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Greek Author Kazantzakis’ Last Novel Published 75 Years Later

Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis
Legendary Greek author Kazantzakis’ last unpublished novel out today. Photograph of Nikos Kazantzakis from his personal archive. Photo credit: Dioptra publishing house

The last remaining unpublished novel of Nikos Kazantzakis, the universally-celebrated author of Zorba the Greek, is out on October 26, 2022, sixty-five years post-mortem and seventy-five years since it was penned.

The novel, titled Aniforos (Uphill, in free translation), hit the bookstores in Greece by publishing house Dioptra following a comprehensive publishing rights deal with Kazantzakis’ descendant, Niki Stavrou, who is the copyright owner of the author’s works and director of Kazantzakis Publications.

The manuscript had been kept at the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum in the author’s home village of Mirtia just outside of Heraklion, Crete since its rediscovery.

Nine-time Nobel nominee

Nikos Kazantzakis is the most translated Greek contemporary author, and he is widely considered a giant of modern Greek literature.

A novelist, poet, playwright, journalist, philosopher, and politician, Kazantzakis was born and raised on Crete but traveled around the world and lived in several European cities, leading a truly cosmopolitan life.

His work includes novels, short stories, plays, travel logs, memoirs, and philosophical essays, written between 1906 and his death in 1957.

Kazantzakis was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times for a total of fourteen different nominations. In the year of his passing, the Cretan author famously lost the prestigious prize to Albert Camus by one vote.

Eventually, his fame spread in the English-speaking world posthumously, mainly thanks to the cinematic adaptations of Zorba the Greek, by Michalis Cacoyiannis (1964), and The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese (1988), which drew international attention to his literary work.

Kazantzakis’s last unpublished novel

Fans of the distinctive writing style of the great Greek author will have the joy of discovering a new novel of his for the first time.

Aniforos was his last novel, written right after his world-famous masterpiece Zorba the Greek (1946). He wrote it around the time that he departed for the UK on what was meant to be his last journey.

Brimming with autobiographical references, as the author reflects on the sad experience of World War II, which he endured firsthand, Aniforos contains three parts: Crete, England, and Loneliness.

Dioptra said in an earlier note that this work was Kazantzakis’s answer to the criticism he had received that the pain and destruction suffered by Greece during the German occupation was missing from Zorba the Greek.

Aniforos is “an esoteric work, characterized by a deep and redemptive melancholy,” the publisher points out.


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