Having enjoyed what life has had to offer him, a pleasure and beauty-worshipping artist is gradually overcome by the idea of death. He decides that his death, just like his life, will be connected with carnal love and beauty. He therefore calls on his mistress and spends a night of passion with her in a night full of flowers; in the morning they are found dead of suffocation, while the room is permeated with the scent of the flowers.
Written in 1905, the novel was inspired by Kazantzakis' affair with Kathleen Forde, the "Irish lass". It appeared in print with a dedication by the author "To my Toto" [= Galatea Alexiou].
- Karma Nirvami [=N. Kazantzakis], Ofis ke Krino, Athens 1906
- N. Kazantzakis, Ofis ke Krino, prologue by Elli Alexiou, Athens: Glaros 1974 (pirate edition)
- N. Kazantzakis, Ofis ke Krino, Athens: Eleni Kazantzakis 1974
- N. Kazantzaki (Karma Nirvami), Ofis ke Krino, edited, with notes and introductory comments by Patroklos Stavrou, Athens: Eleni Kazantzakis 2002
Foreign editions & translations
- N. Kazantzakis, Serpent and Lily: a novella, with a manifesto, The Sickness of the Age, translated by Theodora Vasils, Berkeley: University of California Press 1980
- Niko Kazantzakis, Lirio y serpiente, translated into Spanish by Miguel Castillio Didier, Buenos Aires: Carlos Lohlé 1988
- Nikos Kazantzakis, Le lys et le serpent, translated into French by Jacqueline Moatti-Fine, Monaco: du Rocher 1990
- Nikos Kazantzakis, Şarpe şi crin, translated into Romanian by Alexandra Medrea Danciu, Bucharest: Cluj-Napoca 2005