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The General of the Dead Army

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This is the story of an Italian general, accompanied by his chaplain, charged with the mission of scouring Albania in search of the bones of their fallen countrymen, killed twenty years earlier during World War II.


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This is the story of an Italian general, accompanied by his chaplain, charged with the mission of scouring Albania in search of the bones of their fallen countrymen, killed twenty years earlier during World War II.

30 review for The General of the Dead Army

  1. 4 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    LA VITA E NIENTE ALTRO I protagonisti sono un torbido prete (avrà avuto una storia con la bella contessa Betti Mirafiore o no?) e un generale stizzoso con improvvisi rigurgiti d’orgoglio nazionalistico. Kadaré fa poco per renderli gradevoli. L’omonima trasposizione cinematografica del 1983 è firmata da Luciano Tovoli, la sua unica regia. Tovoli, più famoso come direttore della fotografia di alcuni film importanti e belli, collaborò anche alla sceneggiatura, insieme a Michel Piccoli e a Jean-Claud LA VITA E NIENTE ALTRO I protagonisti sono un torbido prete (avrà avuto una storia con la bella contessa Betti Mirafiore o no?) e un generale stizzoso con improvvisi rigurgiti d’orgoglio nazionalistico. Kadaré fa poco per renderli gradevoli. L’omonima trasposizione cinematografica del 1983 è firmata da Luciano Tovoli, la sua unica regia. Tovoli, più famoso come direttore della fotografia di alcuni film importanti e belli, collaborò anche alla sceneggiatura, insieme a Michel Piccoli e a Jean-Claude Carrière. Purtroppo ne è risultato un film stitico, senza anima. Indossano entrambi una divisa, rappresentano due eserciti, due burocrazie, due mentalità, di cui secondo me il mondo farebbe volentieri a meno. Vent’anni dopo l’ultima guerra mondiale, nel 1963, sono incaricati di andare in Albania per riportare a casa i resti dei soldati italiani morti rimasti sepolti in terra straniera. Si tratta di scavare, disseppellire, riconoscere, attribuire un'identità, chiudere in un sacco, caricarli su un camion, e poi su una nave, e riportarli in ‘patria’ per ‘degna e giusta’ sepoltura, consegnarli ai loro cari. Marcello Mastroianni, il generale, e Michel Piccoli, il prete, protagonisti del film omonimo. Soldati di un esercito fascista e invasore, quei resti stavano bene laggiù dove erano caduti – sicuramente, si facevano migliore compagnia. Fin qui le perplessità, durate un po’ di pagine. Ma questo libro m’è piaciuto. E credo mi sia piaciuto grazie alla scrittura di Kadare, alle atmosfere che riesce a evocare, sopra tutte la pioggia, il freddo, il fango. E, a contrasto, il calore del caffè, di una pipa, del cognac. Le buche nel terreno che sembrano orbite cieche. Philippe Noiret e Sabine Azéma, i protagonisti del magnifico film di Bertrand Tavernier, 1989, con storia simile, ma ambientata nel primo dopoguerra. L’Italia non è citata esplicitamente, e si fa anche un po’ fatica a riconoscerla perché il generale parte ben attrezzato, dimostrando un’efficienza e un’organizzazione che ha davvero poco di esercito italiano, e d’Italia tout court. Viene invece fuori l’Albania, il carattere della sua gente, abitudini, sentimenti, senza nulla di folkloristico o pittoresco. Philippe Noiret, nato a Lille il primo ottobre del 1930, morto a Parigi il 23 novembre del 2006. Traspare l’umanità di chi è vivo, sopravvissuto, e di chi invece è morto: è un fluire di coscienze in un tempo che si fa quasi sospeso – racconti dell’incertezza umana – tutti galleggiano nei loro pensieri, a volte trascritti in diari o lettere, in una natura assorbente e stordente. Rimane lo smarrimento di fronte a una realtà che è solo frammenti, solo lampi e nessun senso. Sabine Azéma è nata a Parigi il 20 settembre del 1949. C’è anche una gemma lunga solo poche pagine, un capitolo che non so se Fabrizio De André abbia mai letto, ma sono sicuro gli sarebbe piaciuto: è la breve storia di una Bocca di Rosa durante la guerra. Ho già voglia di rileggere il suo racconto. Mentre leggevo, mi sono tornate spesso in mente le immagini del bel film di Tavernier di argomento simile, La vita e nient’altro - piuttosto che quelle stitiche del film che Luciano Tovoli trasse dal libro di Kadare (ma si sa, quando un direttore della fotografia si mette in regia, il disastro è spesso assicurato).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roula

