Some more Zorba.
‘Have you ever been to war, Zorba?’
‘How do I know?’ he asked with a frown. I can’t remember. What war?’
‘I mean, have you ever fought for your country?’
‘Couldn’t you talk about something else? All that nonsense is over and done with and
‘Do you call that nonsense, Zorba? Aren’t you ashamed? Is that how you speak of
Zorba raised his head and looked at me. I was lying on my bed, too, and the oil-lamp
was burning above my head. He looked at me severely for a time, then, taking a firm
hold of his moustache, said:
“That’s a half-baked thing to say; it’s what I expect from a schoolmaster. I might as
well be singing, boss, for all the good it is my talking to you, if you’ll pardon my saying
‘What?’ I protested. ‘I understand things, Zorba, don’t forget.’
‘Yes, you understand with your brain. You say: “This is right, and that’s wrong; this is
true, and that isn’t; he’s right, the other one’s wrong …” But where does that lead us?
While you are talking I watch your arms and chest. Well, what are they doing? They’re
silent. They don’t say a word. As though they hadn’t a drop of blood between them.
Well, what do you think you understand with? With your head? Bah!’
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis