The character of Zorba the Greek in the book is richer than the movie even though Anthony Quinn is a remarkable Zorba!
Zorba can be charming, but also pretty damn irritating; sometimes chivalrous. His contagious spirit will catch you off guard.
Zorba is not just a Greek, he is a man of the world, because it’s a true look at the human spirit. Life lessons from a man and his demons.
If you want to be “Boss” go to mainland Greece, if you want to be like “Zorba”, go to Kriti.
It’s not a book to read just once. If you read this and it doesn’t change your life you should read it again and pay more attention.
Reset your mind, widen your perspective. it’s as relevant today as when it was written in 1946.
There are two excellent translations. I prefer the earliest by Carl Wildman (1953) for it’s capture of the ‘sentiment’. The second, in 2014 is also excellent by Peter Bien. It is a very faithful rendition of the ‘language’
Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all, in my view, is not to have one.
“When you’ve made up your mind, no use lagging behind, go ahead and no relenting,
Let your youth have free reign, it won’t come again, so be bold and no repenting.
I realized that meals, too, are a spiritual service and that meat, bread, and wine are the raw materials from which spirit is formed.
An ardent desire to go took possession of me once more. Not because I wanted to leave – I was quite all right on this Cretan coast, and felt happy and free there and I needed nothing – but because I have always been consumed with one desire; to touch and see as much as possible of the earth and the sea before I die.
Leave your books alone. Aren’t you ashamed? Man is a wild beast, and wild beasts don’t read.
Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kanzantzakis, 1946,