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Lecture: Alexis Zorba and The Kazantzakian Lifeforce
Lecture: Alexis Zorba and The Kazantzakian Lifeforce
10.10.2013 19.00 h
Kelvin Club - Melbourne


Presenter: Mr Howard F Dossor
Entry: Free

The popularity of the novel  “Zorba the Greek”, vastly enhanced by the Cacoyannis film, is most likely accounted for by the vivacity of the character of Zorba and by the manner in which he interacts with and has an affect upon the personality of the narrator. An investigation of that interaction may be useful, therefore, in taking the reader deeper into the fiction

But the essence of the novel is to be found, not in the relationship between two men so much as in its explication of the philosophy of Nikos Kazantzakis. It is a novel in which Kazantzakis sets out the basis for what he interpreted as being the essential energy that underlies the whole of life. In introducing us to these two individuals, Kazantzakis uncovers the history of his own thinking about man's nature and responsibility. He crystalizes this in the majestic phrase, "Teach me to dance!"

Zorba's dance is much more than the playful consolation of two men coming to grips with the disaster of an excursion into the world of mining. It is a profound symbol of the movement of life itself and the energy that drives the Kazantzakian notion of ascent.


Mr Howard F Dossor, a freelance writer and lecturer, is the author of Colin Wilson: The Man and His Mind. Following his disengagement from the Congregational Churches, into whose ministry he had been ordained, he entered the educational sector, teaching in secondary schools and La Trobe University Language Centre before engaging in university administration.

He was Council Executive Officer at La Trobe and is a holder of the Chancellor's Medal for services to that university.

He was the Foundation Registrar and University Secretary of Victoria University in Melbourne.

He is a regular lecturer at The Existentialist Society in Melbourne, where his papers reflect his interest in the identity of the self and the role of the self in the ongoing development of the human species.


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The Kelvin Club, with a history dating back to 1865, is a private member's club located in the heart of Melbourne.  Membership is drawn from the academic, corporate, legal, medical, arts, public service and private business communities.  The Club is inclusive, with both men and women forming a stimulating and diverse community.  

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