Andriopoulos, Dimitris. "The Problem of Aesthetic Categories in Contemporary Greek Aesthetics." Neo-Hellenica 1 (1970):141-178.
Andriopoulos reevaluates the contribution made by Mihelis and Papanoutsos concerning the concept, number, and meaning of aesthetic categories. He exposes several discrepancies in their arguments, such as the alleged autonomy of aesthetic categories and their arrangement in binary oppositions--tragic/comic, etc. Concerning the nature and status of aesthetic categories, he concludes that Papanoutsos fails to demonstrate satisfactorily how the aesthetic category of the beautiful can be both a genus and a species. Since Papanoutsos has already accepted the tragic and the comic as varieties of the final definition of the beautiful, he has driven his argument into a self-defeating exercise in logic.
Angelaki-Rooke, Katerina. "Kazantzakis's Buddha: Phantasmagoria and Struggle." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 10/4 (1983):69-72.
Angelaki-Rooke argues that Kazantzakis transforms Buddhism from a dogma of introspective withdrawal into a statement for social struggle against injustice and corruption. The Buddhist notion of non-attachment to the phenomenal world appears only when, paradoxically, the people struggle to make their short lives immortal. Angelaki-Rooke maintains that Kazantzakis turns life into a pageant in which human suffering becomes a small wrinkle on the tapestry of imagination. When the spectacle (phantasmagoria) vanishes, however, the human will does not yield to the divine will because divinity is not the ultimate value. Angelaki-Rooke concludes that Kazantzakis's characters do not deny the significance of life as they try to overcome pain and to improve their understanding of social or cosmological "chaos."
Anton, John. "Kazantzakis and the Tradition of the Tragic." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 10/4 (1983):53-67.
Anton examines the meaning that the word "tragic" acquires in Kazantzakis's work by following Albin Lesky's triune distinction: the tragic worldview, the tragic conflict, and the tragic situation. He compares Kazantzakis's plays Odysseus, Christ, and Nikiphoros Phokas to Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Euripides's Medea, and Aristotle's definition of tragedy. Anton argues that the Aristotelian definition of the tragic experience lacks the contemporary understanding of the relationship between human evolution and the persistence of conflicting forces in life. Anton concludes that, for Kazantzakis, the world must become what the world of the mind demands. The tragic conflict is rooted in the fundamental oppositions that permeate nature and humanity. The tragic depends on an awareness of inescapable conflicts. Given the opportunity, Kazantzakis's assertive characters accept the challenge and enter the domain of the tragic experience.
Antonakes, Michael. "Christ, Kazantzakis, and Controversy in Greece" Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 6 (1990):331-343.
Antonakes discusses how Photis Kontoglou, in 1978, perpetuated the hostile view from the 1930s about Kazantzakis's plays and novels. When, for example, Kazantzakis's play Christ was published in 1928, it received limited attention in the literary reviews, which noted its "hysteria," its declamatory style, and its attempt to mix Christian with Buddhist concepts. A charge against Kazantzakis was filed at the office of the district attorney in Athens in 1930. (It was later withdrawn.) The political tensions during the second World War and the Greek Civil War in the 1940s exacerbated the ideological conflicts. Kazantzakis's work was judged strictly on political and religious grounds in the 1950s. When the Vatican placed his novel The Last Temptation of Christ on the index of forbidden books in 1954, the Holy Synod in Athens charged Kazantzakis with blasphemy because of his novel Captain Michael. But the Greek parliament came to his defense in 1955, reaffirming an author's right to freedom of speech.
Antoniadou, Eleni. "The Theatre in Cyprus." In Five Short Essays on Cypriot Literature, edited by Andreas Sophocleous, translated by John Vickers, 55-63. Nicosia: Cyprus PEN, 1981.
Antoniadou surveys theatrical activity on the island of Cyprus in ancient times, the Byzantine period, and modern times. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Cypriot theater was revitalized thanks to a handful of playwrights (Sivitanides, Constantinides, Theocharides, Zenonos, Karageorghiades), a few amateur theater companies, the study of classical Greek drama in high schools, and the touring theater companies from Greece. This newly founded tradition continued during the first half of the twentieth century with a new generation of playwrights, directors, designers and actors who formed amateur and semiprofessional theater companies such as Love of the People, Panergatiko, Prometheus, Lyriko, and the Paphos Revue in Nicosia, Paphos, Limassol, and Larnaca. During the third quarter of this century, more theater companies were founded, such as The Cypriot Theater, The United Artists Theater, the New Theater, The Cyprus Organization for Theatrical Development, the Greek Popular Theater, the C.B.C. Little Theater, the Cyprus Theater Organization, and the Art Theater (Thanos Saketas), which should not be confused with the Art Theater of Athens (Karolos Koun) or the Art Theater of London (George Evgeniou).
Antoniou, Theodore. "Searching for the Theme of an Article about Contemporary Theatre Music," translated by N. C. Germanacos. Boundary 2: A Journal of Postmodern Literature 1/2 (1973):454-468.
Antoniou thinks that "applied" music is designed to serve the play for which it is commissioned. It therefore offers a composer little opportunity for personal expression unless the composer's personal views are close to those of the playwright or the director. Antoniou first questioned his function as a composer when he wrote the score for The Beggar's Opera in 1970. Since that year, he has believed that music must be ideologically engaged or else it becomes just decorative, and he has written music as an act of protest and provocation: Protest II (about the banning of a play in Athens), Cassandra (about the human tragedy in Troy), Nenikikamen (about the victory of the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon), Events III (about the document-collage poem by Nanos Valaoritis), and Collective Improvisation (for a protest demonstration). Antoniou is fed up with artistic manifestos, avant-garde navel-gazing, traditional establishments, and avant-garde establishments.
Arnakis, G. Georgiades. "The Tragedy of Man in the Poetry of George Seferis." The Texas Quarterly 7/1 (1964):55-67.
