Z: ZORBA THE GREEK
Who can forget the music from the film?
Who of us has actually read the book by Nikos Kazantakis, published in 1946?
Who can forget Anthony Quinn playing Zorba, those of us old enough to have seen it? Alan Bates played Basil, the young intellectual who Zorba helps in Basil’s business venture on Crete, a large island off Greece. Who can forget the lessons in the film, that of resilience of an indomitable spirit such as Zorba’s. No matter how many times life knocked him down – ‘the full catastrophe!’ – up he got.
Much of the focus in the novel is on the law and politics in which Kazantakis was deeply interested, himself a philosopher.
In premodern Greek society, women’s status was second class. Patriarchy ruled, iron fisted, and the fact that a widow refused to re-marry incensed the men who wanted her led to her murder, honour bound as they were by their own rules and regulations, to keep shame at bay. *‘Women without husbands were viewed as worthless and shameful by both men and women’.
Basil is a young, very detached intellectual who immerses himself in a Buddha type life style in service to his soul. Not so Zorba, who lives for life, who is involved in the ‘full catastrophe’ of life with all its pain and pleasure, love and food … ALL of life is to be experienced, first hand, all the good and bad bits. He is just himself.
So, these two opposite characters who meet and connect with each other.
The April A-Z blog challenge has also been like that, many of us connecting and learning from each other. It has been an exhilarating journey for me, coming across so many talented writers, who have made me smile, laugh out loud, reflect, and be in awe. I am indebted even for the many distractions which had me reading previous posts or following a link supplied. I am full of admiration for so many, from whom I have learned much. To those who have shared the meaning of words and how to use them to build up characters in writing, I am indebted. Animals stories …There are so many: Barbara, 2 Elizabeth’s, Patricia, Sherrey, Kern, Kristen, Ida, too many to mention … and Damyanti, popping in to give us encouragement to go the long haul.
It has been so gratifying to receive comments on my own blog and I thank you all for taking the time to do so. I learned so much from those comments!
A few quotes from Zorba:
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
“God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognise him in all his disguises.”
“Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all … is not to have one.”
* Barbra Dillon, Managing Editor, Fanboy Comics, 28 March 2011.