Nikos Kazantzakis

The Greek author, journalist, philosopher and statesman Nikos Kazantzakis is the foremost figure in modern Greek literature. His work is marked by his search for God and immortality. Born in Crete in 1883 he spent much of his life living and traveling in Germany, the USSR, France, Japan, and Communist China.

His novels include Zorba The Greek, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Fratricides, Freedom Or Death, The Greek Passion, Report to Greco, Toda Raba, Saint Francis, Alexander The Great, The Rock Garden and what is perhaps his masterpiece The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, which is written in verse form. (333,333 verses to be exact). He also wrote several travel books like Journey to the Morea, Japan and China and Journeying: Travels in Italy, Egypt, Sinai, Jerusalem and Cyprus. Other works include a novella called Serpent and Lily, a book on his philosophy: Symposium and another called Saviors of God.

According to Colin Wilson in his book The Strength to Dream..."Nikos Kazantzakis work can stand with the nineteenth century giants, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Nitzsche... the religious philosopher crucified on the cross of metaphysics."
Albert Schweitzer, Thomas Mann and Albert Camus hailed him as one of the greatest European writers.
He died in 1957. On his tomb in Iraklion, Crete are these engraved words:

I hope for nothing
I fear nothing
I am free

For those who want to come closer to the spirit of Greece they only need to read Nikos Kazantzakis

Return to History of Greece Biography