One need not be a literature expert or be aware of books such as Four hundred letters of Kazantzakis to Prevelakis, and The selected letters of Nkos Kazantzakis, in order to know that the author of so many internationally acclaimed novels was a dedicated epistolographer.
As author Panagiotis Mastrodimitris wrote in the famed literary review Nea Estia in 2007, “The dialogical texture of the letters of Kazantzakis, which combine grand ideological pronouncements with references to the banality of daily life, make the letters valuable psychological evidence for interpreting his personal and literary particularity.”
The above applies to Kazantzakis fascinating, decades’ long correspondence with his lawyer and dear friend Yannis Angelakis, which was published by the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum in 2013, thanks to the gift of the daughter of Angelakis and godchild of Kazantzakis, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, arguably Greece’s greatest living poet.
The book of correspondence between the two men has been reprinted and will be distributed along with the Sunday Edition of To Vima.
Born in the Dardanelles, Angelakis worked for many years at the Ionian Bank, was a member of the mission for the repatriation of Greeks from the Caucasus in 1919, and served as legal counsel for the merchant marine ministry.
At some point he undertakes all of Kazantzakis’ legal affairs, from contacts with publishers to the purchase of land on the island of Aegina, where the author later built his house.
The book features 74 documents, including letters and greeting cards, revealing a host of memorable, private moments of the famed author of Zorba the Greek.
He speaks about his European travels, financial insecurity, and disputes with famed publishers Eleftheroudakis and Dimitrakos.
The letters also refer to the author’s political activity, his relations with wives Galateia and Eleni, his stay in France after WWII, and his relationship to his goddaughter.