws our knees up stiff, wears out our kidneys, dims our eyes and dribbles slime and spittle out of our noses and mouths … Death doesn’t worry me – by my soul, it doesn’t worry me. There’s something to be said for getting it over once and for all. But I can’t do with this way of turning gradually into a caricature…”

On passion, yeah:
“He folded her in his arms. He felt her firm bosom, and his senses reeled. The world could come to grief, if only this thrilling body might never leave his arms. The woman closed her eyes, raised herself gently on her toes and reached his mouth. His knees gave way.”

On the prime of life:
“A few years back I was a clown and understood nothing. How was I to understand what women and wine and war meant? A few years more and I shall have shot my bolt. How will I still enjoy the world with no teeth or digestion?”

On religion:
“But the pasha stretched out his hand. ‘The Koran says whatever its reader has in mind,’ he said with a yawn. ‘You want a slaughter? you open the Koran and find a justification. If Selim Aga opens it, he’ll find another word – peace – and that too comes from God. Both are from God, so be quiet!’”

On transience:
“’How often,’ he said, brushing the darkly luminous foliage with this withered arms, ‘this plane tree has sheltered doughty captains in its shade. Whoever saw them thought they must be immortal. And yet they too died. Who would have believed it? They have turned into the soil of Crete, and we tread on it.’”

On women:
“’What’s a Turk, a Christian, or a Jew, Maria?’ she asked her old nurse. ‘There are only two kinds of men – old or young, white beards or black beards. I like the black ones.’

Ermine laughed, and felt eager for him. She half closed her long-lashed eyes and smiled contentedly. I’ll do as I want, she thought. If I want, I’ll fetch him into my bed. If I want, I’ll leave him in the street, to wander about like a dog. Am I not a woman? I’ll do as I want.”

And:
“Nuri Bey had completely vanished from her mind and body, as if he had never lived, as if he had not been as superb as a lion, as if he had never embraced her. Her flesh was like the sea. A ship would glide over it and scratch if for a moment. Then it would draw together again, untouched as a maiden.”

And:
“It was here that he had seen the first girl he had loved, in a golden evening cloud, holding a yellow rose and sprigs of jasmine in her hand. The world had smelled of musk. It was a summer evening, and the unmarried girls in red, green, and blue dresses walked up and down, with firm breasts and quick steps. Their hair hung down, ribbons fluttered behind them, and they made secret signs. They were like corvettes flying all their flags and setting out to sea to conquer the world. Pale and shy, the lads trotted behind them. They pretended to tease and make fun of the girls, but their hearts were trembling.”

On worrying:
“For the moment you are ensnared by small things, which feast on the souls of men. The soul is a lioness, worries are her lice. But you will shake them off!”

On the younger generation:
“’Those were men,’ Captain Michales snarled, frowning. ‘Those were giants, not worms like us! So were their womenfolk. Yes, even wilder. Ah, time, time! Mankind’s going downhill, going to the devil!’” ( )
2 stem | gbill | Mar 2, 2014 |
Het verhaal van de onverzettelijke Kaitein Michalis, die eind 19e eeuw liever zich door de Turken die zijn geliefde eiland bezetten, laat doden dan in het onvrije Kreta verder te leven. Prachtige schets van de familie, waarin je niet meetelt als je met een gebrek geboren bent of als je kiest voor lezen en schrijven. Waar je 100 kunt worden als je een beetje geluk hebt in de strijd. Maar het is wel een keihard leven en zeker voor de vrouwen.
Het boek laat ook zien dat samenleven van Turken en Kretenzers vaak best mogelijk is, maar dat heethoofden steeds weer de strijd veroorzaken.
  wannabook08 | Jun 1, 2013 |
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Freedom and Death is Kazantzakis's modern Iliad. The context is Crete in the late nineteenth century, the epic struggle between Greeks and Turks, between Christianity and Islam. A new uprising takes place to rival those of 1854, 1866 and 1878, and the island is thrown into confusion yet again. In the village of Megalokastro a Cretan resistance fighter, Captain Michales, is matched by the Turkish bey, his blood-brother. The life of the local community continues shakily, but is disrupted by explosions of violence.

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