Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kazantzakis wrote Zorba the Greek

Nikos Kazantzakis
It is the birthday of Greek philosopher and writer Nikos Kazantzakis (1883), whose most famous novel, Zorba the Greek, (1946), tells the story of a young Greek intellectual who puts aside his bookish life to learn to embrace life to its fullest. Kazantzakis was an early existentialist and was constantly haunted by questions of spirituality. He was influenced by Nietzsche. He also wrote an epic poem, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (1938) and novels The Greek Passion (1948), Captain Michalis (1950) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1951). His work was condemned by the Church of Greece. Last Temptation was banned by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1957, Kazantzakis was nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature but lost by one vote to Albert Camus, who later said Kazantzakis was much more deserving of the prize.

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