Friday, February 1, 2013

Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare's new book is The Fall of the Stone City.

From his Q & A with Noah Charney for The Daily Beast:

What is guaranteed to make you laugh?

The recent situation in my country [Albania], its problems, its grotesque aspects, its misunderstandings.

What is guaranteed to make you cry?

The same thing.

If you could bring back to life one deceased person, whom would it be and why?

I am relieved that such a thing is impossible. If not, I would suffer greatly from what’s called “having an embarrassment of riches,” too many people to choose from.

What is the story behind the publication of your first book?

It was produced in 1955. I was still a high school student in my native city of GjirokastĂ«r. It was a collection of poems that suddenly made me well known in my town. I had sent the manuscript by mail to the main publishing house in Tirana. I was 16 years old in 1953, when I sent it. After three months, I received a telegram from the publisher: “We are considering publishing your book of poetry. Come right away to Tirana.” The distance from my home to Tirana by bus takes 10 hours. My father, who generally was indifferent toward what I wrote, all of a sudden became interested in it. He told me that I had to make the trip by...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue