The main title of the book is At the Palaces of Knossos, which will be translated “In the Palaces of Knossos”, but as you can see, the translator has chosen another title for this book by Nikos Kazantzakis. The novel that we must first mention that it is written for children and adolescents and the story is very straightforward, fluent and simple.
Introducing the book At the Palaces of Knossos by Nikos Kazantzakis
Combining historical fact and classical myth, the author of the book Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ takes the reader 3,000 years ago and turns it into a pivotal point in history: the last days before the conquest of the ancient kingdom of Crete. By the emerging government of the city of Athens.
The familiar figures that make up that ancient world – King Minos, Theseus and Ariadne, Minotaur, Diadalus and Icarus – immediately fill the pages of this novel.
Towards Freedom is a fascinating and lively story told by one of the greatest novelists of this century.
In fact, in this book, the palaces of Knossos are an allegory of history, which shows the destruction of a primitive culture by a more modern civilization. By moving from Crete to Athens, Nikos Kazantzakis, author of “Towards Freedom,” contrasts the declining life of the court of King Minos with the youth and power of emerging Athens.
Kazantzakis dramatizes the death of the Bronze Age with his monsters and totems and the birth of the Iron Age.
Nikos Kazantzakis was born in 1883 in Candy, the capital of the island of Crete. The island that Kazantzakis loves so much and whose historical teachings have greatly influenced his life. In this novel, too, he refers to history and tells of the distant past of the island of Crete. Therefore, it can be said that Kazantzakis is more of a “Cretan” than anything else, and his spiritual characteristics are the spiritual characteristics of the Cretan people. That is, he has a free spirit that is always seeking to discover the truth.
The text on the back of the book reads:
In this novel, Kazantzakis skillfully blends myth and history to create a compelling story of man’s constant quest for “freedom.” According to Kazantzakis, it is only with “freedom” – the freedom of body and soul – that man can go beyond animals and turn bread, stone and iron into art, beauty and spirituality. This novel is another wonderful description of man’s exhausting struggle for freedom.
Books to Freedom
As we mentioned at the beginning, this novel is written for children and teenagers, but if we get to know the author of the book, Nikos Kazantzakis, we can find the usual signs of his prose in the book. In this novel, there is a desire to experience life, search for truth and fight for freedom throughout the book.
The book Towards Liberation combines ancient Greek mythology with history. The story of the book is about Prince Theos, the son of the king of Athens, who dreams of the liberation of his country. Athens is ruled by Crete and its old king – Minos – who, in addition to all the taxes they have to pay, must send people to Crete every year to sacrifice. The seven boys and seven girls who come from Athens each year are left in a labyrinth where Minotaur, the scary monster, is.
This minotaur was a terrifying monster, and the king seldom came down to see him. The monster has been imprisoned in the palace since he can remember – a monster creature with a human body and a bull’s head. With the arrival of spring, seven young boys and seven young girls are to be preyed upon. He played with cats and mice for a while and ate them when he got tired of the fun. (Book to Freedom by Nikos Kazantzakis – Page 162)
The main power of the Kingdom of Crete is its iron weapons, which strongly protect the secret of its craft. Nevertheless, Prince Theos is determined to liberate Athens. Theseus considers Athena, the goddess of wisdom and holiness, to be his support, and by entering the palace of Minos, he can return to Athens with one of the captured artisans.
If you are a serious fan of Nikos Kazantzakis, I suggest reading the book Towards Freedom, but if you have not read a book by this author, I suggest you go to other books by this author. In the above section, we have introduced several important books by this author, each of which is a good choice for reading. Although this book has the hallmarks of Kazantzakis prose, it is written for children anyway and may not be appealing to everyone.
Sentences from the novel At the Palaces of Knossos
Harris forgot for a moment and was fascinated by the immense wealth that was before his eyes. How big the earth was! How rich, how beautiful, how diverse! His friend Icarus was right. How much better it is to sail and head to the world than to sit like a tree and take root somewhere. (Book to Freedom – Page 55)
The king was still at the table and eating lunch when the captain and two guards arrived at the palace and climbed the stairs and entered the royal hall. Four slaves were serving at the table; The first brings the food to the king’s room, the second picks it up and puts it in front of the king, the third tastes it to make sure it is not poisonous, and the fourth fills the king’s golden cup with wine. (Book to Freedom – Page 143)
He had heard from his father and grandfather that Minotaur was a sacred monster guarding the kingdom of Crete, and that every king of Crete was obliged to give him whatever Minotaur wanted, and to keep him satisfied. If Minotaur was not pleased, the kingdom would be destroyed. (Book to Freedom – Page 163)
Centuries of trade with these conquered lands, under the strict laws imposed on them by the kings of Crete, made Crete rich and made it such a wealthy country. And now, for the first time in their history, these colonies had fought against King Crete and demanded their freedom. They said they were tired of slavery and wanted to run their own land and trade and work for themselves. (Book to Freedom – Page 210)
He stood in the way of the youth and did not allow them to create their great works. So it had to be destroyed. (Book to Freedom – Page 228)
He did not listen to me. We flew a short distance above sea level, but he slowly looked at the sun and wanted to go higher. I shouted and begged him to stay down. But he did not listen, he was mad, he went higher and higher, and he got closer and closer to the sun until the sun melted the wax on his wings and he fell into the sea. (Book Towards Freedom – Page 262)
Excerpts from the book At the Palaces of Knossos
When I was born, my father gave me the name “Rolihlahla” (7), which means to uproot a tree, or in simpler language, to mean a troublemaker. My father did not know what the future would mean for me, but when I go back in time and think about all the troubles I caused, I see that he has honestly given us a name! My mother, Fanny Noskin, was the third of my father’s four wives.
My mother had four children from my father. Three daughters and a son. My father had a total of 13 children from his wives; Four boys and nine girls. I was the youngest boy. When I was still a baby, my dad got into a big deal that completely turned our lives upside down. He lost the leadership of the tribe because of a cow! One day a man complained to the judge about my father;
Because one of my father’s cows had invaded his territory. The judge called my father to the stable, but my father, who was a proud man, refused to go to the stable; Because he thought that this issue should be resolved in the tribe and in the form of a code god.
Our favorite boys game was a war game that we love to play. The game was such that we put two sticks in the ground a hundred steps apart and then we were divided into two groups and each group tried to bring the other side wood to the ground.
After playing with my friends, I would go home in the evenings for dinner. After dinner, my mother would tell us stories by the fire, wonderful stories that went beyond a story and had exceptionally valuable moral lessons for us. One of these stories was the story of a male traveler who meets an old woman who has cataracts and becomes blind during the trip.
The old woman asks the passenger for help, but he turns around and goes on his way. Following the old woman, she meets another male passenger. This man, who is a kind and gentle man, gently rubs the old woman’s eyes, and suddenly, to his surprise, the old woman turns into a very beautiful young girl. The two get married and live together happily for many years.
A few days later, my mother told us to leave Kono. I did not ask why we should do this or where we are going? After briefly packing our bags, we set off on foot. We walked for hours; We crossed dirt roads, hills, valleys, and rivers until we reached a village at sunset at the end of a fairly distinct valley.
In the middle of the village I came across a house that was the largest and most luxurious house I had ever seen. There, the palace of Mecco Kozovini (16) was inaugurated; The palace where the chief of the Tombo tribe lived. My eyes widened at the sight of Madidei in this palace, and widened at the sight of a large, shiny car I had never seen before. An obese man got out of the car, a Ford V8. He was the most powerful man of the Tombo tribe, Jungintaba Dalindibo.
2- Introducing the book At the Palaces of Knossos in Aparat