Essays on World Literature: Shakespeare • Aeschylus • Dante

Essays on World Literature, by Ismail Kadare - 9781632061744.jpg
Essays on World Literature, by Ismail Kadare - 9781632061744.jpg

Essays on World Literature: Shakespeare • Aeschylus • Dante

19.99

By Ismail Kadare

Translated from the Albanian by Ani Kokobobo

The Man Booker International–winning author of Broken April and The Siege, Albania’s most renowned novelist, and perennial Nobel Prize contender Ismail Kadare explores three giants of world literature—Aeschylus, Dante, and Shakespeare—through the lens of resisting totalitarianism. 

Book Details

Paperback List Price: $19.99 • ISBN: 9781632061744• Publication: 2/20/2018 • 5.5” x 8.25” • 304 pages • Literary Criticism: World literature / Aeschylus / Shakespeare / Dante • Territory: World all Languages • eBook ISBN: 9781632061751

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About the Book

In isolationist Albania, which suffered under a Communist dictatorship for nearly half a century, classic global literature reached Ismail Kadare across centuries and borders—and set him free. The struggles of Hamlet, Dante, and Aeschylus’s tragic figures gave him an understanding of totalitarianism that shaped his novels. In these incisive critical essays informed by personal experience, Kadare provides powerful evidence that great literature is the enemy of dictatorship and imbues these timeless stories with powerful new meaning.
 
With eloquent prose and the narrative drive of a great mystery novel, Kadare renews our readings of the classics and lends them a distinctly Albanian tint. Like Mark Twain’s Mississippi River, Márquez’s Macondo, and Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, Kadare’s Albania emerges as a microcosm of civilization; here, blood vengeance in mountain communities reaches the dramatic heights of Hamlet’s dilemma, funereal rites take on the air of Greek tragedy, and political repression gives life the feel of Dante’s nine circles of Hell.
 
Like Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Essays on World Literature casts reading itself as a daring act of resistance to artistic suppression. Kadare’s insights into the Western canon secure his own place within it.

 

Praise for Ismail Kadare:

“Kadare is inevitably likened to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second. He is a compellingly ironic storyteller because he so brilliantly summons details that explode with symbolic reality.”

—James Wood, The New Yorker

“An author who richly deserves the Nobel Prize.”

—The Huffington Post

“In his layering of truth-quests, Mr. Kadare, winner of the Man Booker International Prize… has more in common with the experimental-fiction writers Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jorge Luis Borges… we’re gazing on a multilevel storytelling realm where, whether you are a student of Balkan history, a lover of Greek myth or a German taxi driver, the warning signs all say the same thing: ‘Don’t look back.’”

—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

“The name of the Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare regularly comes up at Nobel Prize time, and he is still a good bet to win it one of these days… he is seemingly incapable of writing a book that fails to be interesting.”

—Charles McGrath, The New York Times

“Kadare’s novels are full of startlingly beautiful lines... bracingly original similes swarm with an apparent casualness... gloomy and death-obsessed, but also frequently hilarious.”  

—Christian Lorentzen, The New York Times Book Review

“If only most thriller writers could write with Kadare’s economy and pace… Kadare, magician that he is, offers just enough information for his readers to make myriad interpretations. He is the most beguiling and teasing of writers who understands that what may not be apparent now may well be in a distant future.”

—The Sunday Herald

 

About the Author

Ismail Kadare is Albania’s best known novelist, whose name is mentioned annually in discussions of the Nobel Prize.  He won the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005; in 2009 he received the Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras, Spain’s most prestigious literary award, and in 2015 he won the Jerusalem Prize.  In 2016 he was named a Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur.  James Wood has written of his work, "Kadare is inevitably likened to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second. He is a compellingly ironic storyteller because he so brilliantly summons details that explode with symbolic reality."  His last book to be published in English, The Traitor’s Niche, was nominated for the Man Booker International.  

About the Translator

A native Albanian, Ani Kokobobo is assistant professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas where she teaches Russian literature and culture. Last summer, she published an edited volume: Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle – The Twilight of Realism (Cambridge University Press, 2015). She has a monograph forthcoming, Russian Grotesque Realism: The Great Reforms and Gentry Decline (Ohio State University Press, 2017), as well as another edited volume, Beyond Moscow: Reading Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives (Routledge, 2017).