Agamemnon's Daughter: A Novella and Stories

Agamemnon s Daughter A Novella and Stories In this spellbinding novel written in Albania and smuggled into France a few pages at a time in the s Ismail Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of a dictatorial regime drawing us ba

  • Title: Agamemnon's Daughter: A Novella and Stories
  • Author: Ismail Kadare David Bellos Tedi Papavrami
  • ISBN: 9781559707886
  • Page: 279
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this spellbinding novel, written in Albania and smuggled into France a few pages at a time in the 1980s, Ismail Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of a dictatorial regime, drawing us back to the ancient roots of tyranny in Western Civilization During the waning years of Communism, a young worker for the Albanian state controlled media agency narrates the stIn this spellbinding novel, written in Albania and smuggled into France a few pages at a time in the 1980s, Ismail Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of a dictatorial regime, drawing us back to the ancient roots of tyranny in Western Civilization During the waning years of Communism, a young worker for the Albanian state controlled media agency narrates the story of his ill fated love for the daughter of a high ranking official When he witness the ghostly image of Agamemnon the Ancient Greek king who sacrificed his own daughter for reasons of State on the reviewing stand during a May Day celebration, he begins to suspect the full catastrophe of his devotion Also included are The Blinding Order, a parable of the Ottoman Empire about the uses of terror in authoritarian regimes, and The Great Wall, a chilling duet between a Chinese official and a soldier in the invading army of the Tamerlane.

    One thought on “Agamemnon's Daughter: A Novella and Stories”

    1. Agamemnon’s Daughter is a novella that, together with “The Blinding Order” and “The Great Wall” constitutes the most recent translation into English of Kadare’s books. Agamemnon’s daughter, Suzana, also a protagonist in The Successor, is here the narrator’s lover, though she only appears indirectly through the latter’s reminiscing. The novel’s title is not gratuitous, however: “Agamemnon’s Daughter” is a metonymy for the idea of sacrifice, viewed as a pact of blood that [...]

    2. Een collega van me brak spontaan in een lofzang uit over Ismail Kadare toen hij zag welk boek ik aan het lezen was, wat een goede stimulans is om nog een aantal boeken van Kadare te lezen.De man kan schrijven, dat is zeker, en in dit boek schept hij perfect de sfeer die heerste tijdens de dictatuur van Enver Hoxha in Albanië. Toegegeven, ik wist niets van die dictatuur (en deze onwetendheid in het buitenland wordt ook bijna-komische wijze beschreven in het boek) waardoor dit voor mij volledig o [...]

    3. One of the best novelists I have discovered in recent years is Ismail Kadare. I find his work extraordinary. Kafkaesque, Voltairean, wonderful, disturbing, bizarre and just incredibly well-written. This book contains a long novella, a shorter novella and a short story. All three pieces are absolutely amazing. I was especially impressed with the middle piece, 'The Blinding Order', which is certainly one of the best novellas I have ever read. It's harrowing and awful but also sublime and revelator [...]

    4. Rating: 2.0-2.5 starsI wanted to enjoy these stories more than I did but they weren't particularly more original or affecting than others I've read; writing about the paranoia and corrosive brutality of dictatorships stretches back at least 2,000 years to Suetonius and Tacitus.The first story, "Agamemnon's Daughter," is the best in the collection. The title refers to the episode from the Trojan War when Agamemnon sacrifices his favorite daughter, Iphigenia, to the gods so the Achaean fleet can s [...]

    5. as the inaugural recipient of the man booker international prize (in 2005), albanian poet and novelist ismail kadare's many works undoubtedly reached a wider audience. kadare's first novel was published nearly fifty years ago, and over two dozen of his books are available in english translation today. agamemnon's daughter is one of his more recent books to appear in english, though contains three pieces that were written some time ago (two in the mid-80s, and one in the mid-90s). as with some of [...]

    6. This book was actually smuggled out of Communist Albania by the author and a French friend. The preface tells this story of literary intrigue, and makes the reading of the novella that starts this collection feel more real. I'm now eager to read The Successor which forms the second part of the same story. The other stories in this collection are about autocratic rule in the Ottoman Empire (of which Albania was historically a part) and about the territorial battles between those within and withou [...]

    7. There are three stories in this. Agamemnon's Daughter is Excellent. I like how the narrative shows the protagonist's thoughts and how he interconnects the myths that he is reading with what he sees going on around him. A very telling commentary on Albanian society of the 1980s with relevance to any oppresive regime.The Blinding orders is also excellent. Set in the Ottoman Empire it is nonetheless entirely applicable to any repressive regime during any period of history. I also enjoyed The Great [...]

