IBNA- The most critically acclaimed novel by noted Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, ‘The General of the Dead Army’ (1963) has been reprinted in Persian.
Translated into Persian by Mahmoud Goudarzi, ‘The General of the Dead Army’ has been released by Ofogh Publishing as the 154th novel of its “Contemporary Literature” series.
In the early 1960s, nearly 20 years after the end of the Second World War, an Italian general, accompanied by a priest who is also an Italian army colonel, is sent to Albania to locate and collect the remains of his countrymen who had died during the war and return them for burial in Italy.
As they organize digs and disinterment, they wonder at the scale of their task. The general talks to the priest about the futility of war and the meaninglessness of the enterprise.
As they go deeper into the Albanian countryside they find they are being followed by another general who is looking for the bodies of German soldiers killed in World War II.
Like his Italian counterpart, the German struggles with a thankless job looking for remains to take back home for burial, and questions the value of such gestures of national face value.
Receiving many positive reviews, the book has been adapted for four films including ‘Life and Nothing But’ (La Vie et rien d’autre) is a 1989 French film starring Philippe Noiret directed by Bertrand Tavernier.
Ismail Kadare, born in 1936 in the Albanian mountain town of Gjirokaster near the Greek border, is Albania’s best-known poet and novelist. He has lived in France since 1990, following his decision to seek asylum.
From 1986, under the Communist regime, Mr. Kadare’s work was smuggled out of Albania by his French publisher, Éditions Fayard, and stored in safe keeping for later publication.
Translations of his novels have since been published in more than forty countries. In addition to General of the Dead Army, Ivan R. Dee also publishes his novels ‘Doruntine’ and ‘Broken April’. Mr. Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize 2005./IBNA