Theodorakis’ and Kazantzakis’ “Zorbas” was born in Kolindros, Greece

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Updated: October 15 / 20:55

The life of Zorba the Greek is so much related to the book with the same title, and the film as well, that everybody will associate him with the imaginary figure from the book, and/or with the actor Anthony Quinn.

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But Alexis Zorbas was a real person as well……, obviously. Lately I was very surprised to hear that Alexis Zorbas lived, really! So, I started searching for more information, and found:

Alexis Zorbas, Zorba the Greek, whose real name was Georgios, was born in Kolindros in 1869 approximately. He was the son of Photis Zorbas, a rich chief shepherd and landowner, He had one sister, Katerina, and two brothers: Giannis and Ksenophon.

The assertion that Alexis Zorbas, the character in Nikos Kazantzakis‘ novel, was born in Kolindros, derives from the facts that the writer G. Anapliotis presents in his book “The real Zorbas and Nikos Kazantzakis” / “Ο αληθινός Ζορμπάς και ο Νίκος Καζαντζάκης”  and also from the narration of Zorbas’ daughter, Androniki Kehaef and of others, related to him during his stormy and mysterious life.

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*He spent his childhood in Kolindros but his father’ s adventure with a Turk make them leave and settle in the Pieria Shelter. From now on his adventurous and mysterious life begins. During his stay in the Shelter, he works as a farmer and as a sheperd and finally he becomes a lumberman.  (Click on the photos to enlarge)

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*A few years later he goes to Chalkidiki and works as a miner in a French company. There he meets the leader of the mine, Giannis Kalkounis, he marries his daughter, Eleni Kalkouni with who he got 8 children. From all his children, the one who he loved more was his first born daughter, Androniki. A lot of mysery struck his family because of the war and of his wife’ s death.

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*He leaves Chalkidiki and comes to Elefterohori of Pieria (8 km from Kolindros) where his brother Giannis the dictor (this is what the website writes, maybe a not so well corrected text, so, I assume it has to be “doctor”) used to live. In 1915 he goes to Agion Oros, determined to find a job. There he meets Nikos Kazantzakis and the two men become very good friends.

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.Later on the goes to Mani and works at the mine of Prastove. His intense life will end at Skopje (Yugoslavia, nowadays FYROM), where he settles, marries again and has more children, a new family.

The second World War, the famine and the Nazi enslavement overwhelmed him. He died in 1943.

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Kazantzakis has not seen him again, but this short acquaintance between them inspired him and enlightened the way for him to write his play “Life and adventures of Alexis Zorbas” / “Ο αληθινός Ζορμπάς και ο Νίκος Καζαντζάκης” , which distinguished him and made him  known as one of the great literary men of the world.”

(From: Zorbas and Kolindros)

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Sources:

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Updated: January 21, 2016

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About "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis"

The blog "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis" started in 2010. The not-for-profit activities of the initiator were and are to collect, create and publish information about the MUSIC of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis via YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and this blog. Sources for this information are utterly strictly related with Mikis Theodorakis' Music only. The icon is a bouzouki. It is Greece's national symbol for freedom. During the Regime of the Colonels (Military Junta, 1967-1974) the bouzouki was forbidden. Mikis Theodorakis used this authentic Greek instrument in almost all his compositions, and Greeks were listening to Theodorakis's music in the underground scene, during the Military Junta time.
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