Besnik Mustafaj claims ‘Author of year’ award at Kosovo book fair

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 15, 2017 14:48

Besnik Mustafaj claims ‘Author of year’ award at Kosovo book fair

TIRANA, June 4 – Albanian writer Besnik Mustafaj has claimed the ‘Author of the Year’ award at the Prishtina Book Fair held last week in neighboring Kosovo. Mustafaj, a renowned Albanian writer, diplomat and politician, was awarded the book fair’s top award for his latest “Endrra e Doktorit” (Doctor’s Dream) novel, a satire about Albania’s transition politicians.

“I do not belong to the Kafka kind of writers for whom it does not matter if they are read. I feel happy people ready my works. I would say that for a writer writing in a language with a limited number of readers such as the Albanian language, we are always doubtful if we will be read and shift through cultural confusion,” said Mustafaj at the prize award ceremony.

In this novel, Besnik Mustafaj brings back Doctor Adhamudhi, a famous grotesque century-old character in Albanian literature whose biggest worry was what people would say and write about him after his death and he worked hard in his life to restore his image in order to transmit for all eternity a single and unified image about his personality, the same as the sole portrait of Jesus Christ.

In an earlier interview during the book’s promotion in Albania in late 2016, Mustafaj said he chose dreams and the doctor for specific historical and political reasons.

“Through the dream, I insist on making my novel as subjective as possible. For me, the dream was a preoccupation and continues to remain the most subjective part, i.e. the conscience and subconscious of Albanian elites, the cultural and especially political elites which systematically during the 20th century displayed a single weakness which is universal, but more obvious in Albania,” said Mustafaj.

“Differently from other countries, in Albania, this had consequences on the Albanian history, the same as their effort to concentrate within themselves both wealth and power and in this kind of obsession they tried to even manipulate the past so that they can also possess the future,” he added.

Commenting on why he chose the doctor as the key character, Mustafaj said he was influenced by Albanian writer Çajupi’s Doktor Adhamudhi, “the only grotesque character in Albanian literature, who still remains the same even at the beginning of this century and sees Albania as a good he can appropriate.”

“The ruling Albanian elite has strongly insisted to concentrate around themselves all glory, the past, the future and money,” said Mustafaj

The 19th edition of the Prishtina book fair, held from June 6 to 11 brought together 100 Albanian-speaking publishers from Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and the Albanian Diaspora around the world.

A former Albanian ambassador to France and a foreign minister, Mustafaj is both a prose writer and poet who has had his works translated into French, German and Bulgarian.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 15, 2017 14:48