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Articles tagged "Albania"

Albanian


Greek


from Second Sentence

February 1979 started with heavy snow, a biting wind, and the baying of the Alsatian kept by the guards to foil escape attempts. Superstitious prisoners claimed that the dog's howling at night augured the death of a senior politician: this would be followed by a turn in our own luck. Others said it foretold a death inside the camp. Most ignored such old wives' tales and knew that the dog was either sick or in heat. Nevertheless this howling struck terror to the heart, especially...

The Successor by Ismail Kadare

In The Successor Ismail Kadare mines his country's recent history and puts an infamous death into a crucible. In this way, Kadare captures the strangeness of what was Albania's perverse version of an elite community, those close enough to power to be direct psychological captives of its quixotic and ruthless ruler. The Guide, a literary stand in for Enver Hoxha, Albania's community dictator, is the captor here: his appearances and absences, his cryptic utterances, and most...

Irreversible Landscapes

Irreversible is the river on whose back dead leaves swirl. Irreversible are words- the dust of roads mingled with breath, warm breath that sticks to our trembling lips like fog to a boat.Irreversible is this cup of tea, irreversible the restrained aura of melancholy after a superficial conversation about books and cemeteries. Perhaps even Routine- the eggcup that keeps half of our round selves in balance- is irreversible.Irreversible are all moments of love even when...

The Island You and I

living on an island far from cities with traffic lights and people.Outside we hear the rustlings of a bed of reeds where the wind with its toothless mouth blows luring in tides.A boat is moored on the shore a forlorn boat rotting in the rain.It seems we'll never be able to use it to sail home.

February Sky

Large, gray, sprawled like an old elephant. Winter is ending. Low, sloping roofs are overturned boats slumbering along the shores of drowsiness.Twenty years of an oak tree's life is burned instantly in a stove. And eyes meet only by accident like suburban roads that intersect in grassy meadows, like streams that swell their banks, like hairs on a pillow after a long illness.The old elephant's hoof tramples the ground sowing poisonous yellow flowers in its path...

The Postman

He comes to me every day with a cruel bounce in his step with eyes darting like little green flames- the town postman in a heavy, damp coat jovially announcing he has nothing for me. I see his blue uniform broaden into form metal buttons flickering in the sunlight as he approaches my desperate shape. How those skillful hands-like the hands of a gynecologist!- maneuver through his bag, revealing nothing.I imagine a great pile of sealed white envelopes lying somewhere: birth...

The Cinema

Without fail Sundays at the cinema were always rainy days big black umbrellas clashing against the ticket booth. The doorman among the torn stubs looked like a watercolor hung crookedly on a kitchen wall. We waited anxiously in the front row until the horizontal beam lit a band of white dust and settled on the screen.Always the same old films soundtrack crackling like handfuls of rice thrown at the newlyweds' white car. Beautiful actors kissed as if for the first...

It’s Not Time For . . .

It's not time for a change. As long as I can remember it's never been time for a change. Like cars that screech to a halt houses stand poised in their old breeding ground of rotten acacia leaves.From ribs that bulge like knots on a bundle of wet ropes a faint voice arises, crying, "choose!" Choose between memory and that peculiar stench. . . . Choose between clouds and earth. I tremble like a tree in a winter storm. I wait. I don't understand but I...

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