Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Albanian Literature since World War II

After the Stalinist purges under Koçi Xoxe (1917-1949) and the elimination of the first postwar minister of cultural affairs, the liberal Marxist Sejfulla Malëshova (pseudo: Lame Kodra, 1901-1971), intellectual life in Albania had been virtually wiped out and literary production, as a consequence, had come to a standstill. The early writers of SOCIALIST REALISM in the 1950s, Dhimitër Shuteriqi (b. 1915), Shevqet Musaraj (1914-1986), Jakov Xoxa (1923-1979), and Aleks Çaçi (1916-1989) could not demonstrate any particular talent under the unbolting terror of the Hoxha regime.

From 1961, the year of Albania's break with the Soviet Union, a new generation of more talented writers arose. Represented by Ismail Kadare, Dritëro Agolli, and Fatos Arapi (b. 1930). Kadare, in particular, did much to emancipate Albanian literature gradually from the shackles of the past and in the 1970s and 1980s came to dominate the literary scene. After the French-language publication of his first major novel, Gjenerali i ushtrise së vdekur (1963; The General of the Dead Army. 1971), his international reputation grew, giving him confidence at home to continue his subtle attacks against the otherwise all-pervading doctrine of socialist realism. Among his pioneering novels to have appeared in English are Kronikë në gur (1971; Chronicle in Stone, 1987), Prilli i thyer (1978; Broken April, 1990), and Nëpunësi i pallatit të ëndrrave ( 1981: The Palace of Dreams, 1993). At the end of October 1990, a mere few months before the collapse of the dictatorship, Kadare sought political asylum in Paris, where he has been living and writing ever since. Other noted prose authors of the period include Petro Marko (1913-1991), Kasem Trebeshina (b. 1926), Dhimitër Xhuvani (b. 1934), and Bilal Xhaferri (1935-1986). Of the poets of the 1980s and early 1990s, mention can be made of Xhevahir Spahiu (b. 1945), Natasha Lako (b. 1948), Bardhyl Londo (b. 1948), Visar Zhiti (b. 1952) who survived seven years of prison and concentration camps, and Mimoza Ahmeti (b. 1963).

Albanian literature in Kosovo was put into motion by poet Esad Mekuli (1916-1993) with the founding in 1949 of the literary periodical Jeta e re, but did not produce much of note until the 1960s. Exceptions must be made for the novelist Adem Demaçi (b. 1936) who was to spend the next twenty-eight years as a political prisoner of the Belgrade regime, and of the verse collections Nji fyell ndër male (1953; a Flute in the Mountains), and Kanga e vërrinit (1954: Song of the Lowland Pastures) by Martin Camaj, later to become a leading scholar of Albanian studies in Rome and Munich. The Yugoslav constitution of 1974 gave Kosovo Albanians more freedom and a semblance of equality for the first time, and literature flourished on the Plain of the Blackbird in the decade to follow. Of leading prose writers, mention can be made of the experimental Anton Pashku (1937-1995), Rexhep Qosja (b. 1936), notably for his explosive political novel Vdekja më vjen prej syve të tillë (1974; Death Comes with Such Eyes), the prolific Nazmi Rrahmani (b. 1941) and Teki Dervishi (b. 1943). The poetry of Kosovo has been far more experimental and creative than that of Albania. Among its leading proponents are Din Mehmeti (b. 1932), Besim Bokshi (b. 1932). Azem Shkreli (b. 1938), Rrahman Dedaj (b. 1939), Ali Podrimja (b. 1942), Eqrem Basha (b. 1948), Sabri Hamiti (b. 1950), and Basri Çapriqi (b. 1960. Since the military occupation of Kosovo and its forceful annexation by Serbia, the Albanians have returned to their status of second-class citizens. Economic, cultural and literary life in Kosovo have been virtually destroyed in the process (suspension of Albanian-Language secondary schooling, closing-down of the University of Prishtina for non-Serbs, takeover of the Rilindja publishing company, and the paramilitary occupation of the Institute of Albanian Studies in Prishtina). The future of Albanian literature in Kosovo is uncertain.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mann, S. E., Albanian Literature (1955); Bihiku, K., History of' Albanian
Literature (1986): Elsie, R., Anthology of Modern Albanian Poetry (1993); Elsie, R., Dictionary of Albanian Literature (1995).

[Published in: Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th century. Third Edition. Vol. I: A-D. General Editor: Steven R. Serafin. (St. James Press, Farmington Hills MI 1999), p. 35-36]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bilal Xhaferri

Bilal Xhaferri (1935-1986), Albanian writer, (poet, novelist and remarkable dissident publicist) was born in Ninat, Konispol, Cameria district and died in Chicago, USA.

