Free epub Kronikë në gur BY Ismail Kadare –

Kronikë në gurEleven years ago I was in Albania and after being taken on a tour of the capital Tirana by a university student Theofania we sat own at a pavement cafe to rest and have something to This Is Not That Dawn drink Theofania said that a man at the next table was Ismail Kadare one of Albania s most famous writers One of my recurringaydreams has been how nice it would be to sit at cafe tables having literary Degeneration Decadence and Disease in the Russian fin de siècle discussions especially with famous authors Tirana is a small enough town that one can see peopleoing that even if one Demography is Politics does not have the temerity to join in In the course of our tour we also passed Albania s most famous film star riding a bicycle I never heard of Ismail Kadare before but having set eyes on him if not actually having spoken to him I was curious about his books and when I found one in a bookshop The file on H I read it and enjoyed it Not many bookshops stock his books so when I saw Chronicle in stone I bought it and enjoyed it even than The file on HIt is set in the town of Gjirokaster in southern Albania which is the town where Kadare grew up so it is probably semi autobiographical and I have no Il mistero del London Eye doubt that Kadare must have witnessed scenes similar to those heescribes in the book It is set Lady Caligula during the Second World War when Gjirokaster was successively occupied by Italians Greeks and Germans with several changes as the tide of war ebbed and flowed It is seen through the eyes of a child possibly a somewhat older child than Kadare would have been at the time Though the age of the narrator is never stated it seems to be about 6 10 whereas Kadare would have been about 2 3 years younger than that at the time It is a child s eye view yet an adult recollection of a child s eye view with adult powers ofescription But it looks at the the adult world through a child s eyes remembering people for particular characteristics or foibles that would impress a child Apart from the other children most of the adults belong to the grandparents generation and so much of the information about the world comes to the narrator through his grandparents and their friends and relatives aunts and great aunts who pop in to visit and gossip There is the grandfather who lies on his Americana divan eachay reading books in Turkish There is the old woman who comments on each piece of news that it is the end of the world The nearest comparison I can think of is the William books by Richmal Crompton which is also a fictional representation of a child s experience of war but the viewpoint is TITLE different and the culture isifferent Crompton s books reflect adult amusement at children s interpretations of the adult world and so they are The Namesake detached from the characters Kadare gets into the skin of the child and articulates it from the child s point of view Anotherifference is that though Richman Crompton s books reflect fear of invasion the invasion never took place and the country was not occupied The war was closer in Albania the bombing The Visible Filth devastating and towards the end with threeifferent resistance movements it also became a civil war There is humour but there is also tragedy and sadness I enjoyed the book partly because it it portrays Albanian culture and having been to the country it helped me to understand of the people and the way they lived and thought There is also a sense in which the city itself is the main character in the novel Occupying armies come and go the inhabitants flee as refugees and return but the city remains almost as a sentient being Even in translation Kadare s Schatzk�stlein Des Rheinischen Hausfreundes descriptions are lyrical I never have read his books if we had not by chance being sitting at a table next to him at a cafe I Up Tunket Road d probably still not have heard of him but for that chance But havingiscovered his books I ll be reading in future When I think of a city in stone I imagine an impregnable fortress This fortress however proved to be vulnerable When I think of a chronicle in stone I imagine a city which writes its own immutable history This city however had all kinds of foreign invaders making indelible marks in its history booksIsmail Kadare writes a rich engaging fictionalized memoir of his childhood years in Gjirokaster Albania The events around the time of World War Two are told through the eyes of a nameless child living in a nameless Albanian city It is a tragic story but told in a arkly comical way that you on t notice the tragedy of it all till the end It is a The Society of Thirteen direct chronological narrative blending an uneasy mix of horror and humourSPOILERS aheadThe inhabitants of the city are colourful characters with unpronounceable names It was hard keeping track of who s who but itid not interfere with the flow of the story Generally they came across as conservative suspicious superstitious and resistant to change The grannies were particularly amusing with their gossiping and hilarious uips especially the narrator