Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great writer

2024-01-28 09:02:00, Kulturë CNA
Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great
ismail Kadare

Today, the great Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare, celebrates his 88th birthday.

Ismail Kadare was born in Gjirokastra, on January 28, 1936. Kadare is an academic, politician, former deputy of the People's Assembly (1970-'82), vice-president of the Democratic Front and one of the greatest contemporary writers.

As a writer, he stands out mainly for prose, but his contribution also extends to dramaturgy, poetry and translations. He started writing when he was still young, first poetry, with which he became known, and then prose, becoming the main Albanian prose writer.

Until today, his works have been translated into about 45 different languages, thus being the main representative of Albanian literature around the world.

In 1996 Kadare became a permanent member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in France. He has been honored with many international awards, among which the "Man Booker International" Prize in 2005, the "Prince of Asturias" Prize for the Arts in 2009 and the "Jerusalem" Prize in 2015. In recent years, he divides his time between France and Albania .

A bit of history from Kadare's life.

Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great

He was born on January 28, 1936 in the Palorto neighborhood of Gjirokastra, in a Bektashi citizen family, the son of Hali Kadare and Hatixhe from Dobatët, thus having an ancestor from his mother, the bejtji Hoxhë Dobi. The name was given to him in memory and honor of his grandfather. As a child, he spent a lot of time in the library of his maternal grandfather, who was a judge educated in Istanbul. His father worked as a postman of the city court, in 1920 he was among the 218 volunteers from Girokastri who participated in the War of Vlora.

When the communist regime was established in Albania, he was only 8 years old. He finished primary and secondary school in Gjirokastër.

When he was 13 he discovered Shakespeare's Macbeth, and thus his love for literature was born. At this age, he wrote his first stories, which he published in the magazine "Pioneri" in Tirana. At the age of 17, he wrote two poems about Stalin, which, according to Malcolm, helped lead to the publication of his first book at the age of 18, a poetry collection entitled "Boyish Inspirations".

He completed his university studies in Tirana, where he lived at his aunt's house and after inviting him, for almost two years (1957-'58) he lived with Nasho Jorgaq. In 1958, he graduated from the Department of Language and Literature at the University of Tirana and graduated as a Teacher. He wrote his first novel, "Mjegullat e Tirana", which he finished on the eve of continuing his studies in the Soviet Union.

In the years 1958-1960 he studied in Moscow, at the Institute of World Literature "Maxim Gorky", during the Khrushchev period. There he had the opportunity to read contemporary Western literature, which had begun to be translated into Russian.

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, he was known for his poetry, and starting from the 1960s, he was also known for his prose. In that period, most of the writers belonged to the post-war generation. After returning from Moscow, he was advised to keep the work "City without ads" hidden. He separated a fragment from this novel, which was published as a novel with the title "Cafe Day" in 1962 in "Zëri i Rînia".

In 1963, he published the novel "The General of the Dead Army", which dealt with the theme of an Italian general and a priest who come to Albania to receive the remains of Italian soldiers who died in the Second World War. The follow-up novel, The Monster, was published in November magazine, but was banned.

At the beginning of 1970, the French publishing house "Albin Michel" published the novel "The General of the Dead Army" in French. It had a tremendous impact in France and was translated into almost 20 languages ??within three years.

Then he returned to historical topics. He wrote and published the novels "Castle" (1970) and "Chronicle in Stone" (1971), which were published in France one after the other. During these years, he also managed the only magazine in a foreign language of the League of Writers, "Les Lettres albanaises". After his success in France, he was appointed a deputy and after two years he joined the Labor Party of Albania.

After the publication of two novels with a historical theme, Kadare again faced criticism for avoiding "current" themes, therefore he thought of writing a novel on the theme of the breakup of Albania with other communist countries in the winter of 1960-1961, which then he had free hands to return to Albanian history and legends for which he was criticized for neglecting New Albania. He gave the novel the title "The Winter of Great Solitude". As soon as it came out in early 1973, thanks to criticism, it was edited and republished in 1977 under the changed title "The Great Winter" and also translated into French.