    Δυο ιταλοι-ενας ιερεας και ενας στρατηγος -ξεκινουν με προορισμο την αλβανια και σκοπο να βρουν τους νεκρους τους,τους σκοτωμενους κατα τη διαρκεια του Β παγκοσμιου πολεμου και να τους φερουν πισω στη πατριδα και στις οικογενειες τους. πολλα τα κοινα στοιχεια του βιβλιου αυτου με την ιστορια του Ο. που διαβασα, του ιδιου. ιστορικα γεγονοτα, συμβολισμοι, θεατρικοτητα και κυριως ενα πολυ πρωτοτυπο και δυνατο θεμα. με εχει κερδισει αυτος ο συγγραφεας.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Berardi

    As stated in the last page of the book, it took Ismail Kadaré five years to write this novel between 1962 and 1966 when he was in Tirana. One can wonder whether "The General od the Dead Army" was nail-biting business involving many stopovers for the Albanian author or if Kadaré himself was tied-up with other things in those days. The idea behind the book is an excellent one: a general and a priest (both left nameless) from the Italian army going to Albania in the 1960s in order to dig out the bod As stated in the last page of the book, it took Ismail Kadaré five years to write this novel between 1962 and 1966 when he was in Tirana. One can wonder whether "The General od the Dead Army" was nail-biting business involving many stopovers for the Albanian author or if Kadaré himself was tied-up with other things in those days. The idea behind the book is an excellent one: a general and a priest (both left nameless) from the Italian army going to Albania in the 1960s in order to dig out the bodies of the soldiers sent on the other shore of the Adriatic sea by Mussolini between 1938 and 1942. Men who found their death in a relatively unknown little country with their families claiming for their bones to return home. The macabre but humanitarian task to find, collect, identify and ship back to Italy the mortal remains of the long dead soldiers is allowed by the Albanian communist authorities. A political gesture which could be seen a sign of reconciliation between the two countries twenty-five years after the Italians invaded Albania looking at it as a mere stepping stone on their way to subjugate Greece. Whereas it took barely three days to the Italian forces to "conquer" the tiny Balcanic country thus adding up the Albanian kingdom to the Italian crown, the following Greek expedition was an utter failure. The fascist forces were soon driven back by the Greeks onto the Albanian mountains and plateaux finding themselves struggling for survival amid the coldest winters they could imagine and caught between the fires of local partisans and Hellenic soldiers. The Italian domination of Tirana and surroundings lasted for approximately four years giving enough time to print stamps and banknotes, raise monuments and awfully grand buildings as well as affecting the local population with arrests, fusillades and rapes. You wouldn't be surprised to know that when the Italians started retreating, with Germans taking their place in committing atrocities, Albanian partisans hit the former occupying forces back in reprisal. Hence violence kept spreading with more killings and more mass graves. In fact, Kadaré believes that the hatred of the recent past has not been forgotten. The general and the priest may have Albanian experts and drivers within their expedition and hire gravediggers in the villages they stop by but are far from being welcomed by the local farmers and peasants. There is never a clear hostility of the Albanians towards the general and the priest, but they both feel a sort of uneasiness around them and don't even try to mix up with the locals. At least that's what they do till the very last night of their Albanian year long travel, a night where the General insists to celebrate the end of their task going to a wedding. A decision which will make the very last hours of the Italian duo in Albania quite shocking, stirring up old rancours colliding with the sacred importance given to hospitality by the local population. All in all, what we have here is a slow-placed novel dealing with a potentially very poignant topic but treated and developed in a somehow cold blooded way which could disappoint many readers. But one must not forget that this same cold blooded view on the hard business of digging out corpses from the Albanian soil, guessing their height from the bones and matching it with a list of dead soldiers names is precisely the message Kadaré aimed to deliver. This is a book about loneliness and a book about bitter memories. The loneliness of the Italian general reluctantly appointed to his grievous task who tries to wash it away with brandy and the bitter memories of the elderly Albanian woman who stares at his clumsy dizzy dancing during a wedding. If I had to give a colour to "The General of the Dead Army", it would definitely be grey. The grey of consolidated mud, the grey of stones, the grey of gravel. The grey of dirty uniforms. The grey of bones. Here we have a book which shows very little hope with Ismail Kadaré being well aware of its unpleasantness. A novel where the pace is set by the monotonous clash of spades against hard soil. Spades which once buried bodies and spades which later dug the same corpses out. The dry words chosen by Kadaré here are just like spades: they can bring back dead soldiers to light, but cannot heal the wounds which killed them and those they inflicted.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Albania is an often forgotten country. The paranoia of the Enver Hoxha era led them to fall out with the major players on both sides of the Iron Curtain and since the fall of Communism, only the disastrous pyramid selling scheme and events in neighbouring Kosovo have attracted headlines. Yet it's that very sense of the mysterious that makes it such a fascinating country. Ismail Kadare is the country's most celebrated novelist and winner of the first man Booker International Prize. he seems nailed Albania is an often forgotten country. The paranoia of the Enver Hoxha era led them to fall out with the major players on both sides of the Iron Curtain and since the fall of Communism, only the disastrous pyramid selling scheme and events in neighbouring Kosovo have attracted headlines. Yet it's that very sense of the mysterious that makes it such a fascinating country. Ismail Kadare is the country's most celebrated novelist and winner of the first man Booker International Prize. he seems nailed on for a Nobel at some point and having read this quiet masterpiece, I am not surprised. A macabre tale, the story revolves around an Italian General making a trip to Albania in the 1960s to recover the bones of his country's war dead. A catastrophic military campaign is recalled and one cannot help thinking that the attempt to invade Albania by supposedly superior forces are not unlike those taking place in another country near the beginning of the geographical alphabet today. The action builds well and becomes more and more bizarre, culminating in a pivotal wedding scene. Our obsession in the UK and US with the ins and outs of our own literary scenes and unspoken requirement that any significant literary contribution be written in English often leads us to ignore superior foreign writers - Kadare should be cherished.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joana Doko

