A kind of spiritual biography or, as Kazantzakis himself terms it, a "report" in the military sense of the word, regarding his goals and endeavours. The author begins his account in his childhood (having previously referred to his ancestors and parents) and ends on the day of the "Cretan Glance" and the conception of the Odyssey. He does not recount the whole of his life, presenting instead the milestones in his spiritual journey, without adhering to the chronological order of his actual biography.

Writing history

Kazantzakis' letters to Prevelakis reveal that he planned the work from 1929, but aimed to write it "in several years' time". He initially envisaged it as a dialogue, under the provisional title "Chatting with Greco".

In 1954, while writing The Fratricides, the idea for the Report took shape. He began it at Lugano in Switzerland in 1955, entitling it Letters to Greco, and continued it in Antibes in 1956, when he gave the book its definitive title. According to his letters to Prevelakis, Kazantzakis had completed the second draft of the text and was planning to write the third and final one when he returned from China.

Greek editions

  • N. Kazantzakis, Anafora ston Greco, Athens: 1961
  • N. Kazantzakis, Anafora ston Greco, Athens: Eleni Kazantzakis 1964 (and subsequent editions)

Foreign editions & translations

  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Lettre au Greco. Souvenirs de ma vie, translated into French by Michel Saunier, Paris: Club des éditeurs 1960. Paris: Plon 1961. [Entitled Lettre au Greco. Βilan d'une vie:] Paris: Plon 1967, 1975, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2000
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Carta a Grego, translated into Portuguese by Armando Pereira da Silva, Armando da Silva Carvalho, Lisbon: Ulisseia 1961
  • Niko Kazantzakis, Carta al Greco. Recuerdos de mi vida, translated into Spanish by Delfín Leocadio Garasa, Buenos Aires: C. Lohlé 1963, 1964, 1967, 1982. Buenos Aires: Lohlé-Lumen 1995
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Rechenschaft vor El Greco, translated into German by Isidora Rosenthal-Kamarinea, Berlin/Grunewald: Herbig 1964. Munich: Herbig 1970. Munich/Darmstadt: Herbig 1978. Hamburg: Rowohlt 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989. Berlin: Volk und Welt 1983. Frankfurt/Berlin: Ullstein 1990, 1993, 1995
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco. The autobiography of the author of The Last Temptation of Christ, translated into English by Peter Bien, New York: Simon and Schuster 1965. Bantam Books 1966, 1971
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco. The autobiography of the author of The Last Temptation of Christ, translated into English by Peter Bien, London: Faber and Faber 1965, 1973, 1974, 1977
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Tilinteko El Grecolle, translated into Finnish by Aarno Peromies, Helsinki: Tammi 1966
  • Nikos Kazancakis, El Greco'ya mektuplar, translated into Turkish by Ahmet Angin, Istanbul: Ε Yayinlari 1975, 1995. Istanbul: Can 2003
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Hlášení El Grecovi, translated into Czech by Jana R. Friesová and Božena Protopapasová. Verse translated by Miloš Tomasco. Epilogue by Růžena Dostálová, Prague: Odeon 1982
  • N. Kazantzakis, O viata in scrisori, translated into Romanian, Bucharest: Univers 1983
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Guzarish bih khaki Yunan, translated into Farsi by Salih Husayni, Tehran: Nilufar 1984, 1988
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Raport catre El Greco, translated into Romanian by Alexandra Medrea-Danciu, Bucharest: Universe 1986
  • translated into Chinese by Weicheng Zhu, Taipei: Guang fu shu ju gu fen you xian gong si 1989
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, El Greco e lo sguardo cretese, translated into Italian by Giovanni Bonavia, Rome: Biblioteca del vascello 1994
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Verantwoording aan El Greco, translated into Dutch by Jos Schoonen, Groningen: Styx 1997
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Čar grške pokrajine: izbor popotnih spominov iz dela Obračun pred El Grecom, translated into Slovenian, Ljubljana: Cankarjeva 2002