Nikos Kazantzakis quotes

Nikos Kazantzakis photo
220   12

Nikos Kazantzakis

Birthdate: 18. February 1883
Date of death: 26. October 1957
Other names: نیکوس کازانتزاکس, ნიკოს კაზანძაკისი

Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer. Widely considered a giant of modern Greek literature, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in nine different years.

Kazantzakis' novels included Zorba the Greek , Christ Recrucified , Captain Michalis , and The Last Temptation of Christ . He also wrote plays, travel books, memoirs and philosophical essays such as The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises. His fame spread in the English-speaking world due to cinematic adaptations of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ .

Works

The Saviors of God
Nikos Kazantzakis
Report to Greco
Report to Greco
Nikos Kazantzakis
Zorba the Greek
Zorba the Greek
Nikos Kazantzakis

„Die every day. Be born every day. Deny everything you have every day. The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: God cries to my heart: "Save me!"
God cries to men, to animals, to plants, to matter: "Save me!"
Listen to your heart and follow him. Shatter your body and awake: We are all one.
Love man because you are he.
Love animals and plants because you were they, and now they follow you like faithful co-workers and slaves.
Love your body; only with it may you fight on this earth and turn matter into spirit.
Love matter. God clings to it tooth and nail, and fights. Fight with him.
Die every day. Be born every day. Deny everything you have every day. The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.
Do not condescend to ask: "Shall we conquer? Shall we be conquered?" Fight on!

„Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows. This is your second duty.
For you are not only a slave. As soon as you were born, a new possibility was born with you, a free heartbeat stormed through the great sunless heart of your race.

„Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end. Only this present moment exists, full of bitterness, full of sweetness, and I rejoice in it all.

„Free yourself from race also; fight to live through the whole struggle of man.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: It is not you talking. Nor is it your race only which shouts within you, for all the innumerable races of mankind shout and rush within you: white, yellow, black.
Free yourself from race also; fight to live through the whole struggle of man.

Citát „I hope nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.“

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„I know well that only words, that words alone,
like the high mountains, have no fear of age or death.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis

Pharaoh, Book X, line 688
The Odyssey : A Modern Sequel (1938)
Context: Fools, art is a heavy task, more heavy than gold crowns;
it's far more difficult to match firm words than armies,
they're disciplined troops, unconquered, to be placed in rhythm,
the mind's most mighty foe, and not disperse in air.
I'd give, believe me, a whole land for one good song,
for I know well that only words, that words alone,
like the high mountains, have no fear of age or death.

„I said only one word, brought only one message: Love. Love — nothing else.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ (1951)
Context: I said only one word, brought only one message: Love. Love — nothing else. <!-- p. 478

„It is not God who will save us — it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: We do not struggle for ourselves, nor for our race, not even for humanity.
We do not struggle for Earth, nor for ideas. All these are the precious yet provisional stairs of our ascending God, and they crumble away as soon as he steps upon them in his ascent.
In the smallest lightning flash of our lives, we feel all of God treading upon us, and suddenly we understand: if we all desire it intensely, if we organize all the visible and invisible powers of earth and fling them upward, if we all battle together like fellow combatants eternally vigilant — then the Universe might possibly be saved.
It is not God who will save us — it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.

„Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it we do suddenly realize — sometimes with astonishment — how happy we had been.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book Zorba the Greek

Source: Zorba the Greek (1946), Ch. 6
Context: 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.

„I do not hope for anything. I do not fear anything, I have freed myself from both the mind and the heart, I have mounted much higher, I am free.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

This passage was used for Kazantzakis' epitaph: "Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα, δε φοβούμαι τίποτα, είμαι λεύτερος<!--[sic]-->."
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
Variant translation: I expect nothing. I fear no one. I am free.
The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Nothing exists! Neither life nor death. I watch mind and matter hunting each other like two nonexistent erotic phantasms — merging, begetting, disappearing — and I say: "This is what I want!"
I know now: I do not hope for anything. I do not fear anything, I have freed myself from both the mind and the heart, I have mounted much higher, I am free. [Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα, δεν φοβούμαι τίποτα, λυτρώθηκα από το νου κι από την καρδιά, ανέβηκα πιο πάνω, είμαι λεύτερος. ] This is what I want. I want nothing more. I have been seeking freedom.

„Salvation is a circle; close it!“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Gather together in your heart all terrors, recompose all details. Salvation is a circle; close it!

