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Kazantzakis, Nikos

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Born: 1883 AD
Died: 1957 AD, at 74 years of age.

Nationality: Greek
Categories: Novelists, Poets

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1883 - Born on the 18th of February in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. 1902 - Kazantzakis began the study of law at the University of Athens. 1907 - Went to Paris to study philosophy, where he studied under Henri Bergson. 1914 - He met Angelos Sikelianos. Together they travelled for two years in places where Greek Christian culture flourished, largely influenced by the enthusiastic nationalism of Sikelianos. 1919 - Director General of the Ministry of Social Relief. 1945 - He became the leader of a small party on the noncommunist left, and entered the Greek government as Minister without Portfolio. He resigned this post the following year. 1946 - The Society of Greek Writers recommended that Kazantzakis and Angelos Sikelianos be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. 1957 - He lost the Prize to Albert Camus by one vote. Camus later said that Kazantzakis deserved the honour "a hundred times more" than himself. 1957 - Died on the 26th of October in Freiburg, Germany.


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Page last updated: 6:24am, 08th Jun '10

  • "Maybe you're right, boss. It all depends on the way you look at it. Look, one day I had gone to a little village. An old grandfather of ninety was busy planting an almond tree.'What, grandad!'I exclaimed.'Planting an almond tree?'and he, bent as he was, turned round and said,'My son, I carry on as if I should never die.'I replied,'And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.'Which of us was right, boss?"
  • "What, then is our duty? It is to carefully distinguish the historic moment in which we live and to consciously assign our small energies to a specific battlefield. The more we are in phase with the current which leads the way, the more we aid man in his difficult, uncertain, danger-fraught ascent toward salvation."
  • "The ultimate most holy form of theory is action."