The latest article here on ReadySteadyBook is Barry Baldwin's controversial attack on Ismail Kadare's claims of dissident status -- Call me Ismail: Kadare's Capers:

The 2005 award of the first Man Booker International Prize to Ismail Kadare re-inflated the bubble of his self-perpetuated myth as persecuted dissident under the reign of Enver Hoxha. It immediately prompted a panegyric in the Times Literary Supplement (June 24, 2005) from Robert Elsie, the West's leading Albanologist. Concentrating on Kadare's literary oeuvre, prose and poetry, it largely fought shy of the dissident issue, combining an opening routine compliment ("His courage in attacking literary mediocrity within the Communist system brought a breath of fresh air to Albanian culture in the sombre years of imposed conformity") with the admission, "He was privileged by the authorities. Indeed, he was able to pursue literary and personal objectives for which other writers would certainly have been sent into internal exile or to prison." (More...)

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