Hundreds of studies have been published about the interactions, the affinities and the divergences that Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis had with his contemporary writers. The Scientific Conference “Nikos Kazantzakis and his Fellow Greek Writers: Interactions, Affinities, Divergencies”, which will be held in Athens on 10 and 11 June 2023 aims exactly to provide an overview of these interactions, the influence that earlier writers exerted on the work of Kazantzakis, as well as the effects, objections and disagreements that his work has raised among younger Greek writers.
Organized by the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis in cooperation with Dioptra Publications, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the writer’s birth, the Conference aims to provide a sober and documented assessment of Kazantzakis’s work beyond mythologies, slanders and distortions that alter its real imprint, as well as to establish selective affinities between authors of different generations and trace the evolutionary line of Modern Greek Letters with the case of Kazantzakis as a point of reference.
The Conference comprises the following thematic axes: Kazantzakis moves through space and time;Agreements and disagreements in the Great Castle;Kazantzakis and the first fellow travelers: Recriminations and agreements;Kazantzakis and his contemporaries – Unexpected meetings; Kazantzakis and the generation of the 30s;Odysseys of Art and History;In first person: Talking to Nikos Kazantzakis;Kazantzakis as a fictional hero; Detecting affinities and resonances; Kazantzakis as a creator and a reader.
In other words, as member of the Society’s Steering Committee and vice president of the Branch of Greece, writer Nikos Chryssos noted, “there is attempted an overview of the path of Nikos Kazantzakis and his work from the early years of the 20th century to the present day; starting with his relationships with Ionas Dragoumis, Varnalis, Sikelianos and Seferis, to his impact on the younger Greeks writers, of the present and the future”.
Undeniably, Nikos Kazantzakis is both a timely and timeless writer, whose influence on Greek Letters has been immense. As Chryssos commented, “Kazantzakis was an indefatigable worker of the language, an inveterate traveler and a daring pioneer of literature and remains the most translated and widely read Greek writer abroad. Consider the impact that Nicola Crocetti's translation of his Odyssey had, just a few years ago, among Italian readers, and the rave reviews it received from the Italian media. Also consider the success of his so far unpublished novel, The Ascent which was published just ten months ago by Dioptra Publications.In the case of Kazantzakis, the multiplicity of experiences and tendencies as well as the combination of often contradictory elements, both in the work and in the author's personality, along with his unwavering struggle to transform flesh into spirit, have exerted a lasting fascination. His work, deeply ontological, continues to pose questions with the same deep anguish and the same drive”.
The conference is under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Municipality of Athens, the Hellenic Authors’ Society and the French Institute of Greece and is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Municipality of Athens, Kastaniotis Publications, Niki Stavros, intellectual beneficiary of the work of Nikos Kazantzakis and theHartis online magazine.