"ONE OF THE GREAT CHARACTERS OF MODERN FICTION": FIRST FRENCH EDITION OF KAZANTZAKIS’ ZORBA THE GREEK

  • Alexis Zorba ou le Rivage de Crete (Zorba The Greek).

Alexis Zorba ou le Rivage de Crete (Zorba The Greek).

$975.00

Item Number: 4634

Paris: Editions Du Chene, 1947.

First French edition of Zorba the Greek, published one year after the first Greek edition and six years prior to the first English translation. Octavo, original wrappers. In very good condition. Kazantzakis traveled to Paris frequently throughout his life and spoke French fluently. From 1902 Kazantzakis studied law at the University of Athens, then went to Paris in 1907 to study philosophy. Here he fell under the influence of Henri Bergson. His 1909 dissertation was titled “Friedrich Nietzsche on the Philosophy of Right and the State.”

Zorba the Greek is the epic tale of a young Greek intellectual who ventures to escape his bookish life with the aid of the boisterous and mysterious Alexis Zorba. Kazantzakis has made a work of stunning genius. The book is about life. How does one live it? How does one deal with the vicissitudes of it? The tragedies? The failures? Does one stand on the sidelines of life and never jump in? Does one fear getting married or fear having children or fear doing any activity that could fail or come to naught? Zorba tells us what to do. And in the end, when the whole bloody mess comes falling down around us, and all our plans and schemes are for naught, what do you do? Dance. Dance as hard and as wild as you can. Spit and fume and sing and smash your heels into the dirt. And laugh at it all. the absurdity of worry and wondering. Zorba shows us the joy of just "being" and "doing". The novel was adapted into a successful 1964 film of the same name as well as a 1968 musical, Zorba.

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