Tag Archives: Nikos Kazantzakis

The Perfect Novel for My Personality … and Yours!

29 Jul
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Obsessed with Buzzfeed quizzes, I of course find Myers-Briggs types fascinating. Perhaps as a memoirist I’m always on the quest to know myself better. Or maybe it’s because I’m Greek. Wasn’t it Socrates who said, “Know thyself”? At times, the Myers-Briggs test seems to know me better than I know myself. It narrows in on aspects of my personality that I haven’t thought about before even though they’re true.
Maybe that’s because I’m an ISTJ, and “The ISTJ is not naturally in tune with their own feelings.” ISTJ means Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging, or “Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking.” ISTJs are quiet, reserved, loyal, dependable, keep in line with the law, and like tradition. You can read the breakdown here.
When I came across Flavorwire recently published “A Classic Book for Every Myers-Briggs Personality Type,” I was curious what novel would be paired with my personality type. Would it be one of my favorites? Would it be something that resonated with me on a soul level?
Would it be Jack Kerouac’s On the Road?
Saul Bellow’s The Dangling Man?
Maybe Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way?
Perhaps Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ?
According to Flavorwire, the novel that best suits me is…
ISTJ: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
With interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.
I actually do love Edit Wharton’s writing. I even have a Pinterest board devoted to a make-believe puppy I created named after one of her characters.
The part about my supposed “interest in traditions” is interesting though, particularly when it comes to my reading habits. I do like tradition. I was the kid in the family who always insisted we HAD to have Christmas at our house and do it a certain way because it was tradition. But, I think sometimes we read to escape ourselves, to stretch ourselves, to live out in our imaginations the parts of our personalities that we are too rule-abiding, too anxious, too conformist to live out in our actual lives.
What personality type are you? Do you find it to be an accurate portrayal of yourself? What book would you pick for your personality?
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The Quotable Greek: A Person Needs a Little Madness

18 Mar

“A person needs a little madness,

or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.”

~Nikos Kazantzakis

 

Quotes about Place

20 Apr

Some places are so iconic. I think this may be one of them.

 

Every story involves place, whether real, imagined, or seemingly absent.  Place isn’t just a physical location, it’s a feeling, a memory, a metaphor, a symbol.

My writing has always centered around place.  My memoir is a complicated look at what home means.  It’s about how even for people who live in the same house together home can mean different things — can even be different places.  And sometimes, oftentimes, the place you call home changes.  It’s about the physicality of a house, the emotions of a home, the culture of a country.

Meanwhile, the book I’m coauthoring on Jack Kerouac is also about place in its own way.  It’s about exploring, about living, about identity.  It shows that place itself can become a character and plot device.

I’m teaching on place this weekend at the Festival of Faith and Writing, and I think one of the most valuable ways to learn is to read how other writers have talked about place.  Here are some literary quotes about place.  Feel free to share your favorite quotes about place in the comments section.

 

How hard it is to escape from places.  However carefully one goes they hold you – you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences – like rags and shreds of your very life.

~Katherine Mansfield

But I do like churches.  The way it feels inside.  It feels good when you just sit there, like you’re in a forest and everything’s really quiet, expect there’s still this sound you can’t hear.

~Tim O’Brien

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

~Joan Didion

Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.

~Nikos Kazantzakis

Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil.  My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

This is the most beautiful place on Earth.  There are many such places.  Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.

~Edward Abbey

The landscape affects the human psyche – the soul, the body and the innermost contemplations – like music. Every time you feel nature deeper you resonate better with her, finding new elements of balance and freedom…

~Nikos Kazantzakis

The Quotable Greek: Change the Eyes

8 Feb

“Since we cannot change reality,

let us change the eyes which see reality.”

~Nikos Kazantzakis