Bio data

Main dates of Bilal Xhaferri’s life and activity.

1935, 2 November was born in Ninat village, Konispol, Cameria region.

1943, his mother passed away.

1945, his nationalist and anti-communist, father was executed

1948, leaves his home village.

1948-1952 resides and works in Saranda, as courier and simple worker.

1954-1955 attends the seventh-grade school in Sukth village, Durres city.

1962-1963 publishes his first lyrics and stories in "Zeri i Rinise" (The voice of Youth", "Drita" (Light), in magazines such as "Nëntori",
(November), Ylli", (The Star) etc.

1966 His first summary of stories is published entitled "Njerëz të rinj, tokë e lashtë" (Young people, ancient land), which had an extraordinary success.

1967 The summary of lyrics is published entitled "Lirishta e kuqe" (Red Valley), which was forbidden by communist censure.

1967 writes the novel "Krastakraus" published post-mortem in 1993.

1968 writes the script for the artistic movie "Era shtyn mjegullat" (The wind pushes the fog).

1968 was denied the right of publishing. Communist censure prohibited the distribution of his books and has been exiled in "Hamalle" village, Durres city.
After being exclude from "Lidhja e Shkrimtarëve & e Artistëve të Shqipërisë" (Albanian Writers’ & Artists League) under the reason that he had criticize Ismail Kadare’s novel "Dasma" (The wedding).

1969, 30 August he escapes secretly from Albania to Greece and later on in USA due to the file compiled by the State Security Service for his arrest and custody.

1970, arrives in Boston, USA.

1970-1972 works for "Dielli" (The Sun) newspaper in Boston, USA.

1972 Demands to publish the novel "Ra Berati" (Berati Surrenders) to the Publishing Enterprise "Rilindja".

1974, October, in Chicago, USA founded the magazine "Krahu i shqiponjës" (The Eagle Wing) in Albanian and English, a product of Cam League.

1974-1986 directs, publishes and edits the magazine "Krahu i shqiponjës", where he published a lot of articles, lyrics, stories, novels, cartoons, artistic photos etc.
This magazine became the tribune of freethinking and continuously dealt cam issues, national concerns, and dictatorship issues in Albania and after 1981, more intensively about Kosovo concerns.
Bilal, used to publish on this magazine not only his literature creations but translation and literature products of many foreign and Albanian writers as well.

He managed to publish 39 editions of this magazine in two languages, Albanian and English till he died in unknown circumstances on 14 October 1986

1975 publishes fragments of the novel "Trotuare të Kundërta" Opposite Avenues" on the magazine "Krahu i shqiponjës" (Eagle Wing).

1977 He publishes fragments of the novel "Hëna e kantjereve" (The Site Moon) on "Krahu i shqiponjës" magazine.

1978 some strangers wounded him.

1981 The editor’s house "Krahu i shqiponjës" burned down ", where he has his literature manuscripts, studies, scientific researches, translations, correspondence, political notes, photos, paintings.

1986 His disease was recognized and he was submitted to a surgery operation.

1986, 14 October, he died in Chicago, at unknown circumstances.

1995, 3rd May the President of Albanian Republic issued him an honor
"Martyr of Democracy" (Decree 1089), with the motivation "For his dedication as publicist and dissident politician in the fight against communism and dictatorship, for his deep national and democratic aspiration".

1995, 6th May, the writer Shefki Hysa, chairman of the Cultural Association "Bilal Xhaferri", in cooperation with Albanian government initiated and organized the ceremony of carcass return in homeland of the outstanding dissident poet, novelist, Bilal Xhaferri who rests now in his hometown, Saranda.

Book titles:

"Young People, Ancient Land" – summary of stories (1966)

"The Red Valley" - lyrics (1967) [1]

"Bloody Love" – romantic novel (1992)

"Krastakraus" - novel (1967), (Published post mortem 1993)

"Sadness, come" (1995)

"Berati surrenders" novel, published by - Prishtina 1995 ISBN 99943-904-5-7

"Beyond distance " – prose and articles (1996)

Bianka Bilali

"Krahu i shqiponjës" ("Eagle Wing")

"Eagle Wing" is an Albanian magazine, which aims to promote the literary, social and artistic Albanian life, serving to an important national goal, and to defend and support unfavorable society groups in Balkans. Its spiritual leader was and remains Bilal Xhaferri.
Historical background

"Eagle Wing" is a political, cultural, literary magazine, published for the first time in October, 1974, in two languages, Albanian and English, as a periodical of Cam League in Chicago, USA. Its founder, publisher and director was Bilal Xhaferri, poet, novelist and well-known dissident publicist, who was born on 2nd November 1935 in Ninat, Konispol, Cam district, who after an extensive literary- journalistic activity, died in exile (escaped from Albania in 1969 because of his national and anti-communist views and persecuted by the State Security Service) in 14th October 1986 in Chicago, USA.