The Fall of Communism (1989-1991)

Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great

In 1989, the authorities appointed him vice-chairman of the Democratic Front. Using his fame in Albania and abroad, he made more and more vocal statements about the necessity of changes, especially in the field of human rights. In the preface to Neshat Tozaj's courageous novel Thikat (1989) denouncing the violations of the Security, Kadare asserted that only by acknowledging and correcting past mistakes could Albania move forward. In February 1990, Kadare requested a meeting with Ramiz Ali where he asked him to respect human rights, implement democratic reforms, economic reforms and open up to the outside world.

After leaving Tirana and applying for political asylum in France, he was able to practice his profession in complete freedom. His exile in Paris was fruitful and allowed him further success, both in Albanian and in French.

After the victory of the Democratic Party in 1992, Kadare returned to Albania. From 1990 onwards, his work became the most powerful expression of the linguistic and artistic values ??of literary Albanian, at home and abroad. Ismail Kadare's literature after 1990 carries the same essential features of the previous one: the ethnographic spirit and the manifestation of the Albanian identity, adding the author's freedom to deal with topics that could not be dealt with freely before.

In 1996, he was admitted to the Academy of Social and Political Sciences in France, where he replaced the philosopher Karl Popper. From 1994 to 2004, the French publishing house "Fayard" published Kadare's complete works in French and Albanian. During the 90s, he helped the publication of many Albanian authors in France, either by suggesting them to French publishers, or by writing their forewords. In the 90s, Kadare lobbied for Kosovo and supported the NATO bombing against Serbia.

Over the years, he has declared that he has given up writing poetry (1997) and fiction (2011).

Ratings from internationals

Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great

Kadare is the only Albanian writer with wide international recognition and has been translated into 45 languages. Before Kadare, Albanian literature was little known in the world. Thanks to him it became known, read and valued. For the first time in its history, through him, Albanian literature has been integrated into European and world literature, and is decently represented on their map. The literature of Kadare has made a valuable contribution to the creation of the national language and literature.

He is the laureate of many national and international literary awards. In 1992 he was awarded the "Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca". In 2005, he won the "Man Booker Prize" nominated alongside Nobel laureates Günter Grass, Garbiel Garcia Marquez, Kenzaburo Oe, etc. The chairman of the jury justified the decision to award the prize to Kadare with the words: "Ismail Kadare is a writer who maps an entire culture: its history, desire, folklore, politics, disasters. He is a universal writer with tradition the narrative going back to Homer". In 2009 he was awarded the Spanish "Prince of Asturias" Prize for the Arts - the most important literary prize in Spanish countries, and one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world. In 2010, Ismail Kadare was honored in Italy with the Lerici Pea award.

In 1996 Kadare became a life member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in France. He became a member of the Academy of Sciences of Albania, a member of the Academy of Sciences of Kosovo and from 2018 an external member of the Academy of Sciences of Montenegro.

Ismail Kadare has been decorated by the institution of the President of the Republic of Albania with the "Honour of the Nation" Order and by the French state with the "Cross of the Legion of Honor" and "Officer of the Legion of Honor" orders.

Foreign authors in their respective native languages ??such as Eric Faye and Jean-Paul Champseix in French, Piet de Moor in Dutch, Peter Morgan in English, Bernardo Joffily in Portuguese, Jose Carlos Rodrigo Breto in Spanish, and Ece Dillio?lu in Turkish.

International acknowledgments

Ismail Kadare celebrates his 88th birthday/ The extraordinary works of the great

Gold Medal of the League of Prizren, Kosovo;

"Prix mondial Cino Del Duca", France, 1992;

"Bocaccio" Award, Italy, 1997;

"Herder Prize", Germany, 1998;

"Ovid Prize", Romania, 2003;

Man Booker International Prize, Britain, 2005;

"The Prince of Asturias" for Literature, Spain, 2009;

"Lerici Pea" Award, Italy, 2010;

"Jerusalem" Award, Israel, 2015;

"Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur" (C. LH), France, 2016;

"Albanian Literature" Award, Kosovo, 2017;

"Nonino" Award, Italy, 2018;

Academic career award, from the Academy of Sciences of Albania, 2018;

Park Kyong-ni Award, South Korea, 2019;

"Neustadt International Prize", USA, 2020;

"Prozart", North Macedonia, 2020./ CNA

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