    8. A beautiful love story - crushed by the regime in power. At the same time, a daughter's great sacrifice for her father. Her love for her own father overcomes everything else. Poor Susana!! Once again, Kadare proved how great he is, the true Albanian Kafka. A story you read and you want to go back and read over and over again Loved it!

    9. The final story in this collection, "The Wall", is the story that I set out to find. It is very powerful and had me thinking about truths, religion, viewpoints. I loved this story. It begins, "Barbarians always go back over in the end."

    10. Ifigenia, la hija de Agamenón, rey de Grecia, según cuenta la tradición debía ser sacrificada por su padre en Aúlide para así calmar a la furiosa diosa Artemis que había parado el viento con una gran encalmada que impedía a las naves de los aqueos zarpar en dirección hacia la campaña de Troya. Agamenón, implacable, encuentra razonable el sacrificio de la hija en pos de sus beneficios políticos y militares. Al final, sin embargo, Ifigenia es sustituida, en el último instante, por una [...]

    11. 3.5 / 5Добра идея и най-вече съждения над двете лица на жертвоприношението, но книгата за жалост остарява по лош начин и това, че практически цялото действие се развива по времето на една първомайска манифестация пречи. Вероятно покрай начина й на написване (изгнание, нелегал [...]

    12. Lungo racconto dal sapore kafkiano (anche se ce ne corre, tra i due K.), è narrato in prima persona da un anonimo membro dell'intelligencija albanese che si sta recando alla festa del Primo Maggio, rituale di massa del regime comunista e complicato barometro degli equilibri di potere della dittatura. Dalla propria abitazione il narratore si sposta attraverso la folla, superando cancelli e posti di blocco fino all'agognata meta, una delle tribune principali, la stessa dove potrebbe trovarsi l'og [...]

    13. Due to the oppression of Communism in Albania, this book actually had to be smuggled out of that country by the author and a friend of his in France, where it was first published. The novella, "Agamemnon's Daughter," tells the tale of an unnamed young man, who has the misfortune to fall for the daughter of a government official whose star is on the rise. As he walks through the streets on his way to a jingoistic parade (where he has an invitation to sit in the coveted stands, a consolation prize [...]

    14. Fascinating intelligent writing infused with the shocking mixture of terror and banality that is life in a totalitarian regime. Unlike many of the reviewers here I enjoyed the third short story 'The Wall' the best. It made me think about boundaries in a way that I have never thought before. The ultimate boundary being that between life and death. I liked the bleak humour of the ending about Jesus being most certainly the one most expected back on earth. Yet amongst all his fellow souls pleading [...]

    15. A truly brilliant evocation of the psychology of oppression from the unofficial poet laureate of Albania. The titular story is a novella based in Albania, and the remaining two short stories are based elsewhere, but also deal with the mindset of totalitarianism. It is always worth recalling the extraordinary danger of the leader or government with excessive power, and the coercive ways they can manipulate their citizens to turn against one another with distrust and even savagery. Far from being [...]

    16. This is the first time I have come across Kadare, but now it won't be the last. Three stories here, two of which work perfectly, and one which didn't quite hit the mark for me. Agamemnon's Daughter, which is set in 1980's Albania sums up the concept of living in a police state brilliantly; while The Blinding Order, set during the period of Ottoman rule, encapsulates a world where superstition collides with political plots to create a state of fear. The Great Wall didn't quite hit the mark for me [...]

    17. With all due respect to one who is the winner of "Man Booker International Prize 2005" this was more propaganda writing than a serious novel. The plot was nothing more than a "Romeo & Juliet" in a very authoritarian Stalinist regime, where the party bureaucracy plays the elite and the powerful and the ordinary artist, the "good Bolshevik". So we go

    18. One of the most impressive writers around, Kadere weaves Greek myth into a day in the life of Albania's repressive regime in the first of the novellas here, and in the following two draws on historical sources to create bleak, resonant and chilling political fables.

    19. I enjoyed the Greek/Russian history backdrop, though I thought I already said I was done with this! I did not read the short stories at the end since short stories don't please me. Perhaps next time I open this book.

    20. "It’s an absorbing read - and there’s plenty to absorb - as we follow one man’s journey in an oppressed nation where the will to survive, no matter how hard it becomes, wins through."Read my full review here.

    21. Meh. Read 60 pages. Bored. More of a political commentary than a novella, at least at this point. Plot isn't moving.

    22. Simultaneously beautifully written and terrifying. More commentary at International Reads' blog about Albania.

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