Gjenerali i ushtrise se vdekur

by Ismail Kadare
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The General of the Dead Army, Ismail Kadare's meditation on the consequences of war, is a hugely moving account of duty and loss. It is 20 years since the end of World War II and an Italian army general is sent to Albania to search again for the bodies of those who lost their lives in the campaign. He is armed with maps, lists, measurements, and dental and other records. He tours the countryside organizing digs and disinterments and, as he tries to find the dead sons of forgotten families, he wonders at the sense, and scale, of his task. He talks and argues with the curt Italian priest who is accompanying him. He finds his footsteps followed, sometimes anticipated, by a fellow general who is also looking for bodies--the bodies of his German countrymen. He struggles with the Albanian countryside, weather, laborers who work for him, and peasants who watch their work. And he fights the despair that grows as the size, scope, and, ultimately, the hopelessness of his task becomes ever more apparent.

Kadare's plaintive novel is a consistently heartfelt lament to all those who have died and been affected by war, but it is also a beautiful work displaying the skills that make him one of the great modern European writers. --Mark Thwaite, Amazon.co.uk

First Published


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