„General, the battle draws to a close and I make my report. This is where and how I fought. I fell wounded, lost heart, but did not desert. Though my teeth clattered from fear, I bound my forehead tightly with a red handkerchief to hide the blood, and ran to the assault.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book Report to Greco

"Prologue", p. 23
Report to Greco (1965)
Context: General, the battle draws to a close and I make my report. This is where and how I fought. I fell wounded, lost heart, but did not desert. Though my teeth clattered from fear, I bound my forehead tightly with a red handkerchief to hide the blood, and ran to the assault.
Before you shall pluck out the precious feathers of my jackdaw soul, one by one, until it remains a tiny clod of earth kneaded with blood, sweat, and tears. I shall relate my struggle to you — in order to unburden myself. I shall cast off virtue, shame, and truth — in order to unburden myself. My soul resembles your creation "Toledo in the Storm"; girded by yellow thunderbolts and oppressive black clouds, fighting a desperate, unbending battle against both light and darkness. You will see my soul, will weigh it between your lanceolate eyebrows, and will judge. Do you remember the grave Cretan saying, "Return where you have failed, leave where you have succeeded"? If I failed, I shall return to the assault though but a single hour of life remains to me. If I succeeded, I shall open the earth so that I may come and recline at your side.
Listen, therefore, to my report, general, and judge. Listen to my life, grandfather, and if I fought with you, if I fell wounded and allowed no one to learn of my suffering, if I never turned my back to the enemy: Give me your blessing!

„This is the moment of greatest crisis.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: This is the moment of greatest crisis. This is the signal for the March to begin. If you do not hear this Cry tearing at your entrails, do not set out.

„They have fulfilled their duty.
But today we have gone beyond these needs; we have shattered this particular mask of the Abyss; our God no longer fits under the old features.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: I do not care what face other ages and other people have given to the enormous, faceless essence. They have crammed it with human virtues, with rewards and punishments, with certain ties. They have given a face to their hopes and fears, they have submitted their anarchy to a rhythm, they have found a higher justification by which to live and labor. They have fulfilled their duty.
But today we have gone beyond these needs; we have shattered this particular mask of the Abyss; our God no longer fits under the old features.
Our hearts have overbrimmed with new agonies, with new luster and silence. The mystery has grown savage, and God has grown greater. The dark powers ascend, for they have also grown greater, and the entire human island quakes.
Let us stoop down to our hearts and confront the Abyss valiantly. Let us try to mold once more, with our flesh and blood, the new, contemporary face of God.
For our God is not an abstract thought, a logical necessity, a high and harmonious structure made of deductions and speculations.
He is not an immaculate, neutral, odorless, distilled product of our brains, neither male nor female.
He is both man and woman, mortal and immortal, dung and spirit. He gives birth, fecundates, slaughters — death and eros in one — and then he begets and slays once more, dancing spaciously beyond the boundaries of a logic which cannot contain the antinomies.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

Giorgos Seferis photo
Giorgos Seferis2
Greek poet and diplomat
Julio Cortázar photo
Julio Cortázar28
Argentinian writer
Stefan Zweig photo
Stefan Zweig105
Austrian writer
David Foster Wallace photo
David Foster Wallace185
American fiction writer and essayist
Jorge Amado photo
Jorge Amado4
Brazilian writer
Frank Herbert photo
Frank Herbert154
American writer
Alessandro Baricco photo
Alessandro Baricco9
Italian writer
Stanisław Jerzy Lec photo
Stanisław Jerzy Lec28
Polish writer
Eduardo Galeano photo
Eduardo Galeano8
Uruguayan writer
William Saroyan photo
William Saroyan190
American writer
Today anniversaries
Paul Robeson photo
Paul Robeson22
American singer and actor 1898 - 1976
David Hilbert photo
David Hilbert29
German prominent mathematician 1862 - 1943
Edvard Munch photo
Edvard Munch29
Norwegian painter and printmaker 1863 - 1944
Pierre Bonnard photo
Pierre Bonnard24
French painter and printmaker 1867 - 1947
Another 66 today anniversaries
Similar authors
Giorgos Seferis photo
Giorgos Seferis2
Greek poet and diplomat
Julio Cortázar photo
Julio Cortázar28
Argentinian writer
Stefan Zweig photo
Stefan Zweig105
Austrian writer
David Foster Wallace photo
David Foster Wallace185
American fiction writer and essayist
Jorge Amado photo
Jorge Amado4
Brazilian writer