Friday, January 2, 2015

Wendy Is Very Excited About This New Translation of the Iconic "Zorba The Greek"
A stunning new translation of the classic book--and basis for the beloved Oscar-winning film--brings the clarity and beauty of Kazantzakis's language and story alive.

First published in 1946, Zorba the Greek, is, on one hand, the story of a Greek working man named Zorba, a passionate lover of life, the unnamed narrator who he accompanies to Crete to work in a lignite mine, and the men and women of the town where they settle. On the other hand it is the story of God and man, The Devil and the Saints; the struggle of men to find their souls and purpose in life and it is about love, courage and faith.

Zorba has been acclaimed as one of the truly memorable creations of literature--a character created on a huge scale in the tradition of Falstaff and Sancho Panza. His years have not dimmed the gusto and amazement with which he responds to all life offers him, whether he is working in the mine, confronting mad monks in a mountain monastery, embellishing the tales of his life or making love to avoid sin. Zorba's life is rich with all the joys and sorrows that living brings and his example awakens in the narrator an understanding of the true meaning of humanity. This is one of the greatest life-affirming novels of our time.

Part of the modern literary canon, Zorba the Greek, has achieved widespread international acclaim and recognition. This new edition translated, directly from Kazantzakis's Greek original, is a more faithful rendition of his original language, ideas, and story, and presents Zorba as the author meant him to be.

Wendy says:
"Simon and Schuster didn't simply reflowing the text and updating the cover. Let me explain. 

When Zorba the Greek was originally published in the U.S., the translation was actually done from a French translation of the Greek. Between the two translations much that Kazantzakis had written was added to, changed, or omitted. 

As part of a year-long international celebration of Nikos Kazantzakis and his work, his estate commissioned a brand-new translation by Peter Bien, Emeritus Professor at Dartmouth, a Kazantzakis expert and translator of several of his previous works, including Last Temptation of Christ.
For this new translation, Peter Bien went back to Kazantzakis’ original material and translated directly, capturing Kazantzakis’s trademark use of rare words, dialects and colloquial speech.
The story, of course, is the same—Zorba is still a mighty Falstaffian character and the narrator is changed irrevocably because of their friendship. But this new translation cleaves more closely to Kazantzakis’s original language and ideas, and brings the struggle of the dual intellectual and emotional nature of man that the narrator and Zorba represent more clearly to the fore."

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