"Eagle Wing" was a forum of free democratic ideas, with powerful and deep anti-communist, anti- dictatorship trends, aiming to unite all Albanian political forces in exile in order for them to unify ideas, programs and goals for a Free Pro-Western Albania.
The magazine represented widely the Albanian national issues, especially cam concern, Kosovo issue, and other territories divided from the territorial borders of homeland Albania, and Albanian community issues (Diaspora) all over the world.

Bilal Xhaferri managed to publish 39 editions.

Since August 1995 till present "Eagle Wing" continue to be published in Tirana as periodical of Cultural Association "Bilal Xhaferri" (Cam Cultural Community) established and directed by the well-known journalist and writer Shefki Hysa, who initiated the return of Bilal Xhaferri carcass in Albania and the graced the extraordinary values of this rare figure, mistreated and forgotten by the former Albanian communist dictatorship.

"Eagle Wing" pages hosted articles and interviews of Albanian and foreign politicians who defend Albanian national issue, in particular cam concern. Articles and selected stories of personalities of Albanian and world literature are published on this magazine, such as: Alfred de Musset, Bilal Xhaferri, Christina Rossetti, Dritëro Agolli, Edgar Allan Poe, Ismail Kadare, Martin Mato, Miranda Vickers, Namik Mane, Pjetër Arbnori, Shefki Hysa, Vath Koreshi, Jack London, Jean-Paul Sartre, etj.

Shefki Hysa, in charge of publisher and editor of this magazine, based on his own funds and those of his friends, has managed to publish over 80 editions and consistently chant this pedestal of freethinking following up the footway of Bilal Xhaferri ideals.

Bianka Bilali

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Images of Albania and Albanians in English
Literature from Edith Durham's

The Albanian State, as we know it now, was born at the turn of the twentieth century, but the history of Albania [PERHAPS] predates that of Greece. History has been cruel to the Albanians since the Roman conquest. Except for the 1443-1468 period, when the Albanian national hero Gjergj Kastrioti, Skanderbeg, (1403 - 1468) was successful in his mammoth task to defeat the Ottomans (thus defending both the Albanian nation and Catholic Europe), the fifteen years (1925-1939) when Ahmed Zogolli (1895-1961) ruled Albania first as a president and then as a monarch, and the post World War II period, for the last two millennia the Albanians have been constantly living under occupation.

In this respect, Albania is the closest European equivalent to Egypt. Like the Egyptians, who had to wait for almost three millennia until they finally could govern themselves again in 1952, the Albanians never abandoned the dream for self-rule. As opposed to the Egyptians, however, when the Albanians finally succeeded in proclaiming their country's independence in 1912, they were not left with much of a country to govern

The Albania that resulted from the dreadful historical miscalculations and injustices culminating in the London Conference of the Ambassadors of the Six European Great Powers in 1913, was a dismembered nation, something of a still-birth whose long-term survival was never taken seriously. But survive the fledgling Albanian State did, and so did the Albanians living in Albania territories unjustly left outside Albania. Survival has been a basic instinct of the Albanians since 169 BC when Gent, the last Illyrian king, was captured by the Romans at Shkodra. This has always baffled foreign Albanologists.

It was this specific Albanian characteristic that surprised and marveled Edith Durham (1863-1944), one of the most well known, some would say controversial, Western Albanologists of the first half of the twentieth century. A British woman, a self-taught anthropologist, writer and artist, she spent the first two decades of this century traveling in the Balkans, took up the Albanian cause, wrote seven books on the Balkans and influenced British foreign policy. She was adamant that it was not religious difference that caused the bloodshed of the Balkan Wars. She observed and took photographs of religious processions. Some, taken in Scutari (today's Shkodër) show clearly from the clothing and headgear of the participants that they were from different religions. And the same was true when Pope Paul II visited Shkodra in l993. People attend religious ceremonies regardless of which faith they belong to, as a form of social gathering. Numerous Western travelers have remarked on this.Mary Edith Durham was born in 1863 in Hanover Square, London. Her father, Arthur Edward Durham, was a distinguished surgeon who sired a large Victorian family of eight children, all of whom went on to excel in respectable professions. Edith manifested artistic ambitions and, after being educated privately in London, attended the Royal Academy of Arts. She became an accomplished illustrator and watercolorist, exhibiting widely and contributing detailed drawings to the amphibian and reptiles volume of the Cambridge Natural History.

