Negative Impact of Ideology in Albanian Literature

Negative Impact of Ideology in Albanian Literature

Marisa Kerbizi (Alexander Moisiu University, Albania) and Edlira Tonuzi Macaj (Tirana University, Albania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9444-4.ch006
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Ideology as a form of ideas and as a practical tool with determinative purposes in certain circumstances may become very influential and risky, too. Albanian literature, as one of the East Bloc countries where communism was installed as a political system after the Second World War, severely suffered the ideology consequences in art. The purpose of this research is to focus on some problems related to the limitations, restrictions, deviation, regression created by ideology in literature. Concrete case studies will complete the theoretical frame through the analytical, historical, aesthetical, and interpretative approach. The hypothesis sustains the idea that the political ideology of the Albanian dictatorial system has found many ways to damage the most representative authors and their artistic works of Albanian literature. The ideology claimed “the compulsory educational system” by interfering in the school textbooks, by excluding several authors from those textbooks, by denying their inclusion or the right for publication, or even by eliminating them physically.
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Ideology is broadly defined in terms and characteristics. There are some specifications which unify its usage every time we deal with it. It stands closely with other fields as politics, sociology or art and the way it is activated creates an impact on them.

The main concern of this research is to analyze the relation created between ideology activated in Albania during the dictatorship period and the influence it had on the literature. It is needed to operate with the term in its historical development in order to achieve the differences and to be familiar with its connotative aspects. It is also necessary a clarification of ideology nature applied in Albania during 1945-1990 related specifically to the literary field. The second part of the research deals with specific cases (authors) who suffered the consequences of ideology.

Ideology is treated briefly in its historical development point of view from Destuttto Frankfurt School and others as well. Also there are underlined terminological consistencies and differences of the concept in the works of some very important scholars, theorists, and critics. This part is considered as a theoretical segment which helps to understand the ideology concept in its historical context. There are taken in consideration especially ideologues who deal constantly with ideology in the shift created from philosophical point of view to its application on guiding and deciding how the literature should be looked at. This theoretical framework is necessary to explain the nature of political ideology which was installed in Albania after 1945, its strategy: orientations and limitation of Albania literature.

By embracing the socialist realism methodology, the ideology required that all literary works should follow rules like Zdanov Manifesto suggested.

The main focus of this chapter raises questions like:

  • 1.

    How and why was set the ideological orientation in Albania and what its program was about?

  • 2.

    How is deformed the relationship between literature as a free art with a schematic sterile form of production?

The important research part is dedicated to some of the most representative authors of the Albanian literature and the incompatible or problematic issues their work produced according to the political reception. Due to this intervention of the ideology in the reading and interpreting process, these authors experienced the lack of communication with their readers.

The connection between text and readers was limited through ideological interventions and this lead to a misreading process. Some of ideological ways that were used to dictate political influence in Albanian literature may be understood from analyzing these ideological actions:

  • 1.

    Editing, adapting or erasing parts of the original literary texts in order to orientate and reduce the interpretation. (Migjeni, Mjedja, etc.);

  • 2.

    Rejecting authors who were in coherence with political ideology (Fishta, Camaj, Koliqi);

  • 3.

    Impeding authors to publish their literary works (Zef Zorba case);

  • 4.

    Bringing authors to work in difficult work conditions in farms, factories or even mines, a punishment known as ‘education amidst the working class’;

  • 5.

    Imprisoning authors for many years (V. Zhiti, A. Pipa, P. Arbnori, etc.)

  • 6.

    And the most radical of them all: author’s physical elimination (Genc Leka, Vilson Blloshmi, Trifon Xhagjika etc.)

This paper analyses and synthesizes the ideology invasion in artistic production and its deforming process on the history of Albanian literature. It impoverishes the full panorama of a whole literary history, which could have been completely different from what we have nowadays. This interruption phase helps us to re-read, re-interpret and re discover authors who were in the black list of the dictatorial ideology. In order to evaluate the complete history of the literary phenomena in Albania, it should been taken into consideration the process of refilling the huge gap through analyzing the problems that come from this very dark period of the literary process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ideology: A political sophisticated set of ideas, a theoretical orientation in order to have the control in different fields of life, (here) especially in the literature.

Internment: Isolation of people who were suspected for the activity against state. They were settled in camps or far villages in miserable conditions.

Reader’s Reception: Experiencing the meaning of a text.

Dictatorship: Undemocratic government, a country governed by absolute rules of a party directed by the prime leader, the dictator.

Political Ideology: A harsh line of ethical principles of the party-state in Albania that explain to the society and oblige it how works should be done.

Socialist Realism: A literary methodology that explained the literary work according a political line.

Censorship: An interference, usually a political one, or the concrete practice to forbid, to censure the artistic activity of authors; the attempt not to publish certain texts, interference.

Albanian League of Writers and Artists: The organization of the Albanian writers, critics, scholars.

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