Alexander The Great: A Novel

by Nikos Kazantzakis

Ohio University Press | April 15, 1982 | Trade Paperback

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Nikos Kazantzakis is no stranger to the heroes of Greek antiquity. In this historical novel based on the life of Alexander the Great, Kazantzakis has drawn on both the rich tradition of Greek legend and the documented manuscripts from the archives of history to recreate an Alexander in all his many-faceted images—Alexander the god; Alexander the descendant of Heracles performing the twelve labors; Alexander the mystic, the daring visionary destined to carry out a divine mission; Alexander the flesh-and-blood mortal who, on occasion, is not above the common soldier’s brawling and drinking.

The novel, which resists the temptation to portray Alexander in the mantle of purely romantic legend, covers his life from age fifteen to his death at age thirty-two. It opens with Alexander’s first exploit, the taming of the horse, Bucephalas, and is seen in great part through the eyes of his young neighbor who eventually becomes an officer in his army and follows him on his campaign to conquer the world.

The book, which was written primarily as an educational adjunct for young readers, is intended for the adult mind as well, and like the legends of old, is entertaining as well as instructive for readers of all ages. It was originally published in Greece in serial form in 1940, and was republished in a complete volume in 1979.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 232 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 0.6 in

Published: April 15, 1982

Publisher: Ohio University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0821406639

ISBN - 13: 9780821406632

Found in: Historical

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– More About This Product –

Alexander The Great: A Novel

by Nikos Kazantzakis

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 232 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 0.6 in

Published: April 15, 1982

Publisher: Ohio University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0821406639

ISBN - 13: 9780821406632

From the Publisher

Nikos Kazantzakis is no stranger to the heroes of Greek antiquity. In this historical novel based on the life of Alexander the Great, Kazantzakis has drawn on both the rich tradition of Greek legend and the documented manuscripts from the archives of history to recreate an Alexander in all his many-faceted images—Alexander the god; Alexander the descendant of Heracles performing the twelve labors; Alexander the mystic, the daring visionary destined to carry out a divine mission; Alexander the flesh-and-blood mortal who, on occasion, is not above the common soldier’s brawling and drinking.

The novel, which resists the temptation to portray Alexander in the mantle of purely romantic legend, covers his life from age fifteen to his death at age thirty-two. It opens with Alexander’s first exploit, the taming of the horse, Bucephalas, and is seen in great part through the eyes of his young neighbor who eventually becomes an officer in his army and follows him on his campaign to conquer the world.

The book, which was written primarily as an educational adjunct for young readers, is intended for the adult mind as well, and like the legends of old, is entertaining as well as instructive for readers of all ages. It was originally published in Greece in serial form in 1940, and was republished in a complete volume in 1979.

About the Author

This distinguished novelist, poet, and translator was born in Crete and educated in Athens, Germany, Italy, and Paris, where he studied philosophy. He found time to write some 30 novels, plays, and books on philosophy, to serve his government, and to travel widely. He ran the Greek ministry of welfare from 1919 to 1921 and was minister of state briefly in 1945. A political activist, he spent his last years in France and died in Germany. Kazantzakis's character Zorba has been called "one of the great characters of modern fiction," in a novel that "reflects Greek exhilaration at its best" (TLS). A film version of 1965, starring Anthony Quinn, made Kazantzakis widely known in the West. Intensely religious, he imbued his novels with the passion of his own restless spirit, "torn between the active and the contemplative, between the sensual and the aesthetic, between nihilism and commitment" (Columbia Encyclopedia). Judas, the hero of The Last Temptation of Christ (1951) is asked by Christ to betray him so that he can fulfill his mission through the crucifixion. For this book Kazantzakis was excommunicated from the Greek Orthodox Church. The Fratricides, Kazantzakis's last novel, portrays yet another religious hero, a priest caught between Communists and Royalists in the Greek Civil War.
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