THE GREEK PASSION by Nikos Kazantzakis


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The new book by the author of Zorba The Greek is a vast allegory on the passion of Christ and the passions of men. A small, isolated, rich village in Greece is a microcosm of the world and is ruled by a homosexual, luxury -loving Agha. At Easter, the notables of the village select the men and women who are to play the main parts in the next year's Passion Play; Manelies, a shepherd, is to play Christ, and others are assigned to the various roles. Each player has in him the seeds of the character he is to portray, and as the months go by- he assumes the personality of the prototype. In contrast, the notables typify a certain sin; gluttony, pride, lust, hypocrisy, etc. As catalysts, the villagers who survive an attack by the Turks throw themselves on the mercy of the people here. They settle on a nearby hill, and the double passion play is on. It ends only with the martyrdom of Manelies at the hands of his own neighbors... Kazantzakis has here a much better- and more dramatic- plot- than he did in Zorba, but unfortunately he has no fine character to set it in motion. In fact, he has no characters at all, only puppets in masks, and the passions he attributes to them are spent on nothing. And in spite of vigorous scenes and often fresh writing, the drama cannot be carried by the philosophical content alone.

ISBN: 1412812615
Publisher: Simon & Schuster