The Prologue, missing from the English translation of Nikos Kazantzakis's Βιος και πολιτεια του Αλεξη Ζορμπα, changes the way one reads the novel. The Prologue can be proved to be written in the voice of the narrator, not that of Kazantzakis, and therefore to be an organic part of the work. With the Prologue considered in this way, the novel is perceived as a work in progress. The narrator describes the gradual personal growth that enables him now, years after the experience in Crete, to give literary expression to his memories of Aléxis Zorbás. Without the Prologue, the novel is deprived of an extra dimension, that of its literary genesis, although it remains a Bildungsroman in which an intellectual learns how to live life to the fullest, like his teacher Zorbás. The Prologue also provides an opening frame introducing motifs to be developed later, the most important of which is a view of creativity—exemplified by the writing of this novel—as a process, governed by its own laws, that cannot be rushed.


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pp. 221-222
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