    4.5 amazing stars. I loved the first 200 pages, but the ending wasn't the best I could imagine. I love Ismail Kadare, he really represents the best part of Albania. What really surprises me, is that even though I'm Albanian, when I read Kadare's books I feel like I'm foreigner. He always sees what the others don't bother to pay attention, that makes him a great writer. I think he totally deserves to win a NOBEL.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Lila

    This is one of the best books I have read by Ismail Kadare so far. I loved the symbolism.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paolo Gianoglio

    Quanti modi ci sarebbero per leggere questo libro? Innanzitutto è un libro che parla di quelle pieghe sconosciute della nostra storia, con una prospettiva che fa venire le vertigini: scritto da un albanese ha come protagonista un generale italiano. E dopo un po' non riesci più a capire se osservi con l'occhio dell'invasore o dell'occupato. Ma poi è anche un libro sulla commedia dei ruoli, in alcuni momenti sembra di leggere Beckett o Ionesco, anche se lo stile è sempre leggero e molto semplice. Quanti modi ci sarebbero per leggere questo libro? Innanzitutto è un libro che parla di quelle pieghe sconosciute della nostra storia, con una prospettiva che fa venire le vertigini: scritto da un albanese ha come protagonista un generale italiano. E dopo un po' non riesci più a capire se osservi con l'occhio dell'invasore o dell'occupato. Ma poi è anche un libro sulla commedia dei ruoli, in alcuni momenti sembra di leggere Beckett o Ionesco, anche se lo stile è sempre leggero e molto semplice. Una storia grottesca e surreale, tragica e comica, paradossale. Un libro sulla tragedia della guerra, sul dramma dell'occupazione, sulla memoria e sulla (non) riconciliazione. Infine è un libro di atmosfere, che ti entrano dentro e si fanno vivere. Umidità, freddo, tensione, attesa, noia non sono solo descritte, ma escono dal libro e ti avvolgono, ti obbligano a proseguire, a non lasciare questo libro finchè non arrivi alla fine. Unica nota negativa: non ho visto il testo originale, ma in almeno tre passaggi mi rimangono perplessità sulla traduzione (è una traduzione dalla traduzione francese!), che - se sposa il senso - non rispecchia sicuramente una scrittura del 1960.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Looking at the author's picture on the inside back cover, I am reminded of what a cruel time the 1970s were. There are, in fact, a few pictures of me floating around the Internet which I wish would disappear. But enough about me. Call him Ismail. It is 20 years after World War II. Twenty years after Italian troops overran Albania. The Albanians flashed up pockets of resistance, leaving many Italian soldiers in makeshift graves. An Italian general (no name) returns after negotiations between the Looking at the author's picture on the inside back cover, I am reminded of what a cruel time the 1970s were. There are, in fact, a few pictures of me floating around the Internet which I wish would disappear. But enough about me. Call him Ismail. It is 20 years after World War II. Twenty years after Italian troops overran Albania. The Albanians flashed up pockets of resistance, leaving many Italian soldiers in makeshift graves. An Italian general (no name) returns after negotiations between the governments to find and return the Italian soldiers. A priest, a conscience, accompanies the general. Among the bodies, they seek to find the enigmatic Colonel Z. Was he a deserter? Or, instead, the very face of evil? This is a quick but powerful read, full of wonderful vignettes. Should an old Albanian woman throws a bag of bones at your feet, remember that "a mother's curse is never voiced in vain." That, and "only cross on the green", and you should be okay.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doğan Sevimbike

