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Zorba the Greek

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Zorba the Greek
This chronicles the friendship between Kazantzakis and Zorbas, and the lignite business they set up at Prastova in the Mani. In the novel, Yiorgis Zorbas is renamed Alexis Zorbas ("Zorba" in English translation), and the action is transferred to Crete. The two men meet at Piraeus; impressed by Zorba's passion and unconventional character, the narrator hires him as an overseer. On Crete they lodge at the hotel of Madame Hortense, an ageing one-time chanteuse who soon becomes Zorba's mistress. It fast emerges that the lignite mine was a pretext; the narrator is not interested in businesses and profits, but is in search of answers to the philosophical conundrums that torment him. Using common sense and the experience derived from his tumultuous life, Zorba shows him that the answers - if they do exist - are not to be found in books, but in life itself, as long as one lives it with passion, freed of hopes and expectations.
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