As the eldest child - and still unmarried in her thirties - Edith took on the task of caring for her ailing mother after her father's death. Filial responsibility turned out to be the unlikely impetus for her Balkan entanglements. At thirty-seven, Durham sailed from Trieste down the Dalmatian coast to Cattaro and trekked overland to Çetinje, the capital of the exotic principality of Montenegro.

She was not a scholar when she first visited the Balkans and the Albanian territories in 1900. It would probably be unwise to consider everything she wrote on the region's complicated history as being indisputably correct.

Durham did not go to the Balkans to do fieldwork; she went there on medical advice when she was ill and depressed. She left England for a cure and found a vocation. She was one of the first Western travel-writers to discover that the Balkans is a career.

Many British and European hopefuls are trying to emulate Durham's example, especially recently when so much has happened in the Balkans: the collapse of Communism, the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosova, and the fighting in Macedonia.

As opposed to some recently self-proclaimed Western experts in Balkan and Albanian affairs, Durham appears to have gone to the region not with many preconceptions and prejudices. While it is true that she wrote favourably more often than not about the Albanians, her 'preference' for one of the most ancient European nations was not inspired or motivated by the interests of her own country in the Balkans or Albania.

The problem re-emerged after the Balkan wars of 1912-1913, when an arbitrary and unjust decision by the London Conference in 1913 assigned Kosova to Serbia and other parts of Albania to Macedonia and Montenegro. With the rebirth of Yugoslavia in 1945, Kosova was annexed to Serbia by the decision of the Great Powers. In 1908 the famous Albanologist, Edith Durham said: "Empires came and went, and passed over the Albanian as does the water off a duck's back."

Durham was, however, the twentieth century's indispensable interpreter of Albania, and arguably the most important writer on that culture since J. C. Hobhouse journeyed through the Albanian lands with Byron. She was adored among the Albanians themselves, who knew her as "Kralica e Malësorevet" - the Queen of the Highlanders. "She gave us her heart and she won the ear of our mountaineers", the exiled Albanian king, Zog, wrote to The Times on her death in 1944 (even though she was not on good terms with him, either). The only other Briton to have been so lionized was, improbably, Norman Wisdom, whom the Communist dictator Enver Hoxha found uproariously entertaining.

She remained involved in Albanian affairs for the rest of her life and was secretary of the Anglo-Albanian society. In fact, with Aubrey Herbert (a relation to Lord Carnarvon, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun), she is credited as having Albania finally recognized by the League of Nations in 1920.

Durham was a scholar by instinct rather than by trade. She based her judgments on her own observations. She wrote about what she saw. In this respect she is different from the nineteenth-century German writer Karl May, who offered to the German readership an almost entirely fictitious picture of the Albanians.

She upset many of her contemporary, one-sided and often blinked Balkans experts because she championed the cause of a long-neglected people. But this was not done for reasons of self-interest. Despite her initial reason for visiting the Balkans, Durham benefited the region more than it benefited her. The Albanians were so impressed with her relentless efforts on their behalf (in Albania and the UK) that they expressed their gratitude by referring to her as their Kratlitse (Queen).

She approached and vigorously defended the Albanian question primarily as a humanist. As opposed to some recently self-proclaimed Western experts in Balkan and Albanian affairs, Durham appears to have gone to the region not with many preconceptions and prejudices. While it is true that she wrote favorably more often than not about the Albanians, her 'preference' for one of the most ancient European nations was not inspired or motivated by the interests of her own country in the Balkans or Albania.

Durham was her own spokesperson when she defended the Albanians. With her determination to speak her own mind, she set an example seldom followed by her contemporary British and Western Balkanists and Albanologists.

She' discovered' Albania, especially Northern Albania, the country was perceived as being in a state of hibernation as a result of successive invasions by the Celts, the Romans, the Slavs and the Turks. The Albanians appeared ossified. Although geographically near, they were politically and economically far from the European Powers that had perpetually chosen to ignore and often abandon them in favor of their own political and economic interests.

When Durham visited Albania, Europe had little time for the long neglected country. She found the Albanians isolated, but not of their own volition. They had been forced into isolation. Cut off from Europe, the Albanians had no alternative but to ensure their survival by relying on their ancient mythology, laws and traditions. These were bound to change and in some cases to become distorted in order to suit the often extraordinary circumstances the Albanian nation had experienced during the previous two thousand years. The Canon of Lek Dukagjin, for instance, is probably the best example of the need the Albanians felt to revive, preserve, update and to some extent 'spoil' their ancient traditions of self-government in order to meet the challenges of surviving under Turkish rule and the constant threat of assimilation by their neighbors.