In discussing Exercise Book, Gymnopaedia, Mythical Story, Spring A.D., The Cistern, and Thrush, Arnakis analyzes Seferis's tragic vision. Seferis looks for points of contact between classical and modern Greece. The figures of classical Greek drama (e.g., Agamemnon and Oedipus) become the symbols of the various aspects of human tragedy in modern times. Seferis articulates a subdued despair. His resigned pessimism has a Euripidean flavor without a revolutionary flair. Greece is the origin and central theme of his pessimism. Not a neutral observer of history, Seferis sees an all-pervading death theme that contaminates the experience of life. Instead of amalgamation and fulfillment, humankind knows only disintegration and a void in a world of broken arcs. Seferis has no vision of unity and completeness, nor in a Byzantine or Christian heaven. Hellenism offers no remedy to the struggling human spirit.
Bacopoulou-Halls, Aliki. Modern Greek Theater: Roots and Blossoms. Athens: Diogenis, 1982.
Bacopoulou-Halls presents a kaleidoscopic critical overview of modern Greek drama through sweeping statements on the Greek neoclassical and romantic plays. She focuses on post-World War II plays but traces their development back to the folk tradition of Byzantine games and liturgical drama, the sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century theater on the island of Crete, the folk theater of the Ionian Islands, and the Karaghiozis shadow theater on the mainland that, in turn, bequeathed some of its stock characters to the revues in Athens and to the anti-heroes in plays of postwar playwrights such as Kehaidis and Skourtis. She concludes that the development of modern Greek theater has been like Odysseus's journey to Ithaca--a journey back to the sources of Greek culture away from foreign influences.
Bakker, Wim. "Religious Drama." In Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete, edited by David Holton, 179-203. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Bakker peruses three Greek texts from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that share some similarities with the genre of religious drama in European dramatic tradition--namely, Marinos Falieros's Lament on the Passion ( ThrÍnos eis ta pathÍ ); an anonymous poet's Supplications ( Logoi paraklÍtikoi ); and an anonymous dramatist's The Sacrifice of Abraham ( thusia tou Abraam ). Lament on the Passion (404 verses) involves, next to Mary's lamentations, several speakers such as Martha, John, Mary Magdalene, Christ, and the Jew Tzadok, who, at the request of the poet and his friends, translates the Hebrew words that are spoken by the persons represented in the painting of the Crucifixion scene before them. Supplications (112 verses) tells the story of the Passion according to St. Matthew's Gospel in a dialogic form. The Sacrifice of Abraham (1,144 verses) was probably written by Vintsentzos Kornaros. He modeled its plot after Luigi Grotto's five-act play Lo Isach (1586). However, the Greek religious play has no prologue, no epilogue, no act division and no scene division. Its playwright invented several new scenes, a fresh dramatic action, a deeper portrayal of character psychology, and more profound themes. The first performance of this religious drama on record took place on the island of Zakynthos in 1855. Its second performance on record took place in Athens in 1930.
Bakker, Wim. "Is The Sacrifice of Abraham a Drama?" KrÍtika Chronika 21 (1969):515-518.
Bakker compares the negative criticism of Spyros Melas and Alexandros Embirikos about The Sacrifice of Abraham to the positive criticism of Giannis Psycharis. (He also mentions Legrand, Pernot, Hesseling, Politis, Valsa, Megas, and Manousakas.) Embirikos, who feels some admiration for this play, thinks nevertheless that Abraham is not "human enough" because he accepts God's command to sacrifice his son immediately and without any protest. Does or does not Abraham accept God's command without a struggle? Bakker sides with Psycharis, arguing that the Greek Abraham undergoes an intense psychological conflict that is not apparent in the Italian Abrahams portrayed in the plays of Luigi Groto and Feo Belcari, where Abraham accepts God's order gladly.
Bakker, Wim. "The Sacrifice of Abraham: A First Approach to Its Poetics." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 6/1 (1988):81-95.
Bakker attempts a stylistic analysis of The Sacrifice of Abraham based on a concordance of the play completed by Dia Philippides in 1986. According to Philippides, mantato (message) is one of the key words in the play. It occurs twenty-seven times. Sarah uses the word nine times, more than any other character. This repetition is a technique employed by the playwright, according to Bakker. The technique of the recurrent motif--based on one-word themes or one-phrase themes repeated by different characters in different circumstances--establishes a chain of associations in the mind of the reader or listener. In The Sacrifice of Abraham, this one-word theme occurs as a deadly message in the very beginning of the play and as a happy message at the play's end.
Bakker, Wim. The Sacrifice of Abraham: The Cretan Biblical Drama " thusia tou Abraam " and Western European and Greek Tradition. Birmingham: University of Birmingham Centre for Byzantine Studies, 1978.
Bakker departs from Mavrogordato's comments on the similarities between the Italian play Lo Isach by Luigi Groto and the Greek play The Sacrifice of Abraham. Finding Zoras's comparative study of the two plays unsatisfactory, he reexamines three questions: What is the central meaning of the Greek play? How does it imitate the Italian play? Can it stand as an independent, original work of art in its own right? The comparative analysis of the plots and characters of the Italian and Greek plays, in the context of similar European plays of the period, shows that the Greek play has an inherent structural economy in both plot and characters that sets it apart from its model. Bakker concludes that the Cretan dramatist adopted Groto's basic plot but with a critical mind. The dramatist changed the causal sequence of the dramatic events and the decadent mannerism of Lo Isach in such a way that the Greek "imitator" of Groto wrote a better play.
Bakker, Wim. "Some Remarks on Megas' Commentary on The Sacrifice of Abraham." KrÍtika Chronika 21 (1969):130-133.
Georgios Megas thought that certain lines in the text of this play were "difficult" to emend because, even though they were grammatically "incorrect," they made perfect sense "poetically." Bakker discusses some of these lines, especially 343-344, 371-372, 407-410, 417-418, 619-620, and 625-626. After stating his objections, he draws his own conclusions.
Bakker, Wim. "Structural Differences Between Grotto's Lo Isach and The Sacrifice of Abraham." Folia Neohellenica 1 (1975):1-26.
Through a comparative structural analysis of the two plays, Bakker tries to understand the Greek dramatist's intention and working method in order to clarify the relationship between the Italian "prototype" and the Greek "copy." He analyzes the structural differences between the two plays by observing that they are almost identical in the first two acts but entirely different in the third act. The Greek dramatist must have seen the structural weaknesses of the Italian play. The changes that the Greek dramatist implemented in the fourth act are many, but only a few of them are of a structural nature. Bakker concludes that the Greek dramatist did not respect the dramatic rules of the time even though he used them for the most part in constructing his plot. The Greek dramatist was consciously creating a structure different from Grotto's. For an expanded version of this argument, see the previous entry.
