He is the author of Zorba the Greek the most famous Greek movie. It has spawned many restaurants of this name and for most people this is in fact all they know about modern Greek culture.
For those that don’t know this is based on a book. It’s an amazing book that puts the movie into the shade. While the movie is very good when you have read the book you can see how much has been missed out a bit like with the LOTRs trilogy.
The prose, philosophy and humour that he injects into his main character Alexis Zorba is astounding. I have a feeling I’ve written this before but a little deja vu is ok here. He makes a very good counterpart to show how much you can know about the world in terms of academic learning yet know nothing about what matters in life. He makes it his mission to teach his rather staid English companion how to loosen up and enjoy life. It’s a rather entertaining jaunt throughout the story learning about the adventures that they get up to together. They make a great partnership and there is also a purpose that they fulfil. I adore the insight into Greek culture and history that you get from this story. I don’t want to repeat myself too much but this really is a must read book.
He has also written many other books but they are not quite as well known so are more difficult to get hold of. I have some of them, but I haven’t read them yet so I can’t comment on there content. I believe they will be just as good.
- Christ Recrucified
- Captain Michalis
- The last Temptation of Christ
- Freedom and Death
- This is a sampling of the works that are usually available. Try Amazon if you can’t find him in your local bookstore.
Here is the Wikipedia article on him if you want some background in his life. Nikos Kazantzakis.
He ties in nicely with my series on Greek (mainly Lefkadian) poets as he happened to have not only met Angelos Sikelianos, but the 2 became great friends along with Angelos’s wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos.
This is the first post in the Greek author series.
Other series include Greek poets, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.
Do you have any favourite novelists?