Much as she regretted the Albanians' imposed isolation from Western Europe, Durham makes no secret of her exultation at discovering the exotic Albania and Albanians. While it is true she differs from many former and contemporary European 'experts' in Albania for the unfashionable sympathy for the Albanians, the exotic is as central in her writings on Albania as it is in the work of other Western travel writers, past and present.

Although Durham traveled widely throughout the Albanian territories, her most inspired work High Albania (1909) concentrates on one of the most isolated and as such, one of the most exotic parts of Albania and the Albanian nation.

High Albania offered Durham a unique opportunity to see a 'backwater of life' at the heart of Europe, which has 'primitive virtues, without many of the meannesses of what is called civilization. It is uncorrupted by luxury' It was in this particular region of Albania, well known for its breathtaking and epic landscape and its people's proverbial hospitality, that Durham felt transported into an alien yet majestic world of living myths and legends, about which her European education had taught her almost nothing.

She had been well received in the Albanian uplands, and although it was unusual for a woman to travel to the remoter mountain districts, the notion of a lone female wanderer actually fitted with Albanian custom: the tradition of Albanian "Sworn Virgins"* - women who assumed the responsibilities of manhood and wore men's clothes and held a protected status in tribal society - meant that Durham traveled unmolested.

Charmed by a reality she had never thought it existed, Durham remarks: I think no place where human beings live has given me such an impression of majestic isolation from all the world. It is a spot where the centuries shrivel; the river might be the world's well-spring, its banks the fit home of elemental instincts - passions that are red and rapid.

She became a fervent promoter of the Albanian national cause all over the world. I looked her up to see that, "many thought her at best wildly eccentric and at worst completely mad." And yet, her most famous work High Albania published in 1909, is still one of the leading guides to the culture and customs of this area. She was much loved by the Albanians, who gave her the name "Queen of the Highlanders."

Durham that she often 'forgot all about the rest of the world'. In High Albania Durham came into contact with an enchanting wilderness, which explains why when she was there she commented: 'I never want books. They are dull compared to the life stories that are daily enacted among the bare Grey rocks' .

This mountainous part of Albania was for Durham something of an exotic oasis at the heart of Europe, which at times she felt was better left unspoiled. In High Albania Durham the humanist and champion of the rights of small nations is at times subdued by Durham the selfish Western tourist who seems to believe that the world and other nationalities exist primarily for her own recreation and entertainment. Thus Durham emerges as judge and jury; she alone knows best what is good or bad for the Albanians and what they should and should not do.

Her patronizing attitude is seen especially in the comments she makes when hearing that the farmers in one of the most fertile regions in Albania would welcome the building of a new railway: I looked at the room full of long, lean cat-o'-mountains, and wondered whether it would benefit anybody - let alone themselves - to turn them into fat corn and horse dealers 'Civilisation is vexation, And progress is as bad, The things that be, they puzzle me, And Cultchaw drives me mad.' (Durham 1985)

Durham was not the only one who would have preferred the Albanians to remain 'uncivilized'. 'God cast you into Hell,' a priest once said to her, 'that you might tell of it in England - that you might cry to every Catholic in England: 'Save these people!'' (Ibid., 197).

Durham understood the Albanians well enough to realize that they were no twilled' and 'uncivilized'. She tried hard to comprehend and explain, sometimes successfully sometimes not, why they were lagging behind other European nations. Occasionally, however, Durham glorifies the 'primitive' life in which contemporary Albanians lived. Dazzled by the festive atmosphere she witnessed throughout the feast of St. John, she remarked: I thought how dull London dinner-parties are, and wondered why people ever think they would like to be civilized. This was as good as being Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea-party.

If not taken out of context, Durham's remarks on the Albanians' lack of civilization are on the whole light-hearted. I personally enjoy reading her work not because she wrote, and in most cases favorably, about Albania. She had the ability to rediscover Albania, to reinterpret the country, the people and the culture not just for the European audience still largely ignorant of this terra incognito, but also for the Albanians. Her independent mind, her eye for details and her sincere and fresh narrative are bound to continue to attract the attention of open-minded readers who do not judge Albania and the Albanians.

High Albania depicted only one Albanian region. Durham made it clear from the beginning of the book that the conditions there 'are very different from those in South Albania, and it is with the wildest part of High Albania alone that this book deals' (Ibid., 1). Did she offer this explanation simply because she wanted to clarify to the readers the scope and focus of her book, or because she was afraid lest her work would be seen as the 'definitive' picture of all Albania? Whatever her reasons were, it cannot be disputed that in High Albania and other works, Edith Durham introduced Albania and the Albanians to the British readers in a sympathetic light (although at times patronizingly) hardly seen before.

