Communist Ideology and Its Impact on Albanian Literature

Communist Ideology and Its Impact on Albanian Literature

Marisa Kerbizi (Alexander Moisiu University, Albania)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2391-8.ch011
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After the World War II, Albania fell under the totalitarian regime of Enver Hoxha. The impact of the communist dictatorship in Albania was not only political, but social and artistic as well. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the negative impact of communist ideology in Albanian literature. This study is compiled using descriptive-interpretative qualitative method. After analyzing and interpreting specific phenomena related to the development of Albanian literature, it is important to emphasize that the impact of the communist ideology should be considered as a strong shock, with evident consequences not only for the period 1945-1990, but also responsible for the state of literature today. Socialist realism method applied to literature almost killed the creativity and professionalism. The most important dimension of the literature conducted under the terror of the communist system, was the literature written in prison, which provides Albanian literature with the extraordinary dimension of human strength that exceeds the ferocity of every ideology and totalitarian system.
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Deformations Of The Albanian Literature As A Result Of Communist Ideology

The Albanian literature after World War II may be considered sui generis when analyzing specific features it manifested. It can be defined of a stumbling relation with literary tradition, a complete isolation from the developing world-wide literature, etc. The imposing of communist ideology during the dictatorship regime violated its natural development, marking an unusual case of interruption of the tradition. The main features of the Albanian literature during communist regime are:

First, as a result of total isolation of the country, the literature that was written within the borders of the Albanian state was held separate from literature written by Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia and elsewhere in the Diaspora. Consequently, the Albanian literature was unable to develop simultaneously, being violently divided into several entities. Thus the Albanian literature that was developed in Kosovo and Macedonia had no contact with literature written in Albania during the decades of the communist totalitarian system. On the other hand, its connection1 with traditional literature (literature of Independence and the Renaissance literature, which was written in Albania), was difficult to maintain, due to the lack of publications of these texts because of their national spirit. Serbian censorship banned away any text that would raise readers’ national consciousness. For this reason, Kosovo readers used to be in touch with traditional writers like Gjergj Fishta through oral communication. Poems such as “Lahuta e Malcis” (“The Highland Lute”) a 17000 verse poem, were learned by heart and transmitted orally as epic songs (accompanied by lute) despite never being allowed to be published in the former Yugoslavia.

Though it was stuck between two evils, invasion on the one hand and the Yugoslavian communist dictatorship on the other, Albanian literature written in Kosovo was more receptive to the literary “winds” blowing across Europe. Fortunately, it “suffered no rigid ideological restrains quite contrary of that in Albania (…). Authentic literature in Kosovo felt like being more experimental; it used different styles, themes and ideas” (Elsie, 2001, p. 203). Generally, Albanian writers2 in Kosovo were free to use literary devices of European contemporary literature (unlike writers living in Albania), but patriotism and national topics were prohibited. Many writers who used word power to affirm Albanian national identity were incarcerated, deported or obliged to live as fugitive away from their motherland.

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