By Nikos Kazantzakis and Kimon Friar
Translation into English verse, creation, Synopsis and Notes through Kimon Friar. Illustrations through Ghika.
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Additional info for The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (Touchstone Books)
I tried many different roads by which to reach my salvation: the road of love, of scientific curiosity, of philosophical inquiry, of social rebirth, and finally the difficult and solitary path of poetry. But when I saw that all these led to the Abyss, fear would seize me, and I would turn back and take another road. This wandering and this martyrdom lasted for many years. Finally, in despair, I sought refuge on Athos, the holy mountain of Greece where no woman has ever set foot, and where for a thousand years thousands of monks have dedicated their lives to prayer and chastity.
Ho, workers, peasants, you ant-swarms, carters of grain, I fling red poppies down, may the world burst in flames! PROLOGUE Maidens, with wild doves fluttering in your soothing breasts, brave lads, with your black-hilted swords thrust in your belts, no matter how you strive, earth's but a barren tree, hut I, ahoy, with my salt songs shall force the flower! Fold up your aprons, craftsmen, cast your tools away, fling off Necessity's firm yoke, for Freedom calls. Freedom, my lads, is neither wine nor a sweet maid, not goods stacked in vast cellars, no, nor sons in cradles; it's but a scornful, lonely song the wind has taken .
What remains, and what I have tried to capture, is the racy, idiomatic, highly colloquial flow of the original. The borderline between colloquial and slang is often hard to draw, and I would have felt untrue to my original had I attempted to reproduce it in such idioms as those used by Ezra Pound in his recent translation of Sophocles' Women of Trachis, which seems to me a tour de force, a parody in extreme American colloquialism and slang which has no parallel in the original diction of the central characters of the play.
The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (Touchstone Books) by Nikos Kazantzakis and Kimon Friar