Edith Durham's work belongs to the best tradition of the British travel writing where foreigners are depicted not as the alien and hostile 'other' but as fellow human beings who try hard, at times against all odds, to retain and protect their individual and national identity and integrity. Writers like Edith Durham, D. H. Lawrence, George Orwell and E. M. Forster presented a new picture and perception of overseas peoples and cultures to a largely ignorant and at times misinformed British readership.

She continued her campaign throughout the 1930s and befriended many Albanians driven into exile in London. On "Black Friday" (Good Friday 1939) after hearing that Mussolini's forces had invaded Albania, the outraged 76 year old Edith Durham paraded the London streets wearing a placard with the slogan "Hands off Albania!" She died in November 1944. An obituary containing an emotional tribute written by a leading Albanian politician appeared in the Daily Telegraph:- "Open-minded and generous as she was, she speedily understood Albania's soul ... Fearlessly and without compromise she told the world and its rulers what she had learned... Albanians have never forgotten, and never will forget this Englishwoman. In the Albanian mountains she knew so well, the news of her death will echo from peak to peak, the news of the death of one who was loved there".

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

By Anthony Weir


Albania, anciently known as Illyria, and occupying a large part of the Western Balkans, lost its independence in 169 BC, when Gent, king of the Illyrians, was defeated and captured by the Romans at Shkodra.
But in the two thousand years that their land was ruled by foreigners, Albanians lost neither their identity nor their ancient language - more ancient than Latin, and related both to Greek and Etruscan.
The Albanian state which came into being in 1912 was really the remnants of Shqiperisë (Eagle-Realm in Albanian) that the Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians had by some miracle been unable to lay claim to. It was considered by Western nations to be first a ruritanian, then a totalitarian joke. But Albanian has survived in its truncated form the Italian, Greek and German occupations and incursions of the Second World War - and the rule of its last paranoid war-lord, Enver Hoxha.
Albanians swallowed up by the neighboring countries - especially Greece - were considered rather as the Slavs were considered by the Nazis. Before the First World War, Albanian was spoken as far south as Athens - but a policy of linguistic cleansing more successful than that of Britain or France soon fixed that. Janina, the chief Albanian city under Turkish rule, became the entirely Greek-speaking and Greek-thinking capital of Southern Epirus.
Having seized Southern Epirus, the Greeks (whose national costume is actually Albanian) laid claim, and still lay claim, to "Northern Epirus", which is more or less the southern half of modern Albania.
Given this history, and the collapse both moral and economic of the 'Communist Bloc' after the destruction by East Germans of the notorious Wall in 1990, it is not surprising that Albania has exported a quarter of its population and is in thrall to the insidiously destructive values of American capitalism. Television can in a decade destroy a culture which has survived two thousand years of satrapy, for television has become both God and the manifestation of the sordid culture of capitalism which has choked the planet with its foulness

