Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

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Alexias
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Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by Alexias »

I have been reading this novel (aimed at a young audience), and had not realised just how much Oliver Stone's script owed to this novel. I'm only half way through it but have already found a word for word quote - "It's madness, Alexander. Sheer madness," said Parmenion. There's also Philip and Alexander riding side by side into Pella, and then we have the influence of Prometheus. I always wondered where Stone had got this notion from "I too am like Prometheus," reflected Alexander. "I am taking the light from Greece and bringing it to the barbarians to be enlightened." The quote " There is nothing impossible to him who will try" also apparently comes from this novel.

Stone also stole the bedroom scene with Philip, Olympias and the young Alexander from Mary Renault, and I've also noticed echoes of Harold Lamb's Alexander of Macedon. Was there nothing original in this script?
derek
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Re: Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by derek »

I seem to remember reading that they used Valerio Massimo Manfredi's novels as the basis for the film.

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Alexias
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Re: Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by Alexias »

That was so poor I don't remember any of it and gave my copy away unfortunately so I can't check.
system1988
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Re: Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by system1988 »

It seems that Oliver Stone drew a lot of Mary Renault's elements and -what a surprise- from Nikos Kazantzakis' book. I have read all the books of this Nobel candidate writer but not that particular one as it was for childern. In addition to this, Kazantzakis had a very difficult language in which he communicated, which I hope it is not delivered in english!
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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by Jeanne Reames »

Stone stole a lot, with no acknowledgement. The problem is that only characters and specific dialogue is copy-writable, not scenes, etc. It's considered too vague. But anybody familiar with ATG fiction recognizes things Stone "borrowed" without admitting it. And not just from fiction, but from some modern historians, such as Tarn. One doesn't expect a bibliography with historical fiction, but it would be nice for him to acknowledge the more obvious steals.
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Alexias
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Re: Nikos Kazantzakis 'Alexander The Great'

Post by Alexias »

As a novel it is readable, but not especially good. The main focus is on a young character called Stephan, so Alexander just tends to be this shinning light in the background.

PS He thinks Hephaestion is too precious to be taken to Chaeronea!
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