• Aida Zaganjori


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.


Aliu, Gëzim, Romanet e Ismail Kadaresë (1963-1990). Retorika dhe narracioni [The novels of Ismail Kadare (1963-1990). Rethorics an narration]. PHD thesis, Qendra e Studimeve Albanologjike, Tiranë 2016.

Barthes, Roland, Aventura semiologjike [The semiotic adventure]. Dukagjini, Pejë 2008.

Beebe, Maurice, “Ulysses and the Age of Modernism”. In: James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 1, 1972, pp. 172-188.

Faye, Éric, ‘Romani për përbindëshin’ [‘The novel for the monster’, foreword for the novel ‘The Monster’]. In: KADARE, Ismail, Vepra, vol. 1. Onufri, Tiranë 2007, pp. 233-236.

Groys, Boris, The Total Art of Stalinism. Avant-garde, Aesthetic Dictatorship, and Beyond. Princeton University Press, 1992.

Heller, Leonid, “A world of prettiness. Socialist realism and its aesthetic categories”. In: Lahusen, Th., Dobrenko, E. (eds), Socialist realism without shores. Duke University Press, 1997, pp. 51-75.

Kadare, Ismail, Përbindëshi [The Monster]. In: Nëntori, 1965, no. 12, pp. 26-84.

Kadare, Ismail, Përbindëshi [The Monster]. In: KADARE, Ismail, Vepra, vol. 1. Onufri, Tiranë 2007, pp. 237-396.

Kryeziu, Jorina, Kadare. Bibliografi I [Kadare. Bibliography I]. Botime “Pegi”, Tiranë 2014.

Kryeziu, Jorina, Narratori dhe narracioni në prozën e Ismail Kadaresë [Narration and narrator in Ismail Kadare’s prose]. PHD thesis, Fakulteti i Historisë dhe i Filologjisë, UT, Tiranë 2015.

Pipa, Arshi, Subversion drejt konformizmit. Fenomeni Kadare [Subversion towards conformism. The phenomenon Kadare]. Phoenix. 1999.

Sinani, Shaban, Për prozën e Kadaresë [On the prose of Kadare]. “Naimi”, Tiranë 2009.

Tall, Emily, “James Joyce returns to the Soviet Union”. In: James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 4, 1980, pp. 341-347.




How to Cite

Zaganjori, A. (2019). ‘THE MONSTER’ OF ISMAIL KADARE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 8(8), 40–49. Retrieved from https://anglisticum.org.mk/index.php/IJLLIS/article/view/1954



Volume 8, No.8, August, 2019