Book 10 Completed
Zorba!!! Here is what I learned from you:
1. Women are DUMB. And oh-so-inferior. And ridiculously emotional and unable to control themselves. So, they’re really only good for having sex with.
2. Because women are unable to control themselves, you’re not doing them any favors if you DON’T have sex with them. The women will be so confused and hurt and God will never forgive you.
3. We’re all dealing with an existential predicament…and life really like DOES suck and then you die. So…since there is no heaven and no hell and no consequence for behavior other than the consequences you put on yourself, it doesn’t matter what you do in this life. Kill people? Lie? Steal? Cheat? Live with no regrets.
4. It’s forgivable to lie to a woman and say you’re going to marry her even if you have no intention to. Just pray that she dies before she finds out you’re lying.
5. Dance. Sing. Play the Santuri. And no one will truly care if you’re a grade-A asshole.
Man, did I ever hate this “larger than life” Zorba. People love this book and actually think he has something to teach them?? Did they read the same book I read?? He SLEPT WITH A BULGARIAN WOMAN AND THEN KILLED HER THE NEXT DAY. But it wasn’t a big deal because you have to live your life, you know?
People say this book is really symbolic of the changing times of Greece in the early-twentieth century; it’s really an examination of the juxtaposition between a life lived with your head vs. a life lived with your heart. (We’re not supposed to live like the narrator who, ummm *clears throat* reads a lot and writes a lot. I’m in trouble.) I think other books have captured those themes better and without creating this detestable man at the helm. I respect what this book is examining. I think the philosophy is fascinating. I also think it’s flawed. People who like this book say that Zorba’s outlook on life is inspiring and beautiful. It’s not that I JUST had a problem with the misogyny and sexism and nihilism. But boy, wouldn’t that be enough? I mean, that is all this book celebrates. You cannot divorce what Zorba preaches from the rest of the book…as much as those who love it want to do.
So, if I had to rank my reading so far…I hate this less than Everything is Illuminated, but it’s second in the dislike category.
On a better note: I must make it to Greece before I die. The book at least did that much for me — it sounds BEAUTIFUL.