Posts tagged communism

“Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal

The narrator of Too Loud a Solitude is an idiot. His boss despises him, others laugh at him. He drinks beer all day, and works in a cellar compacting wastepaper. He has been compacting wastepaper in the same cellar with the same hydraulic press for 35 years, and has picked out classics of world literature from the garbage, amassing a library which towers over him as he sleeps, always threatening to crush him. Other times he leaves the books in the compacter, but arranges them carefully so that each bale… Read More

Ismail Kadare and dissent

Interesting piece in The Guardian recently about the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare and his alleged ties to the Hoxha regime. I went to see Ismail Kadare speak at the Southbank Centre in London last year, and he addressed this issue very effectively, I thought. He said that the people who tell him he should have spoken out are basically saying to him “You should have died.” That’s what dissent would have cost him in those days – the regime simply didn’t tolerate opposition. He would have been thrown in jail,… Read More