Still international recognition for the great Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. He was, in fact, selected as the winner of the Pak Kyong Ni Prize 2019 in Korea.
The announcement made by Kim Uchang, Chairman of the selection committee, states that
"... The works of Ismail Kadare induce readers to think and feel strongly their relationship with the events of history".
The award ceremony will be held on October 26 2019, at the Toji Cultural Center (by clicking on the link, the English version of the site of the South Korean Cultural Foundation opens).
This award is also accompanied by a financial reward of around 84.000 dollars.
The choice of the winner takes place after having examined about 350 authors from all over the world who meet the criteria established by the competition. Since July, the selection committee has compiled a list of the best 5 authors, among which the famous Albanian writer won.
The award was established in the 2011 by the Toji Cultural Foundation in honor of the Korean writer Pak Kyong Ni. Each year the award celebrates a world-famous writer for influencing the field of literature. In the 2018, the prize was awarded to the American Richard Ford, while in the 2017 to the English Antonio Byatt.
Previous winners were Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya, 2016), Amos Oz (Israel, 2015), Bernhard Schlink (Germany, 2014), Marilynne Robinson (USA, 2013), Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia, 2012) and Choi In -hun (Korea, 2011).
Who is Ismail Kadare
Class 1936, born in Gjirokastër, Kadare is considered the greatest living Albanian writer.
At the beginning of his career as a journalist, he immediately combines poetry, the art that will give him his final fame first at home and then abroad.
But it will be the prose that makes him the perfect narrator of the complex relationship between history and man. The Albanian historical events, among other things, lend themselves well to this purpose and become a metaphorical reference to any of his writings.
Difficult to establish which is his most important work. Surely it can be said that, in the 90 years, his art steeped in historicism has brought him several frictions with the Albanian political class, which is why he asked for and obtained political asylum in France, settling permanently in Paris, where he currently lives.
For information, we can mention some titles translated also in Italy.
His very first internationally renowned novel was 'The general of the dead army', released in the 1963 and tracing the period of Italian occupation in Albania (Luciano Tovoli in the 1983 realizes the film based on the novel)
He dedicated the novel to his hometown 'The Stone City', released in 1971 and clearly inspired by autobiography.
'The palace of dreams', of the 1981, is his first allegory on totalitarianisms. With his ideal following 'The eye of the tyrant', in 1991, and changing only the chronological setting, anticipating it to the centuries of Ottoman domination, Kadare weaves his condemnation of oppressive regimes, those that also spy on men's dreams and condition their life and death.
Among the many awards of Ismail Kadare at international level we mention some of them in the list below.
In the 2005 wins the first edition of the Man Booker.
In the 2009 he wins the prize Prince of Asturias for literature.
In the same year, at the request of the arbëreshë of Italy, he received his degree from the University of Palermo Honoris Causa in Communication Sciences.
In the 2016 receives in France the recognition of 'Commander of the Legion of Honor'after having been'Officer of the Legion of Honor'from the 1997 to the 2015.
In the 2018 wins the Nonino International Award
From the 1996 he is a permanent member of the French Academy, 'Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters'
Curiously, although he had numerous nominations, he never won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
His home in Gjirokastra, already in the 1991 declared an Albanian cultural monument, today it is one house-museum open to the public. Even the house in Tirana in the 2019 has been turned into a museum.