Bakker, Wim, Harrie de Korte, and Gerard Verbaarschot. "The Sacrifice of Abraham and its Tradition: Evaluation of the Manuscript and the Editions." Cretan Studies 2 (1990):11-71.
The Bakker team argues that, in preparing a new critical edition of The Sacrifice of Abraham, one can trust as reliable only the 1713 Bortoli edition and portions of the Turkish translation based on Sarros's 1696 edition. Megas applied two criteria in his 1954 critical edition of this play: (a) the text of the Marcianus Graecus XI.19 (1934), ff. 210r-23lr is completely unreliable on account of its many mistakes and alterations, (b) the text of the 1713 Bortoli edition is reliable regarding content but not regarding language, which was changed. The Bakker team refines Megas's criteria by analyzing both lines of the tradition (the manuscript and the editions), trying to understand what motivated these alterations. The team concludes that Megas was a good intuitive philologist who was able to use inadequate tools wisely. The Bortoli edition normalizes the text according to a more common and (in some cases) more learned form of Greek. The great majority of the alterations, which make the text of the Marcianus Graecus an unreliable but interesting source, stem from the person who wrote its prototype, not from the scribes of the Marcianus Graecus text itself. This person was interested in producing a religious reader's text, not a performable play.
Bancroft-Marcus, Rosemary. "Georgios Chortatsis and His Works: A Critical Review." Mantatophoros 16 (1980):13-46.
Bancroft-Marcus reviews the current status of scholarly research on Hortatsis's plays, which were written when Crete was a Venetian colony. She examines his tragedy Erophili, his comedy Katzourbos, his pastoral Panoria (alias Gyparis), and the comedy Stathis, which is ascribed to him. She discusses Hortatsis's comedies by reviewing (a) the textual history of each play from the first known edition to the twentieth-century editions, (b) the various attempts to provide a chronology for each play with the help of datable Italian and other literary sources or historical events mentioned in the playtexts. She further discusses Hortatsis's cultural background, his debt to Italian literature, the staging requirements of his plays, and the various glossaries in twentieth-century editions of his plays. For more information, see Rosemary Bancroft-Marcus, "Georgios Chortatsis, 16th-century Cretan Playwright: A Critical Study" (D.Phil. diss., Oxford University, 1978).
Bancroft-Marcus, Rosemary. "Interludes." In Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete, edited by David Holton, 159-178. Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Bancroft-Marcus discusses eighteen interludes (i.e., playlets, ranging in length from 40 to 200 lines, that were performed in the intervals either of a banquet or of a play in several acts). These interludes have survived from the heyday of Greek Renaissance drama on the island of Crete. Each interlude is divided into several "phases," just as a regular play is divided into acts or scenes. These interludes contain songs, dances, combats, many fine passages of poetry, and quite a few interesting dramatic characters with clear motives, engaging dialogue, and inspiring soliloquies. The stage-direction moresca means a "Moorish dance," which usually was a mimed combat between two groups of four men (e.g., Christians vs. Muslims). As the plays of the period were divided into five acts, interludes tend to be found in sets of four. Bancroft-Marcus provides a separate summary for each of the following interludes: the four interludes of Erofili (the enchanted garden, the rescue of Rinaldo, Armida's appeal, the liberation of Jerusalem); the eight interludes of Panoria and Katzourbos (Sofronia and Olindo, Glaucus and Scylla, Jason and Medea, the sacrifice of Polyxene, Politarchos and Nerima, Pyramos and Thisbe, Perseus and Andromeda, the judgment of Paris); the two interludes of Stathis (Tselepis and the Christians, Priam and Menelaus); and the four interludes of Fortounatos (the apple of discord, the judgment of Paris, the pursuit of Helen, the Trojan horse). Bancroft-Marcus also compares the Greek interludes to the works that inspired them, such as Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata (1575), Giovan Andrea dell'Anguillara's Metamorfosi d'Ovidio (1561), and Giambattista Marino's Adone.
Bancroft-Marcus, Rosemary. "The Pastoral Mode." In Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete, edited by David Holton, 79-102. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Bancroft-Marcus surveys three five-act pastoral plays and one pastoral idyll--namely, Georgios Hortatsis's comedy Panoria (or Gyparis, ca. 1592); an anonymous dramatist's tragicomedy, The Faithful Shepherd ( O mpistikos boskos , ca. 1594), which was a translation/adaptation of Giambattista Guarini's tragicomedy Il Pastor Fido (1589); Antonio Pandimos's tragicomedy Fidelity in Love (L'Amorosa fede, 1616), which was published in Venice in 1620; and an anonymous poet's 476-line idyll, The [Young] Shepherdess ( boskopoula , Venice 1627), which is structured as if it were a neoclassical play, relying extensively on quoting speeches (266 lines). Bancroft-Marcus provides detailed summaries of the three plays and of the idyll. Panoria dramatizes the love story of a wealthy and handsome young shepherd (Gyparis) and his friend (Alexis) for the beautiful but proud Panoria and her kind companion (Athousa), respectively. The Greek adaptation of Guarini's Il Pastor Fido, which eliminated scenes and passages with low dramatic and theatrical value, deals with a love quadrangle. Silvios is engaged to Eroprikousa, who, in turn, secretly returns the love of her former suitor, Myrtinos, who in turn is pursued by Koriska, while Silvios wounds Dorinda in a hunting accident and promises to cure her and to marry her. Fidelity in Love dramatizes the subjugation of the Cretans to the Venetians by disguising it as a past state of servitude of the people of Mount Ida to the King of Knossos.
Beaton, Roderick. An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.
Beaton, in his 426-page long introduction, mentions modern Greek drama on nine pages (5-6, 27, 62, 120, 241-242, 306-307), but the overall information he provides does not exceed five pages of continuous text. He disregards drama for four reasons: (1) Only the genres of poetry and prose fiction have been central to any modern definition of Greek "literature" since 1821; (2) only those two genres have been central to the literary canon for the past one hundred years; (3) Greek theater in the nineteenth century failed to live up to its promising start that was marked by two plays written in prose--Basil Plant (1829) and Babel (1836); (4) few modern Greek plays written before 1940 have been regularly performed and reissued in new editions. Beaton chooses not to try to determine in his book whether these reasons are true and, if they are, which of any number of possible factors have caused this situation.