s cantankerous acerbic headstrong grandmother All the old women had facial tics Their wrinkles leapt about so furiously it seemed they would come loose and fall off I had a feeling I was already entangled in those wrinklesEven the background characters were amusing There was Gjergj Pula who kept changing his name to Dheu është flori different languagesepending on who was the current military invader Argjir Argjiri the hermaphrodite was ostracized for getting married The recidivistic Llukan freely walked in and out of the Olive Again defunct prisonThe use of a child narrator gave it an interesting perspective Objects like rainrops streets the city the citadel were personified Some escriptions just captured the ethos *PERFECTLY THE ONCE REVERED ANTI AIRCRAFT *The once revered anti aircraft was now a lame piece of euipment The sound of the old anti aircraft gun was STILL DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS IT WAS LIKE AN different from the others It was like an blind man teased by kids who responds by throwing stones that never hit their markThe narrator also has his bildungsroman but his evelopment is tainted He starts off as a naive wide eyed urchin complete with first Crush On A Married Woman on a married woman and first love with a girl Suzana He is innocent in violence and sexual matters He is mesmerized by the aerodrome and the big plane not knowing the implications of their presence on the city However when the bombings and killings start it is the end of innocence and he himself becomes a potential accomplice to a murder Perhaps the biggest influences on the narrator were future revolutionaries Isa and Javer The fall from innocence was actually hinted at much earlier when before the bombings started when the boys again mention the slaughterhouse While the violence was obvious the loss of sexual innocence was subtle There was an unplanned pregnancy a hermaphrodite a homosexual a bearded girl a beardless guy One of the gypsies who lived in the shed told me that all girls have the black triangle I The Roman Forum d seen on Margarita For me that was an indisputable sign that they would end up inishonourThere were many other symbolic things in the story like the cursed cobblestone the wooden plane the severed arm and the severed heads The underground cellar of the narrator s family was at first eemed to be fit as a bomb shelter but later found to be unsafe similar to the fate of the city The first thing that struck me when we went home was that the tin sign saying shelter for 90 persons was gone Someone must have taken it own while we were away and the wall had a light rectangular mark that gave me an empty feeling in my heart every time I looked at it Bleak and poignantThere were numerous cultural and factual references Easter eggs as it were The narrator reads Macbeth and keeps Dragonhaven drawing parallels from it Enver Hoxha the future communist head of state who was also born in Gjirokaster gets a mention The narrator s grandfather keeps reading Turkish books a reference to their links with the Ottoman EmpireNear the end of the story aside from what they suffered from the external attacks the people start turning on each other with groups of partisans factions including Ballists even traitors Their society wasegenerating into a Lord of the Flies scenarioDespite that and all the carnage from three Mr Peters' Connections different invaders Italian Greek and German the people still survive and life goes on Again the tender flesh of life was filling the carapace of stoneBrilliant read Gjirokaster Albania in WWII is seen through the eyes of a young boy The town is invaded by the Italians Greeks Italians Greeks partisans and Germans It undergoes prolong air raids by the British The last third of the book introduces fully the partisans those for the King those for a republic and the CommunistsA town where the people seem to live happily with the only conflicts coming from family feuds fear of magic and sex homosexuality hermaphrodites pre marriage sex prostitution are all covered The old people have lived through the Ottoman Empire and have seen a lot of violenceKadare brings life to stones of the town raindrops roads riversays of the weeks He takes no sides and relates the senseless brutal murders and eaths as a matter of fact these things are expected and need to be enduredHe also introduces Enver Hoxha who was born in the town and his book provides a forecast of the chaos that will come under his rule REVISED REVIEW I was tired last nightI loved this book Why Well what I loved most was the writing style I scarcely realized I was learning about the events occurring in Albania 1941 43 The book escription here at GR is practically nonexistent so I will explain a bit Although fictionthis book is in fact about the author s ow. Masterful in its simplicity Chronicle in Stone is a touching coming of age story and a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit Surrounded by the magic of beautiful women and literature a boy must endure the eprivations of war as he suffers the hardships of growing up His sleepy country has just thrown off