Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes (95 quotes)
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”
Report to Greco (1965). This quote is sometimes misattributed to Franz Kafka.
“Every word is an adamantine shell which encloses a great explosive force. To discover its meaning you must let it burst inside you like a bomb and in this way liberate the soul which it imprisons.”
Massacre, Ch. 10, p. 88 - Report to Greco (1965)
“Three kinds of souls, three prayers:
1) I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
2) Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
3) Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break.”
Epigraph, p. 16 - Report to Greco (1965)
Epitaph he had ordered to be engraved on his own tomb. From a letter he wrote to Anghelakis family on 7 December 1951. As quoted in: The Selected Letters of Nikos Kazantzakis (Princeton University Press, 2011), p. 727
“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.”
As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul : Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 412
“I surrender myself to everything. I love, I feel pain, I struggle. The world seems to me wider than the mind, my heart a dark and almighty mystery.”
The Saviors of God (1923)
“What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes sighs, laughter, and dreams.”
Zorba the Greek (1946)
“Beauty is merciless. You do not look at it, it looks at you and does not forgive.”
Report to Greco (1965)
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Born: February 18, 1883
Died: October 26, 1957 (aged 74)
Occupation: Writer, poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, playwright
Bio: Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer and philosopher, celebrated for his novel Zorba the Greek, considered his magnum opus. He became known globally after the 1964 release of the Michael Cacoyannis film Zorba the Greek, based on the novel. He gained renewed fame with the 1988 Martin Scorsese adaptation of his book The Last Temptation of Christ.
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“Nay, Spring was o'er-happy and knew not the reason, And Summer dreamed sadly, for she thought all was ended In her fulness of wealth that might not be amended; But this is the harvest and the garnering season, And the leaf and the blossom in the ripe fruit are blended.”