Back in my early days in the temple in Korea, a senior European monk used to derisively call me “Zorba the Monk”. I had no idea what he meant by that, since I’d never read the book. But the monk often corrected to me or traded me for my mischievousness and what he called “rule breaking habits” — maybe it had something to do with this (and with other things I might not be at liberty to discuss here!) For years and years and years, this older monk used to say, ”You are no proper monk. You are Zorba the Monk. How long will you survive in this kind of temple life like this?“ I hated the nickname, because it seemed derisive and a put-down, a caricature of the mind of someone that monk could not seem to figure out.
I kind of took it as an insult, until I read the book, which was only fairly recently. Then I remembered it with a little pride. Funny how the mind works.
Today, the musical genius who penned the famous movie depiction of the book, Mikis Theodorakis, passed away at age 96. (The movie appeared the year I was born.)
I came across this most famous scene from the movie, and the tune by Theodorakis which is as timeless as the Parthenon itself:
A Greek YouTube commentator wrote today:
A piece of Greek Musical Culture has passed into immortality this morning, along with the composer and his music, leaving his body on earth, his soul in the hands of God, and his oeuvre to posterity…Thank you for the unforgettable music Mikis Theodorakis…R.I.P.