My university life is the juvenile autobiography of Musine Kokalari, now recognized as a former, great Albanian writer and poet, written between the 1937 and the 1941 during her years of study at La Sapienza.
This is the first of his works that, about seventy years after the writing, today saw the light in Italy, the country for which it was conceived, and in the prestigious series The restored memory of the Viella publisher, sponsored by the same Sapienza and by the 'State Archive of Rome. The result of a long process of historical, archival and anthropological research carried out between Rome and Tirana by Simonetta Ceglie and Mauro Geraci, the volume also contains a substantial insert of images and documents largely unpublished and an original essay by the poet Visar Zhiti.
Composed in Rome during fascism and directly in Italian, My university life testifies, meanwhile, the enthusiasm of those who had seen in university studies the "biggest and newest aspiration for an Albanian girl"; the demanding formation of a critical and political conscience however broken at the root by the condemnation, by the long years of imprisonment and forced isolation that Musine Kokalari, returned to Albania in the '42, had to suffer until the 83, year of his death, as tenacious organizer of an articulated project of democracy and national freedom strongly feared and struck by the incumbent communist regime of Enver Hoxha.
Friday 21 October 2016, at 16,45 in the prestigious Sala Alessandrina of the State Archives of Rome, to present My university life will be Ardian Ndreca, professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Urbaniana University who will dwell on the existential scope of the autobiographical writing of Musine Kokalari , and Nevila Nika, historian and archivist who, as Director of the Central Archive of the State of Tirana, made a decisive contribution to the Italian critical edition.
In the presence of the cultural anthropologist Mauro Geraci and the archivist Simonetta Ceglie, curators of the volume, and of the directors of the series The restored memory, Marina Caffiero and Manola Ida Venzo, to introduce the two reports will be Paolo Buonora - Director of the State Archive of Rome - Mario Bova, president of the Blue Eye "Anna Cenerini Bova", a cultural association very involved in making known aspects and questions of Albanian cultural history - and Visar Zhiti - poet, also a victim of the former Albanian socialist regime and, today, charge of affairs in the Albanian Embassy to the Holy See. The entire event will be accompanied by passages from La mia vita universitaria.
There are many reasons that make this writing of the self that accompanies us among the sweetness and fears, the joys and sadnesses, the friendships and the abandonments, the ambitions and the sentimental bewilderment of the student, precious from the historical, literary and ethical point of view. who loves to get lost and find themselves in the Capital of the World. Thought to be a book, these memories reveal the human, po-ethical, anthropological sensibility for which the young Musine was already known in Albania as a journalist and author of the finest stories set in the Albanian popular world of which she had perfect knowledge, such as trying out a foreign language and country. A language and a peninsula, however, also its own from the moment in which, between the 1939 and the 1942, Albania was under the occupation of fascist Italy.
My university life is therefore the result of two dialectical points of view, Albanian and Italian; testimony of ancient controversies that emerge through the small, great dramas experienced by the author day by day, in the years that saw her attending the Sapienza, describing environments, relationships, student complicity, and shuttling between Rome and Tirana. It is a "Adriatic", differential text, which cultivates the sweet, melancholy "look from a certain distance" of Verghian memory.
Very interesting for the continuous narrative deviations of the Albanian and Muslim girl who manages to face a Roman, masculine, fascist, Christian world lived with the intellectual and introspective observational curiosity. Finally, there is constant attention to a nascent "women's issue", for which Muza had been the pseudonym with which he had already signed inquiries really embarrassing for a girl of those times, who denounced the social problems of women in Albania in the thirties. For the passionate search for a democratic path hostile to every dictatorship, Musine, condemned for life by the grip of Albanian communism, remains a "hurricane girl" who still knows how to instill future generations with a love for justice and freedom.
The editors of the volume:
Simonetta Ceglie, historian and archivist, works at the State Archives of Rome. In this same series he published The Revolution in the Convent. The Memories of Anna Vittoria Dolara (XVIII-XIX century) (2012).
Mauro Geraci is associate professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Messina. Among his most recent works, Prometheus in Albania. Literary and political passages of a Balkan country (Rubbettino, 2014).
Furthermore, we invite you to read "Memory returned: Musine Kokalari's juvenile autobiography" by Mauro Geraci published on ALBANIA NEWS the 13 July 2016
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