Monday, June 06, 2005

Ismail Kadare is awarded the international Booker

Albanian born, Tirana University educated, and political refugee Ismail Kadare was awarded the inaugural Man Booker International Prize on June 2.



What the judges said:

"Ismail Kadaré is a writer who maps a whole culture - its history, its passion, its folklore, its politics, its disasters. He is a universal writer in a tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer."

What Kadare said:

"I feel deeply honoured by the award of the Man Booker International Fiction Prize. I am a writer from the Balkan Fringe, a part of Europe which has long been notorious exclusively for news of human wickedness - armed conflicts, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and so on."

Other stuff Kadare said (via the Guardian):

On resistance:

"Being critical of a regime is a normal state of affairs for a writer," he said. "The only act of resistance possible in a classic Stalinist regime was to write - or you could go to a meeting and say something very courageous, and then be shot. I think I was very lucky to be able to publish from time to time. A lot of writers were simply crushed."

On book banning:

Half a dozen of Kadare's books were banned. "That ended up being counterproductive for the regime," he said, "because all those people who had already read them them started studying them seriously to see just why they were so subversive. So book bans actually played a big role in the emancipation of the country."

On labels:

" "These labels make no sense," he said. "All writers come from a country, a region, a continent, but their work cannot be reduced to that."

On literature:

Kadare said he read Macbeth at the age of 11. "When you start so young with literature, you understand very little of politics. That's what saved me, I think."


Bibliography:

The following Kadaré titles have been translated into English:

The General of the Dead Army
The Three Arched Bridge
Broken April
Chronicle in Stone
Durontine
The File on H
The Concert
The Palace of Dreams
Albanian Spring
The Pyramid
Elegy for Kosovo
Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
The Successor (forthcoming, January 2006)
Agamemnon's Daughter (forthcoming, date TBC)

Books available from:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

2 Comments:

Anonymous luan krasniqi said...

consider this albanian news

12:30 am  
Blogger Benjamin R said...

I am benjamin R from FYRO.Macedonia , Skopje. I must be thankful fur publishing this post. Kdare is one of the most influential europe writers . When I saw your post I felt very good . Also and I have a blogspot. it is shqipness.blogspot.com . there is a post about albanian language ( kadare's language) the history of europian literatures and the place of alnanian literature among them . I wish the bes for u
Benjamin Rexhep (:

8:35 pm  

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