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Guide The Palace of Dreams

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None of the other characters are developed, but Mark-Alem's internal turmoil, the infiltration of fear into his psyche and his distancing from the world outside the Palace all progress convincingly. The Palace of Dreams was banned on publication in Albania in and it can certainly be read as a critique of totalitarianism, exposing its organisational and psychological logic.

It is not an abstract metaphor, however, but a direct and only slightly fantasised depiction of an actual state, a quite realistic Ottoman empire into which a bureaucracy managing dreams fits remarkably naturally. It illustrates Kadare's ability to operate seamlessly on multiple levels.

‎The Palace Of Dreams on Apple Books

In The Palace of Dreams , Kadare applies the same realism to allegory and the results are bizarre. Mark-Alem, through his powerful family connections, gets a job at the totalitarian-ish Palace of Dreams, where submitted dreams from the country are analyzed for dangers to the state and prophecies of what is to come.

And early on, with the mechanistic, though vague, descriptions of dream analysis and the corruption in the monolithic Palace, it resembles the allegories of Vladimir Makanin and Danilo Kis. Instead, he focuses on Mark-Alem himself, and the political infighting between his family apparently based on a real set of longstanding nobles in Albania, and using the same name and the government.

His family, it seems, controls a key part of the Palace and are attempting to use it to reorient the government.


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There is a putsch, but Mark-Alem, whose personality is underdeveloped and a bit passive, ends with an affirmation of cultural tradition and a declaration of allegiance to his family, which will outlast the imposition of the Palace of Dreams on the country. Here, the Palace is neither inscrutable nor omniscient.

‘In the Palace of Nightmares’: An Exchange

The role of the unrealistic palace of dreams is pedestrian: it represents an attempt by the new state to gain control over the fundamental culture of its people, and it can only succeed as far as a powerful family embedded in that culture joins it. Like Aharon Appelfeld, in whose works the Holocaust looms unspoken, Kadare is monomaniacal in pursuing his chosen subject, but he is more willing to extend himself to new forms, even without ceding an inch of his intent.

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Send me an E-mail. Taking as his source an insincere malingerer K.

Malcolm even suspects that my house arrest away from the capital was a pure invention on my part. Everyone knows that in a small country like Albania, the expulsion of an author was an event that could not be kept out of the public eye, and that a sanction of this kind would have been witnessed by thousands, many of whom are still alive today. On the one hand, Mr. Malcolm seeks explanations of details, and on the other he is irritated to see the author, like many others, giving explanations or answers—specifically in his books—to questions put to him by a French colleague.


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  5. The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare [A Review]!
  6. Malcolm writes that Mr. Kadare has now altered the messages that he puts into his books. The claim is utterly false. Malcolm constructs elaborate theses which then irritate him, and which he ends up by refuting.

    The Palace Of Dreams

    I have never considered myself either as a hero or as a dissident. And I think that is what I have done. In trying to muster arguments against me, Mr. Pipa who, after translating my book Chronicle of the City of Stone , added to it a preface in which he maintained that in it I depicted the Albanian dictator as a murderer and a homosexual, when in fact I had done nothing of the kind. My English publisher thought this interpretation both reprehensible and harmful in that it could, had it been considered accurate, have physically endangered me.

    I subsequently referred to what A. Pipa had done as the act of a common informer, and rightly so, because an author who lives in conditions of absolute freedom in Washington has no right to cast into the abyss one of his colleagues who is imprisoned within a Communist state.

    Curiously, Mr. Malcolm is not struck by this cynicism and, remaining true to his idea that the author is always guilty, he devotes all his sympathy to the critic-informer.

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    Ismail Kadare's Haunting Vision of Totalitarianism

    In the conclusion to his article, Mr. Malcolm, having praised the novel The Palace of Dreams , strangely turns even that book against me. Should I remind Mr. Malcolm that I am myself the author of that book? To conclude, I should like to add that I come from a small country whose culture, after a long period of isolation, is still unknown to the world. This people, which has been seen in the past and is still seen as being entirely without culture, is for the first time acquiring, in an intellectual realm such as literature, an international reputation.

    I wonder whether Mr. To take such a liberty with a writer just because he happens to come from a small country is to reveal a colonialist mentality. Cultural racism is just as detestable as any other kind.

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    I have been a keen reader of your journal for many years, dear Editor, and so I would hope that you will publish this letter as soon as possible. The degree of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and misdirected hostility here is truly breathtaking. My review was not an attack on Mr. What I wrote was fundamentality favorable to Mr.