Çameria geographically is situated on the to-day north-west Greece. This beautiful region, has a rich Albanian her5tage and it was only in the 1912 that it was annexed unfairly and unjustifiably from Greece. This was the aftermath of the decision of the great powers to give Çameria to Greece, just as the great powers had made similar decisions to give Kosova and other Albanian territories to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.
The word Çam is an evolution of the word "t'chiam" which is the name of an ancient river passing right through Çameria (The word T'chamis appears on many ancient Roman and even Hellenic maps, indicating that the word Chameria is older than the word Epirus, and it's used only by Albanians). Another branch of this river remains to be known to this day as the "lumi i kalamait" (Kalamait River - Childrens Rivier). What's most important is that everything about Çameria is Albanian in every sense of the word. The word Çameria has more of a topological meaning, but Çams have a very strong Albanian ethnicity, tradition and customs. Çameria has a very well-defined ethno-geographical meaning, which is strongly Albanian.
A large number of Çam population is situated on the seaside and goes up to the Gulf of Preveza. Another considerable number of towns and villages are situated on both sides of the river of "kalamait". The rest of of the Çam villages and towns are situated in more remote places and often on hills and mountains.
The Greek government has been very hostile toward Çams and the main reason is the fact that Çams have a very strong Albanian identity. Another reason of the Greek hostilities is the fact that Greeks inherited a very hostile policy towards us. During the period of time, from 1854 till 1877 the Albanians of Çameria resisted successfully the attacks from Greek "Andartes". During the WWI and WWII the greek troops attacked Çameria again. The (provisional) government of Vlora (Albania) responded by sending Albanian military troops to assist the Albanian population of Çameria , but the decision of the Ambassadors Conference assigned Çameria to Greece. As a result of this decision by the great powers, Greeks forces led by the hateful figure of N. Zervas launched attackers that ended up with many innocent Albanian locals killed.
To this day, we Çams in greece are described as bad people from an increasing "suffocating" Greek propaganda based on the fact that we refuse to be assimilated as it is the case with some of "Arvanites" in south and central Greece.
The today exact number of Albanians of Çameria in Greece is approx. one million people, taking into the account some relativly newly formed Çam villages and towns elsewhere in Greece..if all the number of Albanians in Çameria is added to the number of Arvanites in other areas of Greece, then the total number of Albanians in Greece is around 3.000.000 people. However only Albanians in Çameria call themselves real Shqiptars (Albanians). Arvanites elsewhere in Greece are under greater assimilating pressure from the Greek government and Anti-Albanian Greek circles.
This section is dedicated to hundreds of thousands of Albanians from the region of Chameria expelled by force, from the Greek forces in 1944 and residing now in the Republic of Albania and in the memory of 850,000 Cham Albanians sent to Turkey during the period between 1913-44.
During the summer of 1944, the neo-nazi forces led by Zervas attacked many villages and towns of Chameria and as a result 9,000 Albanians (including children, women and old folks) were killed indiscriminately. A considerable number of Albanians were expelled and live now in the Republic of Albania. The official number of those Albanian refugees from Chameria is between 150,000 and 300,000.
Today they have formed their own Albanian patriotic and cultural association based in Tirana and which is active right across Albania. Among other they are asking from the Greek government in Athens-Greece, to be repatriated and their lands and other assets be returned to them as well as compensations for the usage of the lands for the past 50 years. Also they are rallying for the opening of Albanian schools to the Albanians living in Chameria.
The policy of expulsion of Cham Albanians from Chameria had started earlier than 1944. Greeks as well as Serbs followed the same pattern in politics with respect to Albanians. Often they had signed documents with the Turkish government for the exchange of Muslims with Christians. During all this not a single Cham Albanian was asked! As a result of such policy around 850,000 Cham Albanians from Chameria were sent to Turkey, where they are settled in the region of Asia minor in Turkey.
Prior to WWI and WWII, the population in Çameria was around 93% Albanian, the rest were other ethnic groups such as Greeks, Vlachs, gypsies, etc.. On the 19th century, 80% of the Albanian population in Çameria was of Muslim Religion (the process of conversion to Islam started in the 18th century) and a 20% Christian Orthodox, however the first world war, found the the Albanian community as made up of 50% muslim and 50% orthodox believers (this shift happened in a matter of 70 years). After the world wars a fraction of the Muslim Populations was expelled by the Greek special forces, leaving intact the mainly orthodox Albanian population (50%) and a small fraction of molsims(13%) who by now mostly converted to orthodoxy to survive. The conversion back and forth from one religion to the other, before the World War I, was common among families!
However both Albanian religious communities were extremely close to each-other before the war and to this day, the Greek government has not managed to assimilate the Albanians of Çameria. The Albanian language is spoken indoors and outdoors as much as on everyday working places, but the Greek government with very little pressure from outside refuses to recognize Albanian minority in Greece and refuses to open schools on Albanian language.
The region is officially known as Epirus by the Greek government, but on the further north western corner of Greece, every single people knows the place as Çameria. Anyone from this region stating that he or she is a Çam, makes a political statement saying that he or she is an Albanian. That's why the Greek government doesn't know officially the region as Çameria. The heartland of Çameria is also called Thesprotia.
My own opinion is that this region has still an Albanian majority (since many people of other ethnic groups have emigrated away, which has compensated somehow for the displacement of some Albanians during WWI and WWII!) and all the Çams expelled unjustifiably from Greece are very welcomed by all the Albanian people here, there is a UN resolution which asks the Greek government to repatriate our brothers and sisters back to their homes, where they belong among the rest of us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bashkim Braho

Choreographer and International Dance Instructor
Awarding ceremony with Albanian ambasodor, Aleksander Sallabanda
Choreographer Bashkim Braho began his dancing career in 1962 as a student at the School of Music and Dance in Tirana, Albania. While at School he was a student of the premier Albanian dance instructor, Gezim Kaceli, who trained in Moscow for five years. Braho danced professionally in the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana for twenty-six years. In 1989 he was recruited as the choreographer for the Folk Ensemble 'Wing of the Eagle'. The Ensemble has had huge success throughout Albania as well as in many other countries. They have successfully performed numerous interpretations of ancient Albanian folklore in Croatia,Turkey, and Spain, where they received a medal of honor from the Spanish Counsel of the Arts for their performance. From 1986 to 1995 he was a professor at the School of Ballet ;in Tirana, Albania. His long artistic career includes successful world tours in sixteen countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.His arrival in Boston in 1995 did not stop his dancing career, on the contrary it marked the foundation of the dance group which under his direction, continues to perform Albanian dances from all regions.
The Gratitude Medal awarded to Bashkim Braho by President of Albania, Alfred Moisiu.
2001 Neighborhood Superstar Award, by the Mass. Governor's Committee.Click on the picture to enlarge, to read the award letter.
Award won in Turkey click on the picture to enlarge.
Awards won.