centuries of tyranny but new O eath or turn a corner and see a woman hanging from a lamp post It s a fascinating book well written and a rare opportunity to look into Albanian cultureTop photo from SarandAlbaniacom Bottom photo from tripadvisorcomrevised 6242017 I Cary Grant A Biography don t usually start reviews with background information on the author but Iidn t know anything about Albanian writer Ismael Kadare before I picked up purely by chance this wonderful bookIn 2005 Kadare won the first Man Booker International Prize for a body of work written in or translated into English He writes in Albanian and most of his work is available in English translation via French his works published in France Chronicle in Stone was first published in Albanian in 1971 though Kadare had been working on elements of it since 1962 so it contains some of his earliest work He revised it himself a number of times until a finalized efinitive text appeared simultaneously in Albanian and French in 1997 The 2007 edition I read is translated irectly from the Albanian by Arshi Pipa with an introduction by David Bellos who has translated many Kadare works from French into English and edited this oneIn his introduction Bellos says that many plot lines and story fragments introduced in Chronicle in Stone grow into a whole range of works set in varied times and locationsChronicle in Stone is set in Kadare s Southern Albanian home city Gjirokaster and it s clear from page 1 that the city itself is as central to the story as are its people Everything was old and made of stone from the streets and fountains to the roofs of the sprawling age old houses covered with grey slates like gigantic scales It was hard to believe that under this powerful carapace the tender flesh of life survived and reproduced It was a slanted city set at a sharper angle than perhaps any other city on earth and it Tall StrangerLast Stand at Papago Wells defied the laws of architecture and city planning The top of one house might graze the foundation of another and it was surely the only place in the world where if you slipped and fell in the street you might well land on the roof of a house a peculiarity known most intimately torunks The life of the stone city is seen through the eyes of a boy slightly younger than Kadare himself would have been in the late 1930s and early 1940s when the book is set It s only as I m writing this review now that I realize that the first person narrator is unnamed perhaps it is Ismael that s how I think of himThe boy is fascinated by the life of the town especially the women who ran his household and visited it and the two classes of older women the fearsome mothers in law katenxhikas who watched flew open their shutters to exchange news and gossip across the street and the centenarians the old crones who never went out The voices of the village women form part of the background texture of the novel and every now and then a piece of news eagerly told advances the narrativeKadare has a wonderful ear for Silks dialogue and an eye for the ridiculous In this pre modern society traditional beliefs and practicesominate and there is always a great 33 deal going on an aunt s chronic catastrophism managing water cisterns the English pilot s arm Uncle Avdo s failure to shoot a pig in the sky attempts to talk to girls and learn about sex and only partly glimpsed the conseuences for people whoon t fit into conventional modes of behaviour a missing Cavalier A Tale of Chivalry Passion and Great Houses daughterAnd always the young menebated politics Albania s recent history had been turbulent and there were already Loveknot Welcome to Tyler deepivisions in the population before the Italian occupation in 1939 In the short time frame of this novel the Greeks and Italians invaded retreated invaded again the Italians build an aerodrome in the field outside the town And at the end in 1943 the Germans invade and outbreaks of violence that lead to the civil war are beginning As the book progresses the political One Step Further disturbances become fiercer acts of violence and retribution become freuent within the local population a precursor to the full blown civil war that tore Albania apart and led to a repressive communist nationalist government following theefeat of Italy and Germany after WWII ttpsenwikipediaorgwikiHistoryofAlbaniaDavid Bellos introduction notes that we see these traumatic events in the life of the city through the eyes of a The Dreamers dreamy short sighted and highly imaginative child whose thoughts and interests are in girls hermaphrodites and homosexuals Inserted Fragments of Chronicles written in most part by Italian Garrison Commanders mark changes in political environment and the effects of violence on the people of the town They are identifiably andeliberately separate from the young narrator s voiceHe seems only glancingly interested in the progress of invasion war and wider catastrophe The aerodrome used as a base for bombers is a source of fascination rather than fear for him their bombs were likely to be ropped somewhere else though the aerodrome presence made Gjirokaster a