Getting a bird’s-eye-view on the life and works of that Albanian I hadn’t heard of til now
We have such a rich reservoir to draw from with all those old commie countries, and as ours takes on their form more and more every day (literally) it’s a mystery no one seems to care to study them.
If you trace your ancestry to one of these hellholes of the east, I got my eye on you
There’s really not much in Europe that is not going to be prone toward ressentiment. I’ve named before the most glaring cases that aren’t of the East here as well. Then to add to that, the French and Brits seem to have their own cases of mental illness. Let’s just stick with Albania for now though shall we. Most countries tend to have their redeeming people, and Ismail Kadare appears to be one of Albania’s at first glance.
In retrospect, the surveillance, fear, bitterness, and misery of life in the socialist dictatorships can fade from memory. Ismail Kadare does not allow us to forget so easily.
Imagine how I probably have readers who think “GRRRrrrrr…” when I dig this kind of thing up. “You’re trying to interfere with what we’re doing here!” No shit you baboon. “I just want people to love each other.” If you go too far with that you begin to love evil, and that’s where we are now.
Enver Hoxha kept Stalinism alive in Albania until 1985.
You ever hear of this guy?
Ethnicity exists alongside something much more modern, relevant, and unsettling to a contemporary audience. Kadare is also the last great chronicler of life under Stalinism.
This is like a more recent Solzhenitsyn, he’s alive today
Since the 90s both major political parties have been asking him to be president and he’s declined. What other novelist can you say that about?
The Hoxha and Kadare families lived close to each other
His maternal grandmother tells him secretively that they ‘have things in common with the Hoxhas’, while his father disapproves of the family he refers to as ‘psefto’, a pejorative word of Greek origin meaning, a liar or a fake.
Kadare represents himself as Prometheus and Hoxha as Zeus in his writings. Just a coincidence that I often speak in that way while living in a country that isn’t Stalinist at all. Not one bit.
Both were from the city Gjirokastra which borders Greece.
Hoxha was originally going to be a schoolteacher. Suddenly some people wake up one day and decide to be a tyrant instead. “God why can’t that be me…”
Interestingly, Hoxha considered himself a Promethean also
Be sure, I would never want to exchange my miserable fate for your servitude, because I would rather be bound with chains to this rock than be the obedient lackey of Zeus.
Here he quotes Marx who quotes Aeschylus.
So a double-Prometheanism here with these two.
Marxists don’t call it “revolution” for nothing. Prometheus Bound, the Bacchae, and the Birds could be interpreted as non-Marxist revolutionary literature. Kinda crazy when you think about how the writer of Prometheus Bound brought the “fire” of the genre of tragedy to humanity.
This is so uncanny
Kadare often referred to the upper echelons of the regime in Tirana as ‘Olympus’.
That doesn’t exist, my good serf friend. Only the “senate” and “white buildings in DC” exist. Biden is Zeus, you serf. Olympus doesn’t exist, forget all about it. Going back to my post from earlier, the surface players are “actors” following a script they didn’t write, which I’ve termed the “air” which is never chirped about.
Kadare’s masterpiece is considered to be The Palace of Dreams. The Palace seems to be similar to the way we use the word Cathedral. This novel is, you guessed it, a satire. Why haven’t you ever heard of it? Perhaps because it has a strong ethnic theme. Or possibly something to do with the fact that it is from a European country that was Stalinist until 1985. Amusingly, this novel is likened to 1984
the Palace is a powerful state institution in control of the mass unconsciousness of the Empire.
Don’t you find it disturbing that I’m virtually the only one who talks about the kinds of things I do? That’s the key sign of the unconsciousness the Palace creates today.
This is the premise of this unknown novel
All dreams are recorded and scrutinized for signs of impending social and political unrest
People who have what Kadare calls “Master-Dreams” are interrogated, tortured, and killed by the Palace
There was a time-honoured legend about some poor wretch who lived in a forgotten byway and whose dream saved the State from a terrible calamity
It uses said methods to make people forget their Master-Dreams.
Do any of you relate to this in your own way when I bring up writers from various other countries?
to the heart of The Palace of Dreams: to the complex ethnic, religious, cultural, and political implications of the Quprili epic. For it turns out that there is an Albanian version of the epic. The family knows of its existence, but chooses to ignore it.
We all have to live according to the Zogprog epic. Do any Irish ever relate more to Yeats’ poetry? Or Italians to Dante’s? Etc. etc. etc. The old Northern religion? The epic that is enforced does not apply to the types of beings many of us are.
Now this sounds familiar