‘THE MONSTER’ OF ISMAIL KADARE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

Aida Zaganjori

Abstract


Ismail Kadare’s ‘The Monster’ was perhaps his most ill-fated work during the socialist period, a doubly-heretic novel of modernist experimentation and political allegory. Published in 1965, it was immediately criticized and banned. After the fall of communism Kadare was able to revise freely and publish it in its definitive form. The aim of this paper is to interpret the nature of the extensive changes made to this final version and to offer a new reading of it. After summing up the principal interpretations given thus far for the first version, a comparative analysis of the changes in the final version follows. Except for a brief assessment of these changes in the linguistic, narrative and structural level, the main focus is on the plot. Relying on textual clues as well as historic data, a more specific analysis of the characters is submitted, on which ground then a new interpretation of the novel is expounded. It is demonstrated that the final version of ‘The Monster’ might be read as an allegory of both Albania and Kadare himself as a writer during the communist period, written from a post-totalitarian viewpoint. 

Keywords:  Ismail Kadare, The Monster, political allegory, censorship, revision.


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/ijllis.v8i8.1954

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/ijllis.v8i8.1954.g2387

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