Helena González-Vaquerizo: La Odisea cretense y modernista de Nikos Kazantzakis (Nikos Kazantzakis’ Cretan and Modernist Odyssey)

Helena González-Vaquerizo: La Odisea cretense y modernista de Nikos Kazantzakis (Nikos Kazantzakis’ Cretan and Modernist Odyssey). Departamento de Filología Clásica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


  • Rosario López Gregoris, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
  • Mª Eugenia Rodríguez Blanco, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


  • Pedro Bádenas de la Peña, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (President).
  • Pilar Hualde Pascual, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Secretary).
  • José António Costa Ideias, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Vocal).
  • Antonio Cascón Dorado, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Vocal).
  • Ernest Emily Marcos Hierro, Universitat de Barcelona (Vocal).

Date: 5 / 07 /2013


Apto cum laude.

European Mention: Greek language summary and discussion.

Referees for the European mention: Erasmia Stavropoulou (Kapodistrian and National University of Athens) and Anastasia Markomichelaki (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki)



This thesis studies books V-VIII of Nikos Kazantzakis Odyssey (1938) from a comparative and interdisciplinary point of view. The comparision is established not only between the modern work and it’s ancient model (Homer’s Odyssey), but also between the modern work and those other sources, both ancient and modern, and not exclusively literary, that may have had influence on it’s composition.

The study, focused on the Cretan elements within the poem, leaded to two main conclusions: Crete is the interpretative key of the poem and the poem has a Modernist character.

The thesis first deals with the author’s life and work, as well as the Odyssey’s formal characteristics and it’s content. Outstanding matters are metric, epic genre, structure, philosophical influences and the reception of the work.

The main chapter (4) deals with the compositive mechanisms of the poem thorugh the literary game of the tale within the tale and the topic of the “false tale” in Homer’s Odyssey. Likewise, those elements from the neohelenic tradition that have been used by the poet are analysed. Special attention is given to the influence of Cretan archaeology, religion and mythology in the poem. All these elements link the new Odyssey with outstanding works of European Modernism that share with it the use of the mythical method, the complex mechanism of rewriting, the games between fiction and real or the subjective space-time relationship.

Throughout this analysis this study places Nikos Kazantzakis’ Odyssey in the framework of European Modernism. Such an approach not only attains a better understanding of the work, it also enables us to value the author’s latter works from a new and clarifying perspective.

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