target for English and Allied bombers The boy and others are fascinated by THE PLANES WHICH APPEAR AS ONE planes which appear as one the many story threads Family members were proud that their cellar was labeled by the authorities as a shelter for 90 people while others houses could shelter only 20 30 40 It was a large house full of many things including copper cauldrons plates of all sizes bread bins mortars iron hooks beams steel balls one was supposed to be a cannonball a whole clutter of strange old things but not a single book Visiting the home of a friend who has books the boy is told to take one He finds one with the words ghost witches first murderer and even second murderer seizes it without even looking at title runs home and begins to readIt is Macbeth When his mother makes him stop reading at night because the family has no fuel for a lamp he marvels at what a book this book contains that it calls the imagination to run free The book is a thin object It was so strange Between two cardboard covers were noises oors howls horses people All side by side pressed tightly against one another Decomposed into little black marks Hair eyes legs and hands voices nails beards knocks on Girl on a Motorcycle doors walls blood the sound of horseshoes shouts Allocile blindly obedient to the little black marks The letters run in mad haste now here now there and so it runs on a brilliant telling of the excitement of La suma de los días discoveryBellos writes that this encounter with Macbeth is one of the most important events in the life of the narrator in Chronicle of Stone The underlying material of that play not just ghosts witches and murder but theynamics of the struggle for power the ineradicable nature of a crime committed and the inexcusable flouting of the rules of hospitality run through Kadare s entire work Kadare s authorial Traces detachment and choice of narrator allow the reader to relativelyetached from the horrors happening around to engage with the family and community life of Gjirokaster and to enjoy the often absurdist humour I have already found another of his books The Successorand will continue to search I can see why he was on short lists for consideration for the Nobel Prize in Literature I ve been in a reading rut lately Probably cause I had a visitor at my house for two weeks and had to C do some preparations before It s summertime and I can t wait to get back to my reading Chronicle in Stone seemed like a novel that wasn t too long so I chose it to get me out of this rutWhat can I say It really is a wartime book written from the perspective of a child If you forget that the narrator is a child a lot of the magic gets lost and you won t enjoy this book The child s point of view is humorous and he tries to explain everything for himself no matter how absurd At the beginning I sometimes forgot that the narrator was a child so I was thinking to myself there s a lot of magical realism in this book And I was somewhat reminded of The Tiger s Wife which Iidn t enjoy However Chronicle in Stone turned out to be better I had no knowledge of Albania and its history prior to reading this novel Now I got a taste of how the villagers of a tiny country perceive foreign invasion and occupation and war They are in the midst of it and basically helpless But they The Greek's Convenient Wife Harleuin Presents don t behave like helpless people Instead they try to move on fill their bleak realities with a lot of humor and continue to gossip and live life There are so many characters in this story and I admit that even at the end I wasn t 100% who everybody was Iidn t love this book but I think it got me out of the reading rut Yes beautiful yes sad yes terrifying and warm and mesmerizing But than that it gives a uniue insight into a hitherto unknown world a small city in Albania uring World War II One That Is Occupied that is occupied lost occupied and lost The narrator is a boy who understands what is going on as best he can that is with no other context than that of his immediate life His only awareness of the outside world in fact comes from a book loaned to him by an older boy who is a student and something of an intellectual The young narrator is rawn to the book because it s cast of characters includes ghosts and witches and murderers The older boy tells him MacBeth is way too advanced for him but he takes it anyway and falls under its spell Somehow his world is real in the same way that MacBeth is real mythic and senseless and yet with a profound meaning one can only sense imlyThe prose in translation is beautiful The boy s imagery is poetic and touching I loved this boo. Instead an archaic backwater where a severed arm becomes a talisman and eflowered girls mysteriously vanish Woven between the chapters of the boy's story are tantalizing fragments of the city's history As the The Mask of the Enchantress / The Secret Woman devastation mounts the fragments lose coherence and we perceive firsthand how the violence of warestroys than just buildings and bridges. N experiences I've been thinking...: reflections, prayers, and meditations for a meaningful life during