This brief essay on Albanian culture and literature is still considered a basic text for those who want to understand and explain the Albanian history and mentality.
"The literary product of a people cannot be understood without knowing its history" Eqrem Çabej
In short but dense chapters dealing with the different elements that influence the formation of the character of a people and its culture, the author describes the geographical characteristics of the country, discusses the origin of the name of the people, the centrifugal forces in the character of the Albanians and foreign influences, that is, everything that makes Albania a crossroads between the West and the East.
The i fis (tribe) of the north and south, the traditionalist areas of the mountains and national unity, to arrive at interesting and very appreciable conclusions also on folklore and literature. The essay traces important perspectives for the study of this country and its people, a study that still remains largely to be done.
Biography of Eqrem Çabej
Eqrem Çabej (1908-1980), formed in Austria in the years' 20-'30, is considered today the most authoritative albanologist and scholar of the Albanian context. He was the first to move the center of Albanological studies from abroad within Albania itself.
Starting from the studies on Albanian literature and culture in general, he gradually focuses on the history of the language, the origin and the autochthony of the Albanian people starting from linguistic facts and, above all, from etymology.
His vast research work ranges from school texts on literature and language to the study of ancient Albanian texts (The Missal of Gjon Buzuku, the first book in Albanian made known by him), from dialectology to historical grammar, from lexicography to etymological studies.
His Studime etimologjike në fushë të shqipes (Etymological studies in the Albanian field), a work in many volumes, has been defined on various occasions as a true encyclopedia of the Albanian language. His writings are today a point of reference for any scholar who is interested in the location of the Albanian culture and language in the Balkan and Indo-European context.
For further information on this essay, we invite you to read the article by Alfred Bushi on Eqrem Çabej and the study on the Albanians of his period, from the geography to the culture of the Albanian people (link )