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Fall of the Stone City
 
 
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Fall of the Stone City [ハードカバー]

Ismail Kadare

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In September 1943, German soldiers advance on the ancient gates of Gjirokaster, Albania. It is the first step in a carefully planned invasion. But once at the mouth of the city, the troops are taken aback by a surprising act of rebellion that leaves the citizens fearful of a bloody counter-attack. Soon rumours circulate, in cafes, houses and alleyways, that the Nazi Colonel in command of the German Army was once a school acquaintance of a local dignitary, Doctor Gurameto. In the town square, Colonel von Schwabe greets his former classmate warmly; in return, Doctor Gurameto invites him to dinner. The very next day, the Colonel and his army disappear from the city. The dinner at Gurameto's house changes the course of events in twentieth-century Europe. But as the citizens celebrate their hero, a conspiracy surfaces which leads some to place Gurameto - and the stone city - at the heart of a plot to undermine Socialism. Enigmatic and compelling, The Fall of the Stone City displays Ismail Kadare at the height of his considerable powers.

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  • ハードカバー: 176ページ
  • 出版社: Canongate Books (2012/5/1)
  • 言語: 英語, アルバニア語, 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0857860119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857860118
  • 発売日: 2012/5/1
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Amazon ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 631,272位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.4  10 件のカスタマーレビュー
2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 doctor's dinner dooms duo 2013/6/25
By Robert S. Newman - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
I wonder if Ismail Kadare is capable of writing a bad book. Mixing myth, allegory, history,and a kind of wry humor, he has produced an amazing genre over the years as yet unrewarded by the Nobel Prize committee, who often choose writers half as talented. If his work seems dark and somehow menacing, like a sudden view of an approaching storm, Albania's fate might have something to do with it. Emerging from centuries of Ottoman rule in 1912, this small country went through monarchy, a few years of a chaotic republic, more monarchy by a self-proclaimed king, Italian occupation, German occupation, a devastating civil war at the same time as war against the occupiers, and 47 years of Communist dictatorship, before finally being cast up unprepared on the beach of modern Europe in 1991.

Enver Hoxha, the ultimate victor in the WW II years in Albania, wrote the history of those times and you had to swallow it on pain of your life. But what really went on in that time of destruction and chaos ? Nobody inside really knows what goes on in totalitarian societies or in the time of a war involving Italians, Germans, Communists, royalists, nationalists, and even the Western allies. Everything is either confused or secret, so truth (or even a semblance of truth) disappears. Magical realist explanations of the times are as good as any---maybe they are explanations for things that have no explanation. Garcia-Marquez wrote a magnificent portrayal of dictatorship and tyranny in "The Autumn of the Patriarch"; Kadare has written a different, but equally strong book here. The Germans are about to occupy Gjirokaster (the stone city) and Albania. Two doctors in town have different takes on the event. One is closer to Germany, the other to Italy. The former gives a dinner---or does he? His old school friend from Germany turns out to be the invading commander---or does he ? Maybe he's even dead. Later, in 1953, when the Communists are in power, and Stalin is in his last days, a high powered investigation of events ten years before takes place due to the infamous "Doctors' Plot" in the USSR.. Why did the doctors act as they did ? Can we get to the bottom of this ? Can you get to the bottom of anything in history ? Does it all have to do with ghosts of the past that in Albania, as in Faulkner's Mississippi, never disappear ? Murky, full of lies, contradictions and irony, fables and propaganda, even the psychology of torturers and the tortured, this is another tour de force by one of the world's greatest living writers. Read it.
11 人中、8人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 "Hours, days are passing and we are still stuck somewhere...out of time. In reverse or minus time." 2013/2/5
By Mary Whipple - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
(3.5 stars) Writing of Albanian life in Gjirokaster, the city of his birth, during World War II and its aftermath, Ismail Kadare creates a novel which appears, initially, to be a simple morality tale, clear and to the point, then becomes increasingly complex and enigmatic. Kadare, constantly observed by Albania's communist officials as a beginning novelist, always had to disguise what he really wanted to say without being censored, and he created a unique style - a literary performance mixing fact and fiction, past and present, reality and dream, truth and myth, and life and death. By juggling time periods, bringing ghosts to life, repeating symbols and images, and leaving open questions about the action of a novel, he disguised the harsh truths of everyday life and the horrors of past history, a style which continues in this new book.

This novel begins in 1943, with the retreat of the Italians, who have ruled Albania since 1939, and the arrival of the Germans. As the Germans enter the city, however, someone fires on the advance team. No one is hurt, but the Germans plan reprisals: a hundred citizens are taken hostage, and the city will be blown up. Soon, however, the townspeople hear music from the home of Big Dr. Gurameto. Colonel Fritz von Schwabe, commander of the German division, is having dinner with his "great friend, from university," Big Dr. Gurameto. Shortly afterward, the city learns that the citizens held as hostages, including Jakoel the Jew, are being released, and the city will not be bombed. No one knows how this came about.

In Part II, from 1944, the German Army retreats, and the communists arrive to take their place. People, including hospital patients still under anesthesia and "stuck somewhere out of time" are arrested. Nine years later, when word arrives that Stalin is going to visit the city: Time "was not just suspended; it was going backwards at great speed." For mysterious reasons, the communists have started investigating the dinner between Big Dr. Gurameto and Col. von Schwabe from nine years before.

The novel is rife with symbols regarding the fate of the country - anesthetized patients, Big Dr. Gurameto's dreams of being operated on by himself, and Col. von Schwabe's memory of the doctor operating on him. Scars also appear in the imagery. Old stories, like folk tales, repeat, and ghosts and the dead participate in "real" life. Trying to figure out what is to be taken at face value, what may be symbolic or mythical, and what events are "real" in one place but mythical in another becomes a real challenge, and the many chronological shifts leave the author's narrative direction and purpose open to question.