Bien, Peter. "Buddha: Kazantzakis' Most Ambitious and Most Neglected Play." Comparative Drama 11/3 (1977):252-272.
Bien offers a thematic analysis of the play, seen as an icon with two levels: The upper level is heaven (Buddha) and the lower level is earth (Epaphos). Through the two levels of the actual and the phenomenal world, the dramatic events cover the full spectrum of life and death--alluding to the paradox of the triumph of the Greeks against the Italian army in Albania, followed by the German invasion and subsequent occupation of Greece. The two levels or realms of experience, however, are conceived as a totality--as aspects of a unity. Bien concludes that Kazantzakis was pushed by the harsh political experience of the early 1940s to a renewed state of awareness, and that his play demonstrates that mankind can be ennobled only through a spiritual, individual awareness of the overall evolution of the material world.
Bien, Peter. "Christopher Columbus: Kazantzakis's Final Play." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 10/4 (1983):21-30.
Bien briefly analyzes Kazantzakis's Christopher Columbus (first title The Golden Apple). Although Kazantzakis initially wanted to write the play in a classical dramatic form, he ended up writing a four-act play that conforms neither to the classical norm nor to the surrealist norm that he mentions in his notebooks. Bien identifies the paradox in Kazantzakis's concept of tragedy--namely, that the upward struggle for tangible improvement of life is thwarted by negative forces as soon as achievement begins to replace aspiration. The play reflects Kazantzakis's high hopes for a new world after the occupation armies withdrew from Greece in 1944. For Bien, the play is, at first, the dream of a journey to a "new world" that does not exist outside Columbus's desire. However, as soon as the dream comes true, negative forces creep into the picture. Instead of the paradise that he had imagined, Columbus creates a hell of slavery, exploitation, suffering, and disillusionment. The play alludes to the horror and disappointment that the Civil War brought to "liberated" Greece.
Bien, Peter. "Kazantzakis' Kapodistrias, a (Rejected) Offering to Divided Greece, 1944-1946." Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 3 (1977):141-173.
Bien contends that Kazantzakis, confined to the island of Aegina during the German occupation, wrote Kapodistrias in order to bridge the ideological dichotomy between the Aristotelian and the existentialist views of humanity. Kapodistrias's deliberate death is the private "exit" of a solitary, existentialist hero. At the same time, however, his death is the ultimate political act, one that paradoxically affirms that humanity fulfills itself through the community. Bien shows Kazantzakis's protest against factionalism by analyzing the character of Makriyannis and the unstated ideologies in the dramatic conflict. Bien also shows Kazantzakis's notion of Greekness by analyzing the unifying metaphors in the play. Bien concludes that the cultural concern about Greekness and the political concern about factionalism in Kapodistrias are brought into an appealing synthesis.
Bien, Peter. "Kazantzakis' The Masterbuilder with an Additional Note on Kapodhistrias." The Literary Review 18/4 (1975):398-411.
Bien discusses two plays written in 1908 and 1944, respectively. Kazantzakis, who considered himself a playwright until the end of his career, was discouraged by the prevailing conditions in the theater of his day, and became an armchair dramatist. Bien examines the theatrical situation in prewar Greece, making Kazantzakis's playwriting career a case study. If Kazantzakis's case is at all representative, Bien concludes, then the Greek theater failed to realize its immense potential in the first half of the twentieth century.
Bien, Peter. "Kazantzakis's Long Apprenticeship to Christian Themes." In God's Struggler: Religion in the Writings of Nikos Kazantzakis, edited by Darren J. N. Middleton and Peter Bien. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1996.
Bien analyzes how the Christ theme evolved in five plays by Nikos Kazantzakis--namely, Day Is Breaking (1906), Fasga (ca. 1907), Comedy (1909), Nikiforos Fokas (1914), and Christ (1921). Kazantzakis's religious ideas developed in a seesaw fashion, alternating from Orthodox faith to scientific doubt, from doubt back to Christian Orthodoxy, and then forward to metacommunism, a concept that is compatible with Kazantzakis's notion of a meta-Christianity. Comedy shows how people suffer when science, by pronouncing that God is dead, deprives them of the belief in an afterlife. Fasga dramatizes the case of a man (Loris) who, like Moses, sees a Promised Land but dies before he reaches it. Loris is torn apart by his love for two women--his Christian wife and his pagan mistress. Nikiforos Fokas rejects the traditional Christ and introduces a meta-Christian Christ who needs the help of humankind to achieve salvation. This Christ astounds Nikiforos. Christ begins the day after the Crucifixion while Christ rests in his tomb, waiting to be resurrected, crying for help. He is resurrected not by a divine Creator but by Mary Magdalene, whose sexuality is the prime mover of evolution. She had a vision during which she felt that she gave birth to Christ. He is reborn, resurrected, and rescued from death. The newborn Christ is no longer a humble prince of peace. Like a meta-Christian superman, he comes armed with a sword of slaughter. His program now is for men to evolve into supermen ( theanthrŰpoi ) who are no longer misled by false promises. The disciples, except for Judas, are unable to follow Christ's new message. Kazantzakis employs dualistic means to embody a monistic view of Christ as a "godman." Christ (love, spirit) is incomplete without Judas (hate, matter). Judas sees his expanded role in the universal process, and he responds to Christ's call for unification. Bien concludes that, even at his most seemingly anti-Christian moments, Kazantzakis was always looking for a way to transmute the Christian religion rather than to abandon it. His theology was part of a wider, biblical faith still in the making.
Bien, Peter. "A Tiny Anthology of Kazantzakis' Remarks on the Drama: 1910-1957." The Literary Review 18/4 (1975):455-459.
