the book reviews
Nikos received a Law Degree at the University of Athens, then he went to Paris to study philosophy under Henri Bergson. Next, he went to Germany and Italy for further studies in literature and art. In 1945, he was the Greek Minister of Education, and the President of The Greek Society of Men of Letters. He wrote novels, poetry, and travel literature. His epic work, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, took twelve years to complete. It continues the story from the point where Homer ended the original. It is one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century. Most people are familiar with The Last Temptation of Christ. Certainly, everyone is familiar with the character of Zorba The Greek. It is a miraculous author that can distill the ocean of human existence into three hundred pages. It is a skilled writer who can incorporate the best and the worst of man into so few characters. The book needs to be re-read at each new season of your life. As you mature, the book will teach you more, and it will confirm what you already know. I am always concerned when a beloved book is made into a movie. This book was turned into an outstanding movie. No actor could have been Zorba except
Anthony QuinnI do not think this was an accident. There are many fatherless sons in the world. Kazantzakis was a brilliant man and his brilliance is evident in Zorba. Pang was a Chinese sage who studied to be a master of zen. He renounced the world. He renounced fame and fortune. This is the point most students of zen attempt to attain. Not Pang. He (in a Zorba fashion) realized, that although he understood science and academia, he was a man. It was time to burn his books and go to live. He did that. He had a wife and many children. They (Buddha forbid) made a business of selling pots and pans. He was challenged to zen duels by all the masters of zen. He won each time. When he came to a new town, Pang would go to see its resident master. Pang would then teach him a lesson. He was never defeated. This is known as transcending. A common mistake of students is to attempt to go too fast. The next most common mistake is to get lost in study. This is Zorba's message: We must learn how reality works, but then we must realize that we are an inextricable part of the whole of life. If we can accomplish this, keep our compassion for the abject creatures (ourselves) that we are struggling to rise above; then it is time for a sip of raki. I have much to tell you.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.