Wide World of Quotes > Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes


Nikos Kazantzakis
Greek writer and philosopher
(1883-1957)



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Behind each woman rises the austere, sacred and mysterious face of Aphrodite. That was the face Zorba was seeing and talking to, and desiring.
-- Zorba the Greek, ch. 3

While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it we do suddenly realize — sometimes with astonishment — how happy we had been.
-- Zorba the Greek, ch. 6

How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.
-- Zorba the Greek, ch. 7

In religions which have lost their creative spark, the gods eventually become no more than poetic motifs or ornaments for decorating human solitude and walls.
-- Zorba the Greek, ch. 12

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, ch. 23

The highest point a man can obtain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe!
-- Zorba the Greek, ch. 24

My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.
-- Report to Greco (1965)

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.
-- Report to Greco (1965)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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