Bien compiles Kazantzakis's passing comments on the art of theater that were recorded in interviews and appeared in newspapers (e.g., Akropolis, Kathimerini) or in periodicals (e.g., Europe). He also includes Kazantzakis's aphorisms about the art of theater that he wrote in his letters to Galatea Kazantzaki, Eleni Samiou, and Pandelis Prevelakis concerning his own plays, the plays of Japanese Noh playwrights, and the plays of Shakespeare. For more information on Kazantzakis's ideas about the art of theater, see Thomas King, "Kazantzakis's Prometheus Trilogy: The Ideas and their Dramatic Rendering." (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1970).
Bien, Peter. "Kazantzakis' Melissa." To Yofiri: Journal of Modern Greek Studies 12 (1992):34-44.
Bien examines how this play functions as a work of art, not as a philosophical treatise or an autobiographical document. The commercial vicissitudes of Melissa, which is perhaps the most technically disciplined of Kazantzakis's plays, show how politics inhibited his theatrical success. Kazantzakis wrote the play in 1937 specifically for Alexis Minotis and the Vasilik is perha, which rejected it. Alexis Solomos finally produced it in 1962, five years after Kazantzakis's death. The play suggests that heroism may originate in the mundane spheres of existence. The playwright's autobiographical elements serve the aesthetic needs of the play while at the same time giving it an authenticity that keeps it from being a sterile exercise in Greek history. The situation involves civil and family strife in a state so repressive that the peasants have begun to plot a people's revolution. The play builds up a case for militaristic ideology only to tear it down by showing that nothing ennobling results from aggression. Melissa proves Kazantzakis's ability to transubstantiate his political misfortunes into artistic excellence.
Bloch, AdŤle. "The Dual Masks of Nikos Kazantzakis." Journal of Modern Literature 2/2 (1971-1972):189-198.
Bloch points out that masks play a major role in Kazantzakis's works--both novels and plays--especially as a metaphor. She traces Kazantzakis's fascination with masks back to his visit to an African mask exhibit at an ethnic museum in Berlin after the first world war. She mentions that Kazantzakis kept a mask of Nietzsche's face hanging over his door for many years. People wear masks that often deceive. Serene Apollo can wear a Dionysian mask while Dionysus can put on an Apollonian mask. Despite the appearances and contradictions, however, Kazantzakis perceived a deep unity in life. He believed that in the ephemeral, innumerable masks God has assumed though the centuries, there exists an indestructible unity. The mask that Kazantzakis preferred for himself was the mask of "tragic optimism."
Bosnakis, Panayiotis. "Greece and Modernity in Kazantzakis's Prometheus." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 17/2 (1991):57-86.
Bosnakis analyzes the Prometheus trilogy and the debate between Kazantzakis and Vasilis Laourdas. He shows that Kazantzakis envisioned Greece as a secularized, modernized state that would catch up with European modernity. He defines modernity as a critical, self-aware, mental attitude that one can earn with effort--not as a specific historical period that one can enter by merely being there. For northern European critics (Foucault, de Man, Habermas), modernity began with the Enlightenment, attempting to reform society and to transform the historical subject. It rejected neoclassicism and the past. For Kazantzakis, modernity did not reject antiquity; it rediscovered its lost spirit by peeling off the "classical" layers of tradition and continuity piled up by Romantic scholars. His Prometheus represents a Nietzschean archetype whose modern mental attitude and action must be emulated by all Greeks and Europeans. Greek identity, with its explosive mix of Western and Eastern cultures, may help wage a victorious battle against totalitarianism, represented in the play by Zeus. Bosnakis concludes that this trilogy of plays reflects Kazantzakis's ideological confrontation with the generation of the 1930s that caused his marginalization.
Carpenter, Marjorie. "Romanos and the Mystery Plays of the East." University of Missouri Studies 11/3 (1936):22-51.
The evidence that theatrical performances took place in the Byzantine Empire, and the recognition that a type of hymn known as kontakion has a dramatic structure, inspires Carpenter to examine how this type of hymn contributed to the development of the mystery play. This type of hymn drew on stories from the cycles of Christmas or Easter and from the lives of saints or martyrs. Carpenter compares Romanos's Resurrection, a sixth-century kontakion, with a Byzantine passion play from the thirteenth century. She reclassifies this type of hymn from the Easter cycle in order to show that Romanos's compositions--owing to topic selection--were intended for the great festivals of the Christian Church: The Resurrection of Lazarus, Palm Sunday, The Harlot, The Betrayal, The Denial of Peter, The Passion, Mary at the Cross, The Triumph of the Cross, The Resurrection, Easter Sunday, and The Doubts of Thomas. She concludes that this type of hymn is important because it links the popular interest in drama in Constantinople to that in Syria.
Catsaouni, Helen. "Cavafy and the Theatrical Representation of History." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 10/1-2 (1983):105-116.
Catsaouni argues that Cavafy's texts, following their own selective rules, constitute an idiosyncratic mirror that reflects and "deflects" history. Cavafy himself was aware of the deflecting effect of literary production on historical events ("The Enemies," 1900). The article discusses the general technique of Cavafy's theatrical representation of history and it provides evidence of Cavafy's belief in the strong influence of theater: "Herod's Mime Iambs" (1892), "A Displeased Spectator" (1893), "Ancient Tragedy" (1897), "The Tarantinians Carouse" (1898), "At the Theater" (1904). It explores theatrical dimensions of Cavafy's historical poems such as the use of mimetic forms of speech, the careful arrangement of settings, the dramatic development of events, and detailed, delicate characterization. In this context, Catsaouni divides Cavafy's "The Displeasure of Selefkidis" into four acts.
Colakis, Marianthe. "Classical Mythology in Yannis Ritsos' Dramatic Monologues." Classical and Modern Literature 4/3 (1984):117-130.
Colakis discusses the dramatic monologues of Ritsos that have a mythological theme: The Dead House, Under the Mountain's Shadow, Agamemnon, Chrysothemis, Orestes, The Return of Iphigenia. Persephone, Ismene, Ajax, Philoctetes, Helen, and Phaedra. Ritsos gives these lengthy poems the form of a dramatic monologue. By means of a prologue, Ritsos reveals the place, time, and characters. The speaker reflects on what has happened, is happening, or will happen while the addressee remains silent. In an epilogue, Ritsos reveals the consequences of all that preceded. Ritsos's monologues invert the ancient myths. He shows their negative aspects by concentrating on the characters' failure or less glorious moments. Ritsos shocks the reader because he recreates ancient Greek heroes and heroines in ways that are unexpected, yet not inappropriate.
