Ismail Kadare Long Fiction Analysis
Most of Ismail Kadare’s novels are set in Albania, and the same landmarks appear in many of his books: the three-arched bridge, containing its human sacrifice, and the Inn of the Two Roberts, where travelers both innocent and suspect stop for the night. He frequently refers to the famous and still-debated Battle of Kosovo of 1389 (Elegy for Kosovo) and to the official method of Byzantine torture: blinding.
However, Kadare is concerned mainly with human rights, with the lot of the common people throughout history. In fact, he has a standard for assessing the actions of governments—including such things as architectural megaprojects: How will a given action, a government project, affect everyday people? How much will the people, including workers, suffer? These questions frame his novel The Pyramid, in which he deals at length with the inhumane treatment of the workers and the general populace during the construction of the largest pyramid in Egypt four thousand years ago; Kadare’s analysis is so profound that the edifice itself, the pyramid, pales in comparison. In the final paragraphs of the novel, the pyramid becomes transparent, except for the blemish of a bloodstain that can never be washed clean. For Kadare, brutality devalues products of labor.
Kadare realizes that human nature will never change, and that the behavior portrayed in the Greek myths and in William Shakespeare’s dramas continues unabated. There will...
(The entire section is 1642 words.)
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