Custom Search
To find what you are looking for on Effectual History.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zorba the Greek is a Novel and Movie

Zorba the Greek is a novel and film based on the life of a fictitious character whose high-energy lifestyle not only impacted those he encountered through the literary genius of Cretan Nikos Kazantzakis, but has brought pleasure to millions of readers and movie goers since the book was published in 1946 and the film released in 1964.

The novel, written in Greek, was changed into a translated screenplay by fellow Cretan Michael Cacoyannis, who also directed the black & white film that starred Anthony Quinn as Zorba and Alan Bates as an English bookworm.

The two met in Pireaus, the port city of Athens, then embarked on a journey to Crete where the stodgy bookworm was transformed by Zorba’s uninhibited zest for life.

Facts about the novel and film, Zorba the Greek, and Nikos Kazantzakis:

* The quiet Englishman, Basil, is writing a biography about Buddha at story’s outset, and plans to leave for quiet Crete where he recently inherited a small cottage and a defunct coal mine

* Zorba joins him on the voyage and, in Crete, is part of two financial disasters for Basil

* Basil learns so much about how to live life with vitality similar to Zorba‘s that his lost fortunes suddenly carry little importance for him

* 1919-1927 Kazantzakis was director general of the Greek Ministry of Public Welfare, a period when he was credited with feeding and eventually rescuing 150,000 people of Greek descent caught up in the civil war then raging in the Caucasian region of the Soviet Union

* Cacoyannis was an acquaintance of Kazantzakis near the end of the latter’s life

* In 1957, the year Kazantzakis died, he was one vote short of winning the Nobel Prize for literature, losing to French author Albert Camus

Whether you enjoy reading or attending movies, Zorba the Greek is a powerful story about attitude and change where two characters, originally diametrically opposed, grow close and share a profound relationship.

By Rocky Wilson
Author Of Sharene - Death: A Prerequisite For Life
Blog writer for Body By Chocolates

*** Read More ***

A Fictitious Story About Zorba the Greek

What history tells us about Zorba the Greek is he was a fictional character out of the mind of prolific Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis; loved music, women, and dance; was boisterous and often unkempt; and exhibited an infectious affinity for life.

Kazantzakis’ 1946 novel, originally written in Greek, was made into a highly successful film in 1964 with the same title. The movie starred Anthony Quinn in the title role, and Alan Bates as the story’s narrator, a young Englishman named Basil.

Many philosophers contend Kazantzakis purposely embodied the personages of the Greek gods Dionysus and Apollo in the two main characters. Dionysus, impetuous and passionate, unreflective and irrational, is said to be embodied in the character of Zorba, played by Quinn. Basil, in contrast, portrayed the rational, reflective, passive, restrained personality emblematic of Apollo.

Facts and observations about the novel and movie Zorba the Greek:

* Kazantzakis (1885-1957) wrote essays, poems, tragedies, travel books, and translations of classics such as Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy,’ yet didn’t publish his first novel until age 51

* Although born on Crete and a resident of Greece during World War II, much of Kazantzakis’ life, other than the setting for many of his literary works, was spent abroad

* Zorba the Greek begins in Pireaus, where the bookworm Basil first meets Zorba and encourages Zorba to join him on a mining venture in Crete

* Zorba teaches Basil to regain the physical world, even having a role in Basil’s love relationship with a widow

* The mine venture fails, so Zorba talks Basil into investing the remaining bulk of his money in a timber sluice project that proves disastrous

* By now, Basil has caught the carefree spirit of Zorba and doesn’t care about the lost money

What one learns about Zorba the Greek is how much a strong, ebullient man can influence the life of an individual lacking in personal conviction and strength, yet who is willing to adjust and learn a new lifestyle.

By Rocky Wilson
Author Of Sharene - Death: A Prerequisite For Life
Blog writer for Body By Chocolates

*** Read More ***

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The History of Palestine is Mired in Conflict

From the earliest days when Philistine ancestors from Asia Minor and Greece landed on the southern Mediterranean coast of what’s now Israel and had unwelcome confrontations with Biblical leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael, from then until today the history of Palestine is filled with anger and distrust.

Why these people groups always have been in mortal strife goes to the core of human existence, with the ongoing battle of good and evil caught in the balance.

Many lives have been lost through the centuries because people from what’s now known as Israel and Palestine never have reached neutral ground about religious and cultural values.

Some pertinent data regarding the Israeli/Palestine conflict include:

* First Philistines settled south of Beersheba, in Gerar, and soon were in conflict with early Biblical leaders

* Second group of Philistines, from Crete, settled Gaza, Ashdod, and three other cities

* Through the centuries, Palestine generally became known as area stretching E-W from the Mediterranean to the Jordan Valley, and N-S from the Sea of Galilee to the southern Negev Desert

* In “Song of Moses,” Exodus 15:14, (Exodus being the book of redemption characterized as being from God, delivered by a person, delivered through blood, and delivered by power,) it’s stated, “The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.”

* Through thousands of years, Palestine primarily was ruled by Muslim Arabs, and later by non-Arab Muslims from Ottoman Empire

* 1917 British liberate Palestine and, in British Mandate, state Palestine will become a home for Jews without infringing on religious and cultural rights of people already living there, most of them Arab Muslims

* 1920 British have role in naming Muhammad Amin al Husseini president of newly formed Supreme Muslim Council, basically making him religions and political leader of Arabs in Palestine … Husseini, known as Grand Mufti, later becomes friend of Hitler and actively pursues annihilation of Jews

* 1939-1945 British, enforcing McDonald White Papers which removes many Jewish rights in British Mandate, block many ships filled with Jewish refugees heading to Palestine filled with Jews beyond established quota who are trying to escape Hitler … many of those ships are torpedoed, killing thousands

* 1940-1945 McDonald White Papers backfires as Arabs don’t think paper goes far enough … Iraq joins Axis and most other Arab nations refuse to help Allies

* November 29, 1947 United Nations proposes nation of Israel … Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen storm from meeting threatening war

* May 14, 1948 Israel declares independence as nation

* 1948-1949 War of Independence

* June 5-10, 1967 Six Day War allows Israel to seize control of Gaza Strip, West Bank, eastern section of Jerusalem, Golan Heights

Yes, the history of Palestine is filled with complexities, misunderstandings, and death. And, though many nations, including the United States, actively are engaged in efforts to supply relief and hope to the strife-torn region, it may be a conflict beyond human-applied healing.

By Rocky Wilson
Author Of Sharene - Death: A Prerequisite For Life
Blog writer for Body By Chocolates

*** Read More ***