Constantinidis, Stratos. "Existential Protest in Greek Drama during the Junta." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 3/2 (1985):137-144.
Constantinidis discusses Aliki Bakopoulou-Halls's book Modern Greek Theater: Roots and Blossoms (1982) as he attempts to answer Giorgos MihaÔlidis's plea for an alternative classification of modern Greek drama in MihaÔlidis's book Neoi EllÍnes theatrikoi sungrapheis (1975). The article questions Bakopoulou-Halls's allegation that the characters of post-Civil War plays retain an attitude of existential commitment. It shows that "existential commitment" does not carry over to many postwar plays that she mentions, such as those by Kambanellis, Skourtis, Mourselas, Karras, Anagnostaki, and Matesis. Constantinidis proposes an alternative classification for modern Greek plays.
Constantinidis, Stratos. "Social Protest against Authoritarianism in Modern Greek Drama." In Within the Dramatic Spectrum: The University of Florida Comparative Drama Conference Papers, vol. 6, edited by Karelisa Hartigan, 7-19. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1986.
Constantinidis discusses fourteen plays by Kambanellis, Anagnostaki, Stavrou, Skourtis, Pontikas, Kehaidis and Haviara. He argues that these playwrights saw social conflict as a form of theater and that they attacked the radical nationalism, anti-liberalism, and anti-parliamentarianism of authoritarian regimes in modern Greece. They depicted the frustration, anger, and wishful thinking of the underdog with a healthy sense of humor whenever they could afford to. The characters express the spirit of the times, which was to earn a living through political and moral compromise in a police state. These plays opened a dialogue with their politically silenced audiences. Constantinidis concludes that although their protest did not change Greek society it did change the perception of postwar Greek audiences about the role of theater in the politics of modern Greece.
Constantinidis, Stratos. "Classical Greek Drama in Modern Greece: Mission and Money." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 5/1 (1987):15-32.
Constantinidis describes several issues and tensions that have resulted from reviving classical drama in modern Greece. Should a theater company "translate" the verbal and visual aspects of the ancient plays to suit the understanding and tastes of modern audiences, or preserve the verbal, paraverbal, and non-verbal elements? He reviews amateur productions from 1830 to 1930, concluding that the revival of classical Greek drama took three major steps: from eighteenth-century neoclassics to the Greek classics, from performances in ancient Greek to translations, and from in-house performances to open-air festivals. The demand by audiences for understandable performances and the concern of commercial companies for ticket sales were the main factors causing change.
Constantinidis, Stratos. "The New Dionysus of Modern Greek Poetic Drama: Crucifix or Grapevine?" In From Bard to Broadway: The University of Florida Comparative Drama Conference Papers, vol. 7, edited by Karelisa Hartigan, 21-31. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1987.
Constantinidis discusses how Dionysus became the prevailing metaphor in several plays by Sikelianos, Kazantzakis, and Palamas. Through these plays, the playwrights wished to affect the quality of social life and attitudes in Greece. If they could merge art with life, overcoming the separation between the dramatic and the real worlds, life might begin to embody their imaginative experience in the future. The quixotic and inexpedient spirit of these plays failed to address concrete social problems in a society rent by severe military, economic, and political conflicts. Instead, they pondered fundamental human problems and the spiritual liberation of mankind. After losing faith in the nationalist and later the fascist and communist mass movements, even though accepting Nietzsche's idea of a superman, Palamas, Kazantzakis, and Sikelianos envisioned the emergence, through conscious selection, of a new kind of man whose human nature would transcend itself.
Constantinidis, Stratos. "The Rebirth of Tragedy: Protest and Evolution in Modern Greek Drama." Comparative Drama 21/2 (1987):156-181.
Constantinidis analyses several plays by Sikelianos, Kazantzakis, and Palamas in the context of European thought and drama. He proposes that, outside the narrow context of Greek drama of the 1940s, which favored realism, these plays may acquire their long-overdue recognition. In these plays of "Dionysiac protest," the rebellion of the main characters is based on an ethical rather than a political decision, and the "social" conflict is presented as part of a central theme of greater universal significance. Their protest formulates an optimistic, irrational doctrine of purposeful evolution that aspires to bring society out of a state of fear and conflict into a state of altruistic love and harmony.
Constantinidis, Stratos. " ElenÍ BoÔskou. Alla pente theatrika. Athens, 1986." World Literature Today 61/4 (1987):663-664.
In this book review, Constantinidis discusses five plays by Eleni Voiskou. He begins with the two-play sequence Political Before (1973) and Political After (1976). He continues with her four one-act plays--Guesswork (1972), Night (1979), Canceled Broadcast (1985), Luxurious Suite (1985). The book ends with a poor English translation of Guesswork. The plays share a post-absurdist theme of diminishing self-control and state-control. Voiskou's scene sequences have the quality of a "slide show." She creates one-dimensional characters in a two-dimensional political landscape that is crowded by semi-surrealistic characters.
Constantinidis, Stratos. " Alekos Geladas, O agapÍtikos tÍs boskopoulas. Edited by Minas Alexiadis. Athens: Kardamitsas, 1990." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 12/1 (1994):149-151.
In this book review, Constantinidis discusses Minas Alexiadis's critical edition of Alekos Geladas's play, The Beloved of the Shepherdess (ca. 1910). This book, which has an introduction, the edited text of the play (2,419 couplets), a commentary, a bibliography, a glossary, a table of all the proper names and placenames mentioned in the play, an index, and an appendix, is, in Constantinidis's opinion, a useful contribution to the study of early twentieth-century Greek dramatic literature. However, Alexiadis's belief that this play is a "homiletic" skit continuing the oral tradition of Greek theater on the island of Zakynthos into the twentieth century is hard to swallow. Constantinidis points out that, when Geladas adapted Dimitris Koromilas's play (performed in 1891 and published in 1903), he simply borrowed the "homiletic" form from earlier centuries. Geladas gave to his play a progressive social content by dramatizing how, thanks to specific sociocultural factors, some women in rural Greece maintained marriage as an economic institution from generation to generation.
Dalven, Rae. "Greece: Modern Period." In The Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama, edited by John Gassner and Edward Quinn, 392-400. New York: Crowell, 1969.