    Ölü Ordunun Generali, savaş romanları arasında özellikle 2.dünya savaşı sonrası yazılan romanlar arasında en belirgin farkı-özelliği; İsmail Kadare'nin "italyan" yada "Alman" kelimelerini kullanmadan günümüz kültür ve kimlik düşmanlığına düşmeden savaşın acı ve trajikomik durumunu mizahi bir dille yansıtabilmiş olmasıdır. Kuşkusuz Balkan Edebiyatının en önemli yazarlarından biridir İsmail Kadare, bir çok kez de Nobel'e aday gösterilmiştir. Kitap; 2.dünya savaşı sonunda İtalyan işgali sonrası Arn Ölü Ordunun Generali, savaş romanları arasında özellikle 2.dünya savaşı sonrası yazılan romanlar arasında en belirgin farkı-özelliği; İsmail Kadare'nin "italyan" yada "Alman" kelimelerini kullanmadan günümüz kültür ve kimlik düşmanlığına düşmeden savaşın acı ve trajikomik durumunu mizahi bir dille yansıtabilmiş olmasıdır. Kuşkusuz Balkan Edebiyatının en önemli yazarlarından biridir İsmail Kadare, bir çok kez de Nobel'e aday gösterilmiştir. Kitap; 2.dünya savaşı sonunda İtalyan işgali sonrası Arnavutluk topraklarında canları vermiş İtalyan askerlerinin kemiklerini geri getirmekle görevlendirilmiş İtalyan Generalin üstlendiği görevinin kutsallığının bilinciyle yol aldıkça trajik-komik duruma düşmesi halini konu alıyor. Keyifle okunacak bir Arnavutluk romanı.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gillies

    I loved this, the whole mood of it. It's an utterly brilliant idea for a book, possibly one of the most profound and unique of modern times. A General sent to reclaim the bodies of soldiers who died and were buried on battlefields in a foreign country. The combination of the weariness of digging, stultifying bureaucracy and the horror of decomposed bodies gives the whole book an unforgettable atmosphere, unlike anything else.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sorin Hadârcă

    Maybe it's the next big thing after Kafka's Castle. Maybe. I didn't figure this out for sure. But it teaches a great deal about life... in an environment filled with death. And the most human character is a deserter. The general is a person who is almost there making the change. Alas! Great stuff.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    I bought this in hardcover from Magus books in Seattle, years ago- and I'm not going to lie...it was because I thought it had a cool cover. And Kadare's novel then proceeded to sit on my shelves for several years, I knew nothing about him, the novel's reputation, anything. One night I couldn't sleep, decided on a whim to check out that novel w/ the great cover art, and...well, I didn't sleep at all that night, and called in sick to work the next day. I just wanted to finish this incredible book. I bought this in hardcover from Magus books in Seattle, years ago- and I'm not going to lie...it was because I thought it had a cool cover. And Kadare's novel then proceeded to sit on my shelves for several years, I knew nothing about him, the novel's reputation, anything. One night I couldn't sleep, decided on a whim to check out that novel w/ the great cover art, and...well, I didn't sleep at all that night, and called in sick to work the next day. I just wanted to finish this incredible book. Kadare is a master, but his first two novels ("General", and "Broken April") are masterpieces of the highest order that take you to a country very little known in cinema or Literature - Albania- and convinces you it is perhaps the most haunted, backwards, violent, accursed, and...interesting small land in the world. The full background of the Kanun of Prince Lek, a Medieval code that governs almost everything in Albanian life, is succinctly introduced and addressed by Kadare, making it possible to understand the country even if you were like me, w/ no knowledge of the place except that it borders the Adriatic and was under the iron grip of a Stalinist head of state for many years. But the place does have a long history, a Millennia long and more, and it is only w/ this backdrop so expertly described by Kadare that the unique aspects of recovering dead foreign soldiers in a formerly occupied land and the endless challenges the Italian general faces- none of it would have near the impact it does, w/out Kadare's deftly ascribed cultural lesson of the Vendetta, the Basa, and the ominous stone redoubts strewn across the land as places of refuge for men trying to escape their fate, and Vendetta- the Kullas. This is one of my very favorite novels, along w/ Kadare's aforementioned "Broken April". They can, ans probably should, be read back-to-back, w/ "Chronicle in Stone" probably being his other masterpiece- though I've never not finished a Kadare novel; he is truly great. Encouraged in the strongest possible terms, though please don't let it sit on your bookshelves for two or three years like I did, foolishly...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