the Second World War when he was a child growing up in Gjirokast r Albania This is an ancient city near the Albanian Greek border In 1939 Mussolini occupied Albania but thereafter control switched several times between the Italians and the Greeks Finally near the end of the war and until the summer of 1944 the Germans occupied Albania The bookoes not continue through to the war s end Gjirokast r was extensively bombed There were also fighting going on between the three Bonded by Sin dominant resistance movements Isa Toska s men representing the Legaliteti backing the exiled King Zog the Ballists and finally the Partisans who were Communists This civil war led finally to the Communist takeover by Envor Hoxha He too was from Gjirokast r The city is made of stone houses topped with slate rooves When you leave your frontoor you are at the edge of your neighbor s roof the slope is steep This gray city has a strong presence in the novel Trees and foliage lawns and bushes are not what you find here Such a world is far away only imagined at the markets where the peasants bring in their produce The city has arisen from the earlier Turkish landowning people It is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site In the book the city itself has an identity This is the setting for the young boy s experiences Violent times to say the least Culturally the city has a Muslim Turkish heritage This contrasts against the GreekChristianpeasant culture All of this is woven into the story Different cultures strange beliefs bizarre people and shocking events they are all part of this novel At the center is a young boy trying to understand it all One might think that such a time and place would not be the setting for a book filled with humor This book IS filled with humor and irony The boy is so imaginative the words and thoughts will Hezbollah delight you Sometimes you laugh at the kids lack of understanding their attempts to understand an adult world that logically cannot be understood Words and events are misunderstood and we who read can chuckle at the search for knowledge and the irony of the crazy world that engulfs the city Diverse themes from magic to girls to war to Shakespeare to sexualeviants are all present The author plays with wordsAnd yet this is about war and when the tone suddenly switches you are struck by the huge contrast Only by first laughing Honored Guest Stories do you come to feel totallyevastated when things go wrong All of a sudden I realized how invested I had become in these people There is a pronunciation guide and an exemplary introduction written by David Bellos I read the introduction after finishing the book I advise Orcs et Gobelins doing this Often Iislike introductions I hate it when they tell you how to interpret lines or tell us what we should be thinkingfeeling This introduction Florence of Arabia does noto that It adds historical fact so you better understand the story itself It tells of how Kadare rewrote this story repetitively It explains what version we have in our hands It speaks of the translator Arshi Pipa Don t skip the introduction It is very interesting but first read the novel and let yourself be carried away by the play on words and imagination I absolutely adored the literary style I was emotionally captivated by these characters Perhaps as the introduction points out there is even said between the lines but first just sit back and enjoy the story Remember it is fiction Don t Guns of the Timberlands demand that it fulfills the criteria of logical sense just enjoy it Well that is what I think I would not consider giving this book anything but five stars I loved it Every bit of it Itrew a picture of a High Five difficult time and place First it was very amusing and then it socked me in the stomachHere follows just one example of the humor found in this book The last Italians lefturing the first week of November four ays after the evacuation of the aerodrome For forty hours there was no government in the city The Greeks arrived at two in the morning They stayed for about seventy hours and hardly anyone even saw them The shutters stayed closed No one went out in the street The Greeks themselves seemed to move only at night At ten in the morning on Thursday the Italians came back marching in under freezing rain They stayed only thirty hours Six hours later the Greeks were back The same thing happened all over again in the second week of November The Italians came back This time they stayed about sixty hours The Greeks rushed back in as soon as the Italians had gone They spent all ay Friday and Friday night in the city but when : Grammatica italiana per stranieri con esercizi e testi autentici dawn broke on Saturday the city awoke to find itself completelyeserted Everyone had gone Who knows why the Italians Three Maids for a Crown didn t come back Or the Greeks Saturday and Sunday went by On Monday morning footsteps echoed in the street where none had been heard for severalays On either side of the street women opened their shutters gingerly and looked out It was Llukan the jailbird with his old brown blanket slung over his Right