Dalven gives a clear, mostly accurate summary of Greek drama from 1600 to 1965. She outlines only the major plays of major playwrights, providing a coherent and concise account. However, she pigeonholes several plays and playwrights under facile labels such as realism, symbolism, bourgeois drama, historical drama, and theater of ideas. Dalven dates each play, mentions its Greek title, and translates the title into English. She occasionally mentions alleged "foreign" influences on modern Greek playwrights.
Danforth, Loring. "Humour and Status Reversal in Greek Shadow Theater." Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 2 (1976):99-111.
Danforth argues that Karaghiozis embodies a Greek cunning ( ponÍria ) that expresses itself humorously through a reversal of social roles. Danforth sums up the standardized plot of the Karaghiozis plays as follows: The Turkish deputy in Greece, who needs a skilled person to perform a task, asks Hatziavatis to help him find such a person. Hatziavatis runs into poor Karaghiozis, who convinces Hatziavatis and the Turkish deputy that he is skilled enough for the job. Dressed in the appropriate costume, Karaghiozis deceives several stock characters until he is exposed and punished. Karaghiozis's humorous status reversal is a subversive challenge to the dominant system of hierarchy and control represented by the Turkish deputy. Danforth concludes that deceitful Karaghiozis succeeds in asserting his false claim by effectively manipulating the hierarchical principle of prestige (honor/precedence) as a structural feature in Greek social organization.
Danforth, Loring. "Tradition and Change in Greek Shadow Theater." Journal of American Folklore 96/381 (1983):281-309.
Danforth observes that while scholarly interest in the Karaghiozis shadow theater increased in the 1960s, the oral tradition itself was undergoing drastic changes such as fewer live productions owing to competition from film, television, and comic books. Against the Greek folklorists, who thought that the mass media commercialized and cheapened the Karaghiozis shadow theater, Danforth argues that such dichotomies as commerce/art, traditional/modern, and genuine/spurious are misleading. He applies Propp's syntagmatic structural analysis, instead of Levi-Strauss's paradigmatic structural analysis, to a group of Karaghiozis plays such as Karaghiozis as James Bond and Karaghiozis as Astronaut, showing how these Karaghiozis plays were able to remain traditional while incorporating what is clearly new material from other contemporary narrative genres in the 1960s. He concludes that the narrative tradition is dynamic and constantly changing, just like the larger cultural context of which it is part. Cf. Loring Danforth, "Greek Shadow Theater: A Metasocial Commentary" (M.A. thesis, Princeton University, 1974).
Danforth, Loring. "Kostas Myrsiades and Linda S. Myrsiades, The Karagiozis Heroic Performance in Greek Shadow Theatre. Hanover, New Hampshire: University of New England Press, 1988." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 7/2 (1989):359-361.
In this book review, Danforth welcomes this study on shadow theater as an addition to the growing body of literature on modern Greek theater folklore and popular culture. The book opens with a detailed history of Greek shadow theater, recording its Turkish origins, its introduction to Greece, and its Greek development. The critically annotated translations of two plays--The Hero Katsantonis and Karagiozis and the Seven Beasts--in Danforth's opinion, suffer from an overbearing abundance of disruptive footnotes. The study suffers from a narrow concern for "historical veracity," which devours a more valuable commentary on issues of interpretation. The authors' nationalist emphasis on the "Greekness" of Karaghiozis raises questions about the role of Karaghiozis scholars in ideological discussions of Greek national identity. The exclusive focus on the past (primarily the 1920s) disregards the contemporary performances in Plaka and in the movie theaters of Athens in the 1980s.
Dimaras, Constantinos. A History of Modern Greek Literature. Translated by Mary Gianos. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1972.
Dimaras surveys modern Greek drama in less than 30 pages of continuous text (76, 81-88, 102, 158-159, 162, 174-177, 202-203, 213, 228-229, 246-248, 272-274, 276-277, 282, 287, 290-291, 294, 302, 307, 317-318, 323, 334, 341, 347-348, 350-352, 354, 367-368, 393, 421, 441-442, 449-450, 458, 462, 493-494). He devotes the remaining 470 pages to poems, novels, and short stories. He presents an uneven and very selective account of modern Greek drama. Plays and dramatists receive only a cursory mention. When authors are better known for their poems or novels (e.g., Kazantzakis and Palamas), Dimaras neglects their plays. Generally, this book is very poorly translated and filled with typographical and other errors. Readers would do well to consult the Greek original if possible.
Doulis, Thomas. "Loula Anagnostaki and the New Theater of Greece." Chicago Review 21/2 (1969):83-87.
Doulis argues that prewar Greek drama was overshadowed by the great tradition of classical Greek drama. Neither classical nor folk drama enabled prewar playwrights to create a distinct modern Greek drama, because they saw these two traditions as examples of a coherent continuity rather than as manifestations of a fragmented culture. The postwar generation of playwrights, including Anagnostaki, escaped from the vortex of chauvinism/patriotism by placing itself in the broader European theatrical tradition without recourse to classical or Greek folk drama. Doulis argues that for the past two centuries, Greek theater followed European models in playwriting, design, acting, and directing. Finally, this western influence helped the postwar dramatists of Greece to discard the ideas that had hampered prewar playwrights such as Palamas, Rotas, and Melas.
Doulis, Thomas. "The Man of the Theater." In George Theotokas, 86-109. Boston: Twayne, 1975.
In his search for a workable modern Greek dramatic style, Theotokas experimented with classical forms in his plays With Night Falls (1941), Revolt at Anapli (1942), and Byzantine Night (1944). Theotokas also experimented with the folk tradition in his plays The Bridge of Arta (1942), The Dream of the Twelfth Night (1943), The Castle of the Beauty (1944), The Game of Folly vs. Virtue (1944), Encounter on Penteli (1947), and The Price of Freedom (1948). This chapter in Doulis's book also mentions Hard Roots (1956), Since Alcibiades (1957), The End of the Road (1960), and The Final War (1964). Theotokas's tenure as Director General of the National Theater of Greece (1945-1947, 1950-1952) suffered from ideological disagreements about the purpose of that institution. Doulis concludes that classical drama and the theater market inhibited the development of modern Greek drama by smothering the valuable experiments and insights of playwrights such as Theotokas.