    C'est un premier roman qui a fait grand bruit lors de sa publication. L'histoire, assez macabre, est celle d'un général italien qui 20 ans après la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale se rend en Albanie pour ramener au pays les restes des soldats morts. Il y a finalement assez peu de péripéties dans cette longue errance par monts et par vaux, au coeur de ce pays secret et rude. Mais l'élégance de la langue et de la narration, l'ironie et le sens de l'absurde de Kadharé portent l'histoire et nous ti C'est un premier roman qui a fait grand bruit lors de sa publication. L'histoire, assez macabre, est celle d'un général italien qui 20 ans après la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale se rend en Albanie pour ramener au pays les restes des soldats morts. Il y a finalement assez peu de péripéties dans cette longue errance par monts et par vaux, au coeur de ce pays secret et rude. Mais l'élégance de la langue et de la narration, l'ironie et le sens de l'absurde de Kadharé portent l'histoire et nous tiennent en haleine. Le général lui-même aura changé durant cette aventure aux confins de l'absurde.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    This is a fantastic book. The premise is thought-provoking, the characters are simultaneously nuanced and archetypal, and the prose is piercing. There are scenes in this book that are perfectly worked, and I was astonished to learn that this was Kadare's first novel. I will definitely be reading more of Kadare's work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Just read this summer 2009. Was recommended to me by a student. Very good and interesting. Unlike anything I've read before.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Calzean

    I thought this was a brilliant way to talk about Albania, their recent history, beliefs, the horror of war and the darkness of memories. An Italian General and a priest lead a small group to find and return the remains of Italian soldiers killed 20 years previously during WWII. The Albanian peasants meet this expedition with an eerie, unwanted tension - many feel they are being invaded again. Slowly the General's confidence in his mission wans but after two years it is completed. On the eve of re I thought this was a brilliant way to talk about Albania, their recent history, beliefs, the horror of war and the darkness of memories. An Italian General and a priest lead a small group to find and return the remains of Italian soldiers killed 20 years previously during WWII. The Albanian peasants meet this expedition with an eerie, unwanted tension - many feel they are being invaded again. Slowly the General's confidence in his mission wans but after two years it is completed. On the eve of returning home he attends, uninvited, to a local wedding. The result is a macabre reaction from an old lady, the revealing of the missing Colonel Z and a chasten General. The last scene sees the General discussing his mission with his counterpart - an Albanian Lieutenant General who has been on a similar mission but for his country's dead. The Albanian's mission has not been successful and he even resorted to stealing some Italian remains to increase the number of his finds. And so the question remains, what did the events of WWII and of the Generals achieve except for death, sorrow and destruction?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Valentin

    Poate la vremea cand a aparut as fi apreciat-o, acum mi-a lasat un iz de national comunism albanez, care il prefigura pe al nostru. Eternul complex de inferioritate al popoarelor mici, transformat in superioritate. Kadare, cel putin in anii 60, imi pare un scriitor conformist, mergand pe linia regimului. O carte perimata!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pio

    Tuy giọng văn của tác giả không mấy lôi cuốn, tôi vẫn bị ám ảnh bởi cách ông tả những khung cảnh lạnh lùng và tiêu điều của một đất nước thời hậu chiến, một khuôn mặt gợi lên những dấu chỉ không dễ gì quên được.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mikheil

