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NOTED ALBANIAN WRITER ISMAIL KADARE WILL SPEAK AT BARD ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22 Topic of his talk is “Ancient Tragedy and Contemporary Literature”

Emily M. Darow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Monday, November 22, Ismail Kadare, the noted Albanian author who is a visiting writer in residence at Bard, will speak about “Ancient Tragedy and Contemporary Literature.” The program is free and open to the public and will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 102 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building. “Kadare is arguably Albania’s most interesting and important writer,” writes Sanford Pinsker in the Washington Post Book World. “His mixture of the realistic and the allegorical, the crushingly mundane and the eerily fantastic, is probably the best way to capture the inherent contradictions of present-day Albania.” This program is presented in association with the seminar, “Contemporary Masters: Terror and Beauty,” taught by noted exiled Romanian writer Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture at Bard. “I know Ismail Kadare’s work from the time both of us lived in the darkest type of Eastern European communist dictatorship, the Romanian and the Albanian one,” explains Manea. “Kadare already was an internationally recognized great writer, as he also is now, in his postcommunist Parisian refuge. I’m very glad that he is coming to Bard, not only because of our similarities as exiled writers in the West, but also because my students are really fascinated by his books.” A nominee for a Nobel Prize in literature, Kadare is the author of several novels, including Elegy for Kosovo; Spring Flowers, Spring Frost; The Three-Arched Bridge; The Pyramid; The Concert at the End of the Winter; and Broken April. Born in 1936 in the Albanian mountain town of Girokaste, near the Greek border, Kadare studied in Tirana and at the Gorki Institute in Moscow. He established an uneasy modus vivendi with the Communist authorities as his international reputation as one of the greatest writers working behind the Iron Curtain grew. In 1990, however, the government’s efforts to turn his reputation to their advantage drove him to seek asylum in France and to declare that “dictatorship and authentic literature are incompatible.” He currently lives and works in Paris. For further information, call 845-758-6822. # # # (11/2/04)

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This event was last updated on 11-24-2004