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Sorry for this long question - but I am completely puzzled!

When I was in Crete a few years ago I visited his memorial and bought aT shirt with the exact words from Zorba printed on it and it says.....Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα

                                                     Δε φοβόμαι τίποτα

                                                     Είμαι λέφτεροσ

I was told that he wrote like this and I cannot show you here but the 'tonos' are all just dots above letters including the ε in δεν and the handwriting all joined up has π written like an English w.

The first two lines I think I understand with the ν left off probably because it is followed by an  φ for easy pronunciation.

The last line confuses me because he leaves out the ε at the beginning of the word for 'free' but I thought that free would be spelt as  ελέυθερος  in normal Greek - or am I missing something?

If I want to print up my own new T shirt and as I cannot use Greek handwriting I feel inclined to write it as follows:

Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα

Δε φοβόμαι τίποτα   (φοβούμαι)?

Είμαι λέυθερος     (Ελέυθερος)?

Please help me as when I am in Greece on holiday (other than Crete) I am always being told that the words on my old t shirt are not proper Greek! I then have to produce a photo I took of Νίκος Καζαντζακηζ'΄ς memorial to show it is a direct copy. Who are we to tell this great writer how to spell!!

Thank you and again sorry for this long question - but it is important to me to understand this.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ

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2 Answers

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Hello Ιάκοβος

Kazantzakis was born in Crete in 1883 and the language he used in his writings reflected the Cretan idiom of that era.  

The phrase you are refering is this, so I will comment on this one (see ):
Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα, δε φοβούμαι τίποτα, είμαι λέφτερος.

δε φοβούμαι vs δεv φοβούμαι:  The “ν” is ommited because of the “φ” in the following word.  It is grammatically correct, it makes it sound better.

φοβούμαι : The official modern Greek is φοβάμαι.  “φοβούμαι” is the ancient form and still used today colloquially.

λέφτερος : The correct spelling in official modern Greek is “ελεύθερος”.  The “λέφτερος” is just an idiom.

The dots instead of tonos do not mean anything, just the way they wrote it.

The weird way they wrote the “π”: It’s just another rare variation of handwritten “π”.  Example:

π - πότε

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Ευχαριστώ Βασιλική

Καταλαβαίνω τώρα

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