    გუშინ ვიხსენებდი და ალბანეთიდან დედა ტერეზა, ენვერ ხოჯა და ორი ფეხბურთელი ვიცოდი მხოლოდ. უცბად კი აღმოჩნდა, რომ ჩვენზე უბედურ ერს ერთი აბსოლუტურად გენიალური მწერალი ჰყავთ, რომელიც 40-მდე ენაზეა თარგმნილი. „მკვდარი არმიის გენერალი“ არის სუპერ წიგნი, უმაღლესი კლასის ლიტერატურა! სიუჟეტი შემდეგნაირია: მეორე მსოფლიო ომიდან ოცი წელია გასული, როდესაც უცხოელი გენერლი (ტექსტიდან გამომდინარე ვხვდებით, რომ იტალიელია) ჩადის ალბანეთში, რათა ომში დაღუპული იტალიელი ჯარისკაცების ნეშტები შეაგროვოს და გადაასვენოს გუშინ ვიხსენებდი და ალბანეთიდან დედა ტერეზა, ენვერ ხოჯა და ორი ფეხბურთელი ვიცოდი მხოლოდ. უცბად კი აღმოჩნდა, რომ ჩვენზე უბედურ ერს ერთი აბსოლუტურად გენიალური მწერალი ჰყავთ, რომელიც 40-მდე ენაზეა თარგმნილი. „მკვდარი არმიის გენერალი“ არის სუპერ წიგნი, უმაღლესი კლასის ლიტერატურა! სიუჟეტი შემდეგნაირია: მეორე მსოფლიო ომიდან ოცი წელია გასული, როდესაც უცხოელი გენერლი (ტექსტიდან გამომდინარე ვხვდებით, რომ იტალიელია) ჩადის ალბანეთში, რათა ომში დაღუპული იტალიელი ჯარისკაცების ნეშტები შეაგროვოს და გადაასვენოს სამშობლოში. ალბანეთში ჩასული კი სრულიად უცხო გარემოს ეჯახება, რომელზეც ვერ გაურკვევია მტრულად არის მისდამი განწყობილი თუ დავიწყებული აქვს ძველი „წყენები“. მწერალს ბრწყინვალედ აქვს დახატული პატარა და დაჩაგრული ქვეყნის პორტრეტი; ერი რომელიც მუდმივი ეჭვებით ცხოვრობს და ვერასოდეს ვერ თავისუფლდება შიშისგან, რადგან ვეღარავის ენდობა. ჯერ ხომ იტალიამაც და გერმანიამაც ცალ-ცალკე გადაუარა ამ ქვეყანას, მერე კიდევ ენვერ ხოჯას რეჟიმმა გასრისა ფეხქვეშ და საერთოდ დააშორა ევროპულ კულტურას. შედეგად კი მივიღეთ ევროპის შუაგულში მობინადრე ხალხი, რომელიც უკვე ძალიან გაუცხოვებულია ამ კულტურისადმი. ეს გაუცხოება ერთ პასაჟშიც ჩანს კარგად: ადრიატიკის ზღვის ერთ ბოლოში (ვენეციაში) თუკი ზღვა სიგიჟემდე უყვართ და მისით ცხოვრობენ, მეორე ბოლოში იგივე ზღვას წყევლიან, რადგან ბოროტების მეტი არასოდეს არაფერი მოუტანია და ძალიანაც კარგი თუკი მთებითა და კლდეებითაა ამოქოლილი! ეს რომანი არშემდგარი ადამიანების ფსიქოლოგიური პორტრეტებიცაა; ჩაგრულ ალბანელებზე რომ არაფერი ვთქვათ, მთავარი პერსონაჟი, იტალიელი გენერალი, რომელმაც ცხოვრებაში ვერ მიაღწია იმას, რომ ომში გაძღოლოდა არმიას, იმით ცდილობს საკუთარი მოთხოვნილებების დაკმაყოფილებას, რომ თავს დააჯეროს თითქოს მისი „მკვდარი არმია“, რომელსაც მწვანე კამუფლაჟირებული სამხედრო ფორმების ნაცვლად ცისფერი ცელოფნები აცვია, უძლეველი არმადაა და მათი მჯობი ქვეყნად არავინაა! და კიდევ ერთი: კადარემ კიდევ ერთხელ დამანახა, რომ როცა რაღაც დიდი ძალადობის შემქმნელი ხარ, თუნდაც სრულიად გააცნობიერო შენი დანაშაული და მთელი გულით მოინანიო, მსხვერპლის წინაშე ბოლომდე მაინც ვერასოდეს გამოისყიდი ძველ ცოდვებს. P.S. ეს ძალიან მაგარი ავტორი დიდი იმედი მაქვს, რომ წელს გამოიცემა ქართულ ენაზეც.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Vagnetti

    Remember the funeral march of Beethoven's 3rd symphony? Such music plays in Kadare's Albania, where warfare is a customary performance...an aesthetic experience. "The whole story evolves under the sign of slaughter." A party of Italian military personnel comes to Albania, twenty years after the war, to collect remains. Where are the bones? Who's got the map? Why didn't we do this in the summer? Who is not a foreigner here? Through the shrouded fog, we go on a psychological tour, now reminding us o Remember the funeral march of Beethoven's 3rd symphony? Such music plays in Kadare's Albania, where warfare is a customary performance...an aesthetic experience. "The whole story evolves under the sign of slaughter." A party of Italian military personnel comes to Albania, twenty years after the war, to collect remains. Where are the bones? Who's got the map? Why didn't we do this in the summer? Who is not a foreigner here? Through the shrouded fog, we go on a psychological tour, now reminding us of something out of Conrad, of a country that, the author claims, may have one of the saddest destinies of any. Not every novelist is a storyteller. Kadare is, and the tales of the general's encounters are unforgettable. His foil is his travelling companion, a priest. We share his troubled sleep, his episodic frustrations. We hear of the establishment of a legal brothel, and its unravelling, the songs he hears from the distant workers, the encounters with a man who employed a deserter - and then he hands over his diary. The general's "team" finds remains from different nationalities, and even different wars. They work parallel to an Albanian reconnaissance crew. They attend a party with locals who are still pissed-off. He realizes how his mission is a like a copy of the war itself.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mita

    A favorite one!😍💖

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bogdan Costin

    Cartea asta a trecut prin viața mea ca trenul prin gară. E frumos scrisă, a rulat fin pe sub ochii mei, dar nu am reuşit să mă conectez deloc la trăirile generalului.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrada

