Nikos Kazantzakis closer to us


"Nikos Kazantzakis closer to us" in the 60th anniversary of the separation from life
by Maklena Nika

It is not the first time, but of course, not the last one that we gather for the great Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The year 2017 is declared in Greece as "Kazantzakis Year", coinciding with the 60th anniversary of his death. Throughout the world, dozens of cultural-literary and scientific activities have been organized to remind once more that this writer can not be forgotten, but needs to be read further. It is for anyone a literary friend who entices curiosity, admiration, reflection, inspiration, philosophical thinking, and why not, doubt. No doubt about the value of his work, but doubts about the values of life and the concept of freedom ... He is the writer for whom the ideal would be eight months of traveling and four months of solitude, for which only something is worthwhile - traveling. Tireless in this long journey, he invites us to co-associate with him in the places where he went, in infinite civilizations and landscapes, stories and truths, doctrines and customs, songs and dance, wisdom of such peoples but also of different with each other, castles and antiquity ...

This year, the Association "Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis", Albania Branch, in cooperation with the Embassy of Greece, Tirana, the Ministry of Culture and the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Sector of Greek Language, organized on October 26th, 2017 a cultural and literary activity to give new dimensions of this colossus of Greek letters, through the presentation of all his work translated into Albanian. There were invited a lot of people, friends and lovers of literature, translators, publishers, pedagogues and students. Maklena Nika, President of the Association for Albania, from 2009, had the opening speech, which emphasized that the association, since its creation, in 1998, with the first President, Nasho Jorgaqi, has made constant efforts to organize such events and to further approach the writer of Crete with the Albanian reader. Reading his multidimensional work is not limited only to the cultivated reader, but also to the simple one, and at the same time carries great value in the education of younger generations. By reading his work, we are perceived by philosophical thoughts for different concepts such as freedom, life, death, love, war, and so on. The more we think we read him, the more we do have the impression that we are going far away from him, in the view that within us is being created a sense and logic independence, that comes from what his work, his philosophy and his worldview.

Further on, the representative of the Greek Embassy in Tirana, Mr. Antonios Papamalis had his greeting speech, highlighting the fact that this world-wide writer honors not only Greece, but every simple person, every reader who holds a book in his hand. He also emphasized the fact that the Greek Embassy will always support such activities that bring closer the two neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the representative of the Ministry of Culture, Mr. Ermir Nika referred to Nikos Kazantakis work, as a dedicated and cultivated reader, citing at the same time the support of the Ministry of Culture for such important events for all, also under the initiative of this Ministry to encourage reading books. Mr. Nasho Jorgaqi, the well-known writer and researcher, read a very interesting scientific article "On the polyphonic aspects of Nikos Kazantzakis's life and work," who considered an Ulysses of modern times the writer from Crete, who constantly travelled during his life, physically from Mount Athos to Tibet, but spiritually moved through the human universe. The well-known translator and researcher, Mr. Stavri Dajo also spoke on the topic "Why I translated again Zorba", a very valuable discussion, both on a scientific, translation and practical level. Undoubtedly, Zorba's re-translation, published by the Literatus publications, Thessaloniki 2016, put the translator ahead of major translation challenges, bringing a literary product that guarantees a rich Albanian language lexicon as well as an elaborate and elite style.

The special feature of this activity was the presentation of Nikos Kazantzakis's work translated into Albanian language since 1973 when his first translation of "Captain Michalis" by Enver Fico dates back to the year. During this presentation, Maklena Nika emphasized the fact that in the Albanian language were translated a total of 13 literary works, in prose gender, mostly novels and philosophical essays, such as “Ascetic”, “Report to Greko”, “Christ Recrucified”, “Serpent and lily”, “My heroes”, “Fratricides”, “Zorba the greek”, “The last temptation of Christ“, “Travels in China and Japan”, “Travels on the Holy Mountain”, “Travels in ItalyEgyptSinaiJerusalem and Cyprus”. These works have been translated by well-known translators, some of whom are no longer among us, like Enver Fico, Harrallamb Qesko, Leonard Mero, and other translators such as Mico Gubera, Nazmi Rrahmani, Nonda Varfi, Klodeta Dibra, Stavri Dajo, Teuta Hoxha, Mimoza Dino, Romeo Çollaku and Maklena Nika. The Association awarded a Certificate of Honor to the translators for the contribution provided in the Albanian translation of his work. Students from the Greek Language Sector at the Faculty of Foreign Languages in Tirana recited in Albanian and in Greek some selected parts of the writer's work, to get closer to him, in order to be a real Zorba, an Odyssey who travels tirelessly to his homeland.

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