Aida Zaganjori


Ismail Kadare and James Joyce have some very interesting similarities at the level of their literary language. This paper aims to outline an overview of these similarities. Both writers have contributed a lot in the elaboration of each respective language by mastering it in a superior level of expression, one of the most apparent aspects of which is their expansion of lexis. Likewise, they both gave emphasis to the visual aspect of language, as is witnessed by their fondness for anagrams, backward writing, specific spellings, etc. Even more important is their attentiveness regarding the sound aspect of language, pushed to the limits by Joyce, but persistently pursued also by Kadare. It is no mere coincidence that music figures so largely in their works. Another important commonality is the frequent use of foreign words by both writers. Without going to the limits of Finnegans Wake where Joyce used even words borrowed from Albanian, Kadare exploits with great effect a wide range of foreign words, from Russian to French, from Chinese to Swedish. Lastly, both writers had an incomparably sharp sensitivity to discursive registers, representing convincingly characters from the widest range of social strata, some of them traditionally excluded from literary language. Drawing on Kadare’s remarks on Joyce’s “multilingual delirium”, his attempt to “create the language of water and wind”, etc, it is concluded that these similarities in language are not fortuitous, and that Joyce was an important reference point in Kadare’s explorations in literary language.

Key words: literary language, Ismail Kadare, James Joyce, foreign, communicative registers.

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