    Kadare’s tale of an Italian general seeking out the remains of his country’s soldiers fallen in Albania during World War II and the mental toll the task takes on him, makes for a haunting image of the futility of war and its grisly aftermath. I think the consequences of war are acknowledged by any country that has survived war within its own borders and are usually quite similar no matter where the wars were fought. While reading The General of the Dead Army, I often found myself thinking of the Kadare’s tale of an Italian general seeking out the remains of his country’s soldiers fallen in Albania during World War II and the mental toll the task takes on him, makes for a haunting image of the futility of war and its grisly aftermath. I think the consequences of war are acknowledged by any country that has survived war within its own borders and are usually quite similar no matter where the wars were fought. While reading The General of the Dead Army, I often found myself thinking of the massive common graves I’ve seen in Romania as well as the tales of massacres and pillaging I’ve heard since I was young. The narrative takes the reader through the general’s journey, prompting the same thoughts within the reader as within the general as scenes unfold(Kadare is, I find, an expert at inducing emotions through imagery). It starts as a noble task and quickly descends into an unnatural and meaningless bone scavenging. And while the general tries hard to hold on to the meaning of his task – and is perhaps aided in this by the priest’s unrelenting conviction that they are doing good – he is eventually crushed by the weight of Colonel Z’s shadow, responsible for the most heinous crimes against the Albanian people and deserting soldiers. Despite all this, he emerges successful in his search, although haunted by the ghosts of an entire army. The German general is the mirror of the Italian general, one who, although still deeply affected by the reality of their task, cares little for performing it accurately(showing no respect for the dead) and seeking profit in his endeavor(showing no respect for the living in whose name he went to collect the remains of the deceased soldiers). While they are both pitiful characters, the Italian general shows deep affection for his dead army, going as far as believing he himself belongs with it, whereas the German one is nothing but a scavenger picking at the bones of the dead. That being said, I’ve reached the conclusion that reading Kadare in English takes away half the charm of his writing. Whether it was because the Vintage translation I read was after a French version of the text (so a translation of a translation) or not, it seems that English just lacks the vocabulary to express some of the rural scenes and the dialogue is handled awkwardly at times(I suspect translators had a hard time finding equivalent expressions in English). The language comes off as so bland compared to what I’ve read of Kadare in Romanian. Most of his previous books that I’ve read in Romanian always had a piercing, haunting effect, whereas the word ‘enigmatic’ pops up frequently in the English version, but falls flat stylistically. And while it’s not as skin crawling as Russians in English, it still made me feel like the essence of the book had at times been ruined by poor choice of words or lack of the right words.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claudiu

    From time to time I have to wait for people. Everyone has to. The worth of punctuality is lost on many. So, when such times occur, I read. It's enjoyable, easy to pick up, easy to put down and it passes the minutes. Sometimes...however...I forget to bring a book for myself and find that I'm stuck in the heat / cold with nothing to do except twiddle my thumbs and watch people go by. Which will simple NOT DO! So I walk into the nearest book store, pick up something of reasonable length and start r From time to time I have to wait for people. Everyone has to. The worth of punctuality is lost on many. So, when such times occur, I read. It's enjoyable, easy to pick up, easy to put down and it passes the minutes. Sometimes...however...I forget to bring a book for myself and find that I'm stuck in the heat / cold with nothing to do except twiddle my thumbs and watch people go by. Which will simple NOT DO! So I walk into the nearest book store, pick up something of reasonable length and start reading. I generally just take a look at the title, the size and off we go. If I've heard of the author before...bonus!...if not, I call it an adventure in the interest of curiosity. That is why I've read The General of the Dead Army. I have another Ismail Kadare effort in my book case but I haven't yet had time to explore that one. So, in every way, this has been my first meeting with the author in earnest. Reading this had me wondering who it was actually aimed at. It sure as Hell hasn't been aimed at me, the casual reader with flights of curiosity fancies. It didn't feel as it was aimed at the World War II nuts. It didn't feel aimed at Albanians or Italians in any meaningful way. It just didn't feel as if it had been created to be aimed at anybody...and that persisted with me as I plodded through the dreary narrative and I've put up with the obnoxious characters. And that's it about the book. It's dreary to no ends, the mood is constantly dark and oppressive, the land presented is inhospitable and it invites no exploration. There is no beauty or dignity or even glory in the story...only rain and sadness and the bitter nostalgia of a war long finished. The task of the story squeezes life and energy out of our lead characters whom I've found much too sensitive sometimes. I have a rather idealized image about the military life, never having served myself, but I generally find generals in any army to be weathered people, used to the intricacies of political debate, public commentary and annoying bureaucracy. As it happens I could not sympathize with the character almost at all and found, very often, that he made a much too great of a deal out of generally anything. Of course, we're all people and can be affected more or less by many things...but too much is too much man. Sometimes his internal grief felt more like padding for the book and the story that lacked much punch or impact or tension. This has been serviceable reading but far from a feast as far as I'm concerned. Take that with a bit of salt if you will. As I've said shortly before, I do not feel that this book has been in any way meant for me. It may reverberate more with some of you.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bookaholic

