Nikiforos Fokas (In Greek).
Athena: 1927. First edition. Octavo, original wrappers. Signed by Nikos Kazantzakis. In good condition, with the signatures originally bound, but lacking the spine. A very rare, early work by Kazantzakis.
A precursor to the author's work "The Last Temptation." "The play Nikifóros Fokss, written in first draft in 1915, shows Kazantzakis assimilating Christian materials to a basically aesthetic philosophy in order to develop a "metachristian" world-view that treats our futile presence on earth. This metachristian view replaces the Christian assurance that happiness comes from the observance of certain precepts of behavior that lead to the reward of heavenly bliss; it holds, instead, that one may achieve happiness-indeed "salvation"-by contemplating the spectacle of life's unfolding phenomena.... The major theological change is the denial of an afterlife. Kazantzakis's Nikiforos gains a sense that death is final. What he must avoid is the panic that such a realization causes in weaker souls. The key scene in which the transformation of the legend occurs is a dream-vision in which Fokas is visited by Christ and, in dialogue with him, begins to formulate his new world-view." (Peter Bien)