Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Zorba the Greek

'The Creation of Joy'

"The aim of man and matter is to create joy, according to Zorba" (p. 272)

Contrast the man of action, who creates joy as he lives life, with the man of thought, who ponders the meaning of life and carries the works of Dante in his pocket...

Nikos Kazantzakis gives us these two men in a story demonstrating this contrast and develops a dialog between the characters to which we as readers can respond. His narrative asks big questions such as: what is liberty to a man; how can you be true to your nature as a human being; and, what is the relationship of the real to the ideal? In its pages you find references to Buddha, Nietzsche, Marcus Aurelius and others -- but most of all you encounter a good story full of life and love and the adventure that results from two men who challenge each other in their pursuit of the spirit of living.

"Every page is alive with ideas and limpid images that have the precision and the concentrated, vibrant quality of poetry." (The New Yorker)

Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis. 1952, Charles Scribner's, New York

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