Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare is an Albanian writer who shares his time between his native country and France.

From his Q & A with Luke Sampson for the Financial Times:

What are you most proud of writing?

The Palace of Dreams. It was written in 1980 and published a year later, during the blackest period of Albanian tyranny. It was a book opposed to that tyranny.

* * * *
What book changed your life?

Macbeth. I read it when I was 11. Although I couldn’t understand everything, I loved it enough that I began to copy it by hand. A year later, I wanted to do the same with Hamlet, which, however, was even more incomprehensible to me.

* * *
Who are your literary influences?

The three peninsulas of Europe: the Apennines, with Dante; the Balkans, with Greek tragedies and medieval Albanian ballads; and the Iberian Peninsula, with Don Quixote. The British Isles (Shakespeare). Russian and central European literature (Kafka).
Read the complete interview.

--Marshal Zeringue