Fann-Bouteneff, Patricia. "The Bridge Rebuilt: The Myth of the Masterbuilder in Folksong and Theatre." Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 9 (1993):267-279.
Fann-Bouteneff shows how seven Greek plays written in the twentieth century treat the theme of the "bridge of hair" differently from their traditional sources. The Christian metaphor of a bridge made of a strand of hair spanning a river of fire goes back to the fourth century. In Byzantine times, the bridge was a supernatural construct, and the focus stayed on the sinners plummeting into the river of fire (as in The Life of St. Philaret, for example). In the folksongs, the bridge is a family affair, and the focus is on the wife being tricked to die in the foundation. In the plays--e.g., Voutieridis's The Bridge of Arta (1905), Horn's The Invaluable (1906), Kazantzakis's The Masterbuilder (1908) and Kapodistrias (1946), Photiadis's The Bridge of Hair (1927), Theotokas's The Bridge of Arta (1942), and Ktenidis's The Masterbuilder's Wife (1950)--the bridge is an individual matter and the focus is on the masterbuilder's attitude toward his craft.
Fann, Patricia. "In-Between States: The Uses of Liminality in the Pontic Theatre." Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 8 (1992):273-291.
Fann sees Greece as a country that discourages the heterogeneity of ethnic minorities such as the Greek Pontians. She analyzes two Greek Pontian plays, Xenophon Akoglous's Akritas and Philon Ktenidis's Emigrant, by using two concepts: liminality (the state of a hero's transition and incorporation) and marginality (the state of a hero's exclusion and peripheral existence). In Akritas, liminality and marginality afflict the hero and his children who, socially and geographically, live literally in a border town. His children inherit his geographical marginality and social liminality; they feel more marginal and liminal than their father. In Emigrant, liminality is dramatized by a villager (Toton) who returns home after a prolonged life as an immigrant in Russia. Fann concludes that dramatic characters who are in a state of liminality are consistently redeemed, and that they are reincorporated into the community chiefly through marriage. The Greek Pontian playwrights associate marginality with liminality, implying that the cultural and social marginality of the Greek Pontians is not a permanent condition. Instead, like liminality, it is a temporary state of being as they transit from the periphery to the center of Greek society.
Fann, Patricia. "Pontic Performance: Minority Theater vs. Greek Ideology." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 9/1 (1991):107-122.
Fann discusses how Pontian theater in Greece became an important community theater that asserted the identity of those refugees who were evicted from their homeland on the southeast coast of the Black Sea after the Greek-Turkish Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. This Greek Orthodox Christian minority produced plays written and performed in the Greek Pontian dialect by amateur playwrights, directors, and actors. Their performances functioned as local, social, "speech" events, allowing the homesick refugees to relive their past and to celebrate their survival. This community theater reinvented (not just transplanted) Pontian culture and tradition on Greek soil by disregarding the policy of the Greek administration, which encouraged the refugees' linguistic and cultural integration.
Friar, Kimon. "Nikos Kazantzakis in the United States." The Literary Review 18/4 (1975):381-397.
This article presents Friar's impressions of the scholarly and artistic activity in the U.S.A. regarding Kazantzakis's works. It gives a brief account of Kazantzakis's plays translated and produced in the U.S.A. in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Specifically, it mentions the dramatization of Kazantzakis's epic Odyssey, and the productions of Comedy, Kouros, and Sodom and Gomorrah in American universities.
Gressler, Thomas. Greek Theater in the 1980s. Jefferson: McFarland, 1989.
Gressler surveys theatrical activity in Greece from 1974 to 1988 in four parts: The first part of the book provides a historical overview of the Greek people, a sketch of the alleged national Greek character, a dubious metaphor of the Greek theater standing between East and West, and an impressionistic report on the status of theater research in Athens. The second part surveys the various types of theaters such as those subsidized by the government, commercial theaters, children's theaters, puppet theaters, amateur theaters, and more recent types of theater. The third part looks at the facilities, locations, working conditions, and theatrical seasons as well as at production techniques and the training of theater professionals. The fourth part discusses playwriting opportunities, the Greek Actor's Equity, the Hellenic Theater Museum, and ends with a chapter-long summary.
Gudas, Rom. The Bitter-Sweet Art: Karaghiozis, the Greek Shadow Theater. Athens: Gnosis, 1986.
This illustrated book begins with an introduction (11-19) that places the Greek shadow theater in its Middle-Eastern historical context; it surveys the background of a short story, The Bitter-Sweet Art/ TÍs technÍs ta pharmakia (20-21), which is based on the experience of the Karaghiozis puppeteer Yannis Roulias (renamed "Foulias" in the short story), written by Yannis Vlachoyannis (1867-1945) at the turn of the twentieth century. It includes a translation of the short story (23-90), a brief history of the Greek shadow theater (91-110), a commentary on the shadow plays and the method of their presentation (113-124), and brief biographies of the following Karaghiozis puppeteers: Yannis Brachalis, Dimitris Sardounis or Mimaros, Vassilis Tsilias, Vassilis Liakos or Prevezanos, Yannis Roulias, Memos Christodoulos, Dimitris Dalianis or Manopoulos, Yannis Moras, Markos Xanthos, Harilaos Petropoulos, Kostas Manos or Athanassios, Andonis Papoulias or Mollas, Spyros Kouzaros, Dimitris Aspiotis, Vassilis Fildissakos, Christos Haridimos, Sotiris Spatharis, Lefteris Kelarinopoulos, Vassilis Andrikopoulos or Vassilaros, Athanassios Spyropoulos, Dinos Theodoropoulos, Panayiotis Michopoulos, Dimitris Meimaroglou or Mimaros, Topekitsoglou, Manthos Lionettis or Athinaios, Yannis Mourelatos or Yannaros, and Andreas Kyriazopoulos (127-144). In addition, it describes various figures of the Greek shadow theater--from Karaghiozis to Velighekas (147-165); devotes a chapter to the figures, tools, and set designs of the Greek shadow theater (167-175); prints Gudas's translation of Andonis Mollas's Karaghiozis play A Little of Everything (177-253); and adds detailed notes on the play (255-263).
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