Monday, May 17, 2010

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Undisturbed humanity

Rating 8 out of 10

This is a nice book. It decribes the adventures of the narrator (an intellectual) and Zorbas who is an utterly uneintellectual man, apparently original a Macedonian, Zorbas background is very modest, somewhat working class or peasant. Zorbas is a quite fascinating figure and becomes quite much alive. Zorbas has travelled around the Balkans living from day to day, from the hand to the mouth. He has seen many things, (and in the Balkans around the beginning of the 20th century - there was also bad things to see!) so Zorbas very well knows that life is not perfect. Yet a cardinal trait of Zorbas character is that he seems to rest in life and apparently he finds it worthwile. Zorbas seemingly is "home" in life. There execudes from the novel a Joie de vivre, it's like the characters often simply are in a state where life is ok. There is a feeling in the novel which reminded me a bit about the novel "Mister God, This Is Anna" by Fynn (Sydney Hopkins). It's this thing about that despite life is terrible imperfect then you can live in a place where you are "home" and it's ok.
Zorba the Greek also offers a substantial critique on religion, which are impersonated by various monks and church people which Zorba and the narrator encounters. Zorba breathes life. Zorba is by no means a saint, he is also quite imperfect himself and a bit of a devil sometimes.

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