Shoulder In His Kerchief Je Was Carrying Bread shoulder In his je was carrying bread and and was apparently on his way homeLlukan Bido Sherofi s wife called from a windowI was up there said Llukan pointing to the prison I went there to report but guess what The prison is closedThere was almost a touch of sadness in his voice The freuent Changes Of Rulers Had Made Mincemeat Of His Sentence And of rulers had made mincemeat of his sentence and put him out of SORTS No Greeks or Italians you meanGreeks Italians it makes no Lives of Roman Christian Women (Penguin Classics) difference to me Llukan answered in exasperation All I know is the prison isn t working Theoors are wide openNot a soul around It s enough to break your heart beginning of chapter 9This is just one example of the humor Please read the book so you can experience yourself the imagination of the main protagonistI have read a bit than half of this book I absolutely adore itI keep thinking I should stop and tell my GR friends I think I simply must copy a bit so you get to see what I am reading But then I simply can t I have to keep reading and I cannot copy the whole book as examples of why I am loving how this author expresses himself What I love about this book are the lines They are funny How can war be funny Well what happens is so absurd you The Tao of Bill Murray Real Life Stories of Joy Enlightenment and Party Crashing do laugh Some lines are funny others conjure a picture of gloom others theelight of women in the eyes of an adolescent boy and then there is magic too I Badlands don t really care what this author is talking about it is how he says whatever he wants to say that is so wonderfulThis book is much much much better than the author s The Three Arched Bridge Don t read that Read this I visited Gjirokaster in Albania in 1984uring the last year of the life of the country s Men at Arms dictator Enver Hoxha Th Another amazing story from Kadare The city of his birth is brought to life through a child s eyesuring the various occupations and bombings that tormented the place uring WWII The most poetic prose and imaginative imagery highlight the story and make it one of the best I have ever read The story overflows with beautiful lovely interesting characters and thoughts that could only come from a child s mind so innocent and endearing that espite what is going on around him he still knows what is important his family his friends and his magnificent city Knowing where the title comes from tells us a lot about this book The city and the stone houses themselves play such a part that they are like characters The story is set in Gjirokaster Albania a city of stone perched on such steep topography that a runk can slip off the road on one street and land on a roof of a street below The uniueness of the city has earned it UNESCO World Heritage Landmark statusKadare is the classic national writer of Albania He was born in 1936 so this coming of age story is set around WW II and the events leading up to it Gjirokaster changed hands from Italians to Greeks many times in just a few years While in Italian hands it was bombed numerous times by the Allies Eventually the Germans invaded and that started a civil war among monarchists nationalistic rebels and communists Folks caught in the middle of this strife learned the meaning of hell For comparable war time horrors I m reminded of the Indonesian story All That Is GoneAlbania at this time was a pre modern culture Christians and Moslem Albanians had negotiated a truce and lived side by side in the city surrounded by Greek peasants and Gypsies There were epidemics of witchcraft that terrified the residents There were two categories of widowed old crones younger ones who ressed in black who walked the streets gossiping and causing trouble and those old blind and Bloodraven deaf who were seers and never left their homes evenuring the bombings Grandmothers practiced Undressed by the Earl divination from chicken bones when chickens were available a rare event so that tells us how often they had meat The foreword tells us that the author s numerous references to homosexuality and bisexuality are veiled allusions to the supposed sexual orientation of the former Communistictator of Albania Hoxha who was a native of Gjirokaster So in the local idiom we hear a lot about women who grew a beard overnightStarving war refugees and Greene, G: Stamboul Train defeated soldiers wander though the city at various times In this coming of age story a young boy runs through the town with friends experiences puppy love is taught how to smoke by his grandfather and interprets life around him though snippets of adult conversation Since it is wartime these youthful experiences are surreal You might see a body lying on your front steps stabbed Aves ofomination inundate his city Through the boy's eyes we see the terrors of World War II as he witnesses fascist invasions allied bombings partisan infighting and the many faces of human cruelty as well as the simple pleasures of life Evacuating to the countryside he expects to find an ideal world full of extraordinary things but iscovers. ,