Kazantzakis Event Unites People Across Europe

By Heini-Sofia Alavuo

Nikos Kazantzakis may be one of Greece’s most well-known exports, particularly for his 1946 novel, Zorba the Greek. Even in the far north of Europe, his legacy is debated, enjoyed and celebrated.

The Union of Finnish-Greek Societies, the Finnish-Greek Society of Helsinki and the Comparative Literature department of the University of Helsinki have held an evening dedicated for the famous Greek author.

Friday’s event was part of the celebration year of International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis (ISFNK); the organization is celebrating three decades of worldwide work. It was founded in 1988 in Geneva, and its main aim is to promote the work and thought of Kazantzakis.

Approximately 40 people came to the event to learn more about the famous author. The ambassador of Greece, Georgios Ayfantis, was one of the participants. The event started with a poetry reading, after which the participants watched a film about the author’s life.

The event also included a lecture called ‘Kazantzakis and Poetry’ delivered by Georgios Stasinakis,  president of ISFNK. Stasinakis pointed out the poetic canvas of Kazantzakis’ prosaic work and how the author’s poetry and poetical mindset have been left unknown to the public.

After the lecture, there was time for common conversation, as the lovers of Greek literature joined together.