Nikos Kazantzakis

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Kazantzakis, Nikos

 

Born Feb. 18, 1883, in Herakleion, Crete; died Oct. 29, 1957, in Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany. Greek writer.

Kazantzakis studied law at the University of Athens and at the Sorbonne. His first works were the novella The Serpent and the Lily (1906) and the plays The Dawn Glows (performed in 1907) and The Sacrifice (1910). Between 1925 and 1929, Kazantzakis visited the USSR three times, and he hailed the October Revolution in his books What I Saw in Russia (1928), Moscow Issued a Call (in French, 1931), and Toda Raba (in Greek, 1934). His dramas Nikifor Foka (1927), Christ (1928), Journeys (1928), Melissa (1939), and Julian and Buddha from the trilogy Prometheus (all published after 1945), as well as his long poem The Odyssey, were all critical of bourgeois morality and pessimistic in tone. His novels The Greek Passion (Swedish ed., 1950; Greek ed., 1954; Russian translation, 1962), The Last Temptation of Christ (Greek ed., 1955), and Captain Mihalis: Freedom or Death (1953) express Kazantzakis’ protest against bourgeois attitudes and religious hypocrisy. From 1947, he lived in France and the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1964, Kazantzakis’ novel Zorba the Greek (1946) was made into a film of the same name by M. Cacoyannis. Kazantzakis received the International Peace Prize in 1956.

WORKS

Érga. Athens, 1957–62.

REFERENCE

Brettákos, N. Nìkos Kazantzákes. Athens, 1960.

DIMITRIS SPATIS