Monday, August 04, 2008
Zorba the Greek
Becoming one of my favorite novels, Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis is a paean to life, to this earth and to the ultimate questions that lead to happiness. What is happiness, the narrator asks. He is called the boss by Zorba and that is all we know of his name while Zorba has several names before the story is over, but mostly he is known as Zorba. I am not sure where to begin to catalog all the ways this novel resonates with my inner being, but first I find my own search similar to that of the boss as my life is focused on reading and experiencing life through art.
Nikos Kazantzakis gives us these two men in a story demonstrating their contrasting views of life and developing a dialogue between the characters to which we as readers can respond. The 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.
There is more. . .
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazanzakis. Simon & Schuster, New York. 1996 (1952)