Additionally, the tone of the novel is inconsistent, with Part I resembling a morality tale and Part II, a year later, beginning as a history lecture. This then shifts to an almost farcical style about the communists, before it evolves into the gruesome interrogations and tortures which dominate Part III. The author, too, may have recognized a problem of coherence since he himself enters the narrative in the concluding pages, stating "Here is what happened," then explaining some events going back to 1953. His explanation contains some surprises, but it still contains Kadare's trademark combination of fact and fiction, reality and dream, truth and myth, leaving questions about what "really" happened here. Perhaps that was the author's point.
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3 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Hearts Of Stone 2013/4/28
By Robert Taylor Brewer - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
Gjirokaster is a strange and beguiling city in southern Albania. The walk up the hill into the main section of town is a test of endurance, as though the city demands to know if you are up to the task of meeting on terms that it sets. A small boy waved at me, beckoning. I was too suspicious to follow, and realized later he would have taken me to a house where, for a few dollars, a local couple would have given me lodging. I slept instead at a hostel, greeted that night by an uproarious crowd of students on an all night bender. The next day, I looked for the boy, but he'd long since vanished into the stone buildings.

Gjirokaster, Ismail Kadare's hometown, is the main character in his latest book, The Fall Of The Stone City. His ability to probe and elicit interest from the smallest detail of city life makes this book another gem in Kadare's literary body of work. John Hodgson is once again the translator, and as with The Accident, the prose is crystal clear, if more stylized than in The Accident's freewheeling international environment that featured the demise of the book's two main characters. Here, the pace is more methodical but no less intriguing because Kadare's sentences are as winding as the city's streets. Its residents offer up their views and form a collective conscience in advance of the German army that is beginning to enter the ancient town. Will it be spared or destroyed?

A central theme in Kadare's work - one we've seen in his non-fiction memoir From One December To Another and in his fiction - is to live a normal life. He believes Albanians defeated dictatorship this way - women went on being well dressed and beautiful, men read newspapers in cafes, teenagers craved Beatles music when it came out, and all of these things eventually conspired to take down the regime. This theme surfaces in his present work, and on page 21 we get: "Dr.Gurameto's intention was to cock a snook at the Germans: 'You think you've frightened us and brought us to our knees? Nothing of the sort! Look, in front of your very nose, my daughter's getting engaged."

Dark intrigue, conspiracies, plots and sub-plots are a staple of Ismail Kadare fiction, whether it be Cello Nallbani declaring his secret name in this book, or strangers gathering before the hearth at the Inn Of The Two Roberts in The Three Arched Bridge. The humor of Nalbani's circumstances (none of the book's WWII era anti-German conspirators have names, only nicknames) recalls the levity of Kadare's 1981 farce The File On H. It's all transmongrified here into the Doctrine of the Three No's: Imperialism, Zionism and Coca Cola. Out of one small episode of defiance toward the German army, Kadare spins this weirdly lurid and tragicomic tale of people who don't take themselves too seriously even during the horror of war. Chronicle In Stone was a serious book overall; written when the author was much closer to war's brutality. With time and distance, Kadare's memory is still sharp, capable of razor's edge satire as when hospital room patients are put under anesthesia during the German occupation then wake up during the communist takeover having to adjust to regime change. It all adds up to a catalog of fatalistic poetry descending into mayhem and madness that could only have been written by someone who himself has gone through interrogation - an interrogation which made Ismail Kadare, in 1975, nearly leap from a window.
5つ星のうち 4.0 A city surrenders - a mythical wave of the white flag 2014/3/2
By TonyMess - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
“People who set out on a journey to see with their own eyes some city they’ve always longed to visit, and imagine they can taste in reality what has charmed their fancy.”  Proust

First up for me this year on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist was a visit to Armenia. Last week I was recalling if I’d read any Turkish fiction before, well I can categorically state that this is my first foray into Armenian literature. In 2005 Ismail Kadare became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize, an award for a body of work (not a single piece of writing), beating a well-known shortlist including Margaret Attwood, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth , Gunter Grass, John Updike, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Muriel Spark and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize twice before and apparently is “Albania’s best known poet and novelist”. His conflicts with the communist party has seen him live in exile in France since 1990. This novel is set in the town of his birth Gjirokastr the ancient “stone city” which is close to the Greek border.

This short novel, my edition is 168 pages, covers the period 1943-1953 in three “parts”. We commence with the German “liberation” of Albania (more precicely Gjirokastr) as the Italian withdrawal of power commences. As the German “peaceful” efforts in taking control of Gjirokastr are tackled by an anonymous Albanian resistance force who shoot at the lead German motorcyclists, the ancient city of Gjirokastr is now under threat. The city surrenders in a mythical way, nobody knows who waved the white flag and the talk in the coffee houses is that it was merely the wind blowing a large white curtain.

For my full review go to [...]
5つ星のうち 4.0 Historic and humerous. Haunting and horrific. 2014/1/18
By Timothy K. Mosman - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー|Amazon.co.jpで購入済み
This was a very haunting read. I was never really certain where I was in this story; the characters seemed to loop back and meet themselves at different parts of the story which gave it a nightmarish feel. It dealt with a time and place and piece of history I was not familiar with but came away with a good idea of the upheaval experienced in the Balkins near the end of World War II and the communist takeover in Albania. What I enjoyed most was the different perspectives that were given from the onlookers; how the briefest observation of an event, even the most ridiculous, can set the myth and, ever after, make the truth hard to find.
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