    În 1963 Ismail Kadare devenea cunoscut datorită unui singur roman, Generalul armatei moarte. Deşi cu un stagiu la Institutul de Literatură „Maxim Gorki” din Moscova, se poate spune că Ismail Kadare, prin stilul său, nu aparţine realismului socialist. El însuşi mărturiseşte, într-un interviu acordat lui Alain Bosquet, că a scris romanul Generalul armatei moarte într-o notă opusă acelui curent literar „realist” implementat de puterea moscovită începând cu a doua jumătate a secolului al XX-lea, în În 1963 Ismail Kadare devenea cunoscut datorită unui singur roman, Generalul armatei moarte. Deşi cu un stagiu la Institutul de Literatură „Maxim Gorki” din Moscova, se poate spune că Ismail Kadare, prin stilul său, nu aparţine realismului socialist. El însuşi mărturiseşte, într-un interviu acordat lui Alain Bosquet, că a scris romanul Generalul armatei moarte într-o notă opusă acelui curent literar „realist” implementat de puterea moscovită începând cu a doua jumătate a secolului al XX-lea, în toate ţările comuniste: „Povestea despre generalul care vrea să dezgroape o armată îşi are originea într-o noapte moscovită geroasă, când în creierul meu, ca o contrareacţie la optimismul literaturii sovietice de atunci, a culorilor vesele în care zugrăvea realitatea, începând cu vremea de afară (ceea ce, în sinea mea, numeam meteoschematism), continuând cu morala, cu ideile şi cu un soi de umanism dulceag şi enervant, de bunătate tipică, ce nu era, în realitate, nimic altceva decât poleiala care acoperea uscăciunea şi care sfârşea, întotdeauna,într-o concluzie extrasă din doctrina marxistă… Deci pot spune că la originea Generalului… se află povestea unei prostituate dintr-un bordel italian, care ne-a aprins tuturor fantezia, pe vremea copilăriei mele. De fapt, ca să fiu mai precis, nu prostituata sau povestea ei au reuşit să răscolească atunci oraşul, ci osemintele fetei, zăcând de douăzeci de ani sub pământ, alături de osemintele sutelor de soldaţi, în vreme ce deasupra lor, la suprafaţă, se auzeau izbiturile de cazma ale generalului sosit în Albania ca să-şi dezgroape armata. Iată, cam aşa s-a întrupat embrionul (fetusul) acestui roman, într-un mediu complet străin, în laboratorul în care Institutul Gorki îşi pregătea propriile modele”. Subiectul romanului este unul simplu: după douăzeci de ani de la sfârșitul celui de-Al Doilea Război Mondial, adică prin anii ’60 ai secolului trecut, în Albania sosesc un general și un preot, trimiși aici de guvernul italian pentru a recupera osemintele soldaților fasciști – de unde și titlul romanului. În Albania însă, cei doi se confruntă nu numai cu un teritoriu şi o vreme ostile – plouă mai tot timpul, pământul este noroios, totul în jur pare afectat de o continuă umezeală –, ci şi cu un popor ostil, care nu a uitat atrocităţile invadatorilor. (cronică: http://bookaholic.ro/despre-absurd-si...)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jelena

    This book is amazing. Unnamed general and unnamed priest are collecting bones of the fallen Italian soldiers in the Second world war in Albania. They are especially searching colonel Z. from the notorious battalion who killed even it's own's soldiers. The book is very well written. We get to see different perspective of war and i really like Kadare's writing. But i don't like the end. After general finds colonel's bones and after he threw them from the bridge everything falls a part. I didn't lik This book is amazing. Unnamed general and unnamed priest are collecting bones of the fallen Italian soldiers in the Second world war in Albania. They are especially searching colonel Z. from the notorious battalion who killed even it's own's soldiers. The book is very well written. We get to see different perspective of war and i really like Kadare's writing. But i don't like the end. After general finds colonel's bones and after he threw them from the bridge everything falls a part. I didn't like the fact that general goes slightly mental after that. It was unnecessary. And the whole atmosphere just disappeared.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ctb

    This edition (hardcover) has dozens of typos. Must not have been proofread by someone whose native tongue is English. Given the subject matter, the premise, the historical basis, this book should have been explosively dark and macabre. It wasn't. I kept reading thinking surely it would improve. It didn't.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andreea

    „Daca o sa mor, imi spunea mereu, ingroapa-ma adanc, sa nu ma gaseasca cainii. Iar acum, ca el era mort, scormonind in pamant, vorbeam si eu de unul singur: n-ai grija, te ingrop adanc, foarte adanc.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ornela rama

    the story is based in a historical fact but the book is very original and impressive. I have read it when i was only 10 and at first I was a bit afraid of the scenes when they talked about dead bodies , but it was thrilling and amazing too

  30. 5 out of 5

    Celil

    İsmail Kadare, benim okunacaklar listemdeydi. Okudum. Mutluyum. :)

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