The Albanian Dance Group Bashkimi

"Bashkimi" Dance group, established in Boston, was created in 1996. After his arrival in Boston from Tirana, Albania, Bashkim Braho, who is the group's choreographer, formed this dance group by bringing together young Albanians from Boston. Thanks to his work and dedication and the will of the dancers, this group has lately reached the level of a real dance troupe. The group practices every Sunday, this way enriching the repertoire of their dances. Aside from the dancers who come from different regions of Albania, many Albanian-Americans and other individuals interested in the Albanian culture have had the opportunity to experience the Albanian dance by being part of the group. The group itself has always been and continues to be very welcoming of anyone interested in its activities. Most of the dancers in this dance group are students who have either finished or are continuing their studies in various universities in Boston. Even though they often find themselves overwhelmed by their academic priorities, they continue to show enthusiasm regarding their role as members of this group.

Thanks to these efforts, the group has had the opportunity to attend in various events in Massachusetts and New York. A few of them are:

The Annual Albanian Festival in Bronx, New York.
The Annual Albanian Flag Day Celebrations in Boston.
The Annual Balkan Festival in Concord, MA.
The New England Folk Festival in Natick, MA.
Albanian American National Organization Basketball Tournament in Waltham, MA.
The Annual Boston International Festival at the Bayside Expo Center.
In the event organized by "Motrat Qiriazi" in New York
The events mentioned above are only a few in which the group has performed. The dances performed by the “Bashkimi” dance group include dances that represent various Albanian regions. Recently the group performed in front of 1500 spectators, at the 15th Albanian Festival in Bronx, New York, where they were very successful and were honored with a prize. The above achievements have been possible due to the hard work, the passion and dedication of the group’s choreographer, Bashkim Braho. These successes a few to add to his long list achieved during his activities in Albania. To read more about Bashkim and his achievements, please visit Choreographer.
"Bashkimi" Dance Group is available for all Albanian events in America and abroad. The dance group has also had the pleasure of attending in weddings and family celebrations.
For more information contact us at webmaster.


17th Albanian Festival NY, 2007

17th Albanian Festival NY, 2007

16th Albanian Festival NY, 2006

Thank You letter from NAAC, 2003

Thank You letter from Roca, 2001
Bilal Xhaferri

The Albanian Kosovo

The time has come for the Serbian hegemonies to face once and for all the plain truth that Kosovo is an Albanian land, inhabited by the Albanians ever since the dawn of European civilization, preceding all other people in Europe, the Greeks, the Romans, the Celts, continually to the present.

We understand the Serbian national sentiment concern in Kosovo which they still call "Stare Serbia" (Old Serbia), but from an historical viewpoint there arises here an important question: Just how old is this "Old Serbia?"

Only in the twelfth century after Christ did the Serbian tribes finally establish a kingdom, (which disappeared as soon as it was created) in Kosovo-in our land, which has had flourishing Albanian (Illyrian) kingdoms and prince polities since long before the 12th century B.C. Comparatively, Old Serbia doesn't seem to be very old.

It is about time that those who are dreaming of "Greater Serbia" understood history. More importantly, they must understand the realities. Their assimilations policies have failed in Kosovo, and the days of Serbian colonial rule are over in our land. We Albanians don't make good slaves.

Ethnically, we Albanians in Kosovo are not Yugoslavs and don't belong to the Yugoslav Federation. We are not a Slavic people to begin with. The issue of our national identity is so clear, so obvious that it would be sheer idiocy to consider us a nationality in Kosovo, for we are Nation -.we are part of the Albanian Nation. Our land is a natural extension of Albania and our history is part of the history of the Albanian people. There is no force on earth that can separate us from Albania.

Sometimes, it seems, we tend to mention least the things we mean the most. But the Kosovo Spring uprising forcibly brought it into the open for the world to see what the Albanian people mean the most in Kosovo.

Our ultimate goal in Kosovo is the unification of the province with the Albanian fatherland. There are no tricks played here, and we shouldn't go beating around the bush but say it straight, in plan language. By seeking an elevation in autonomous province's present status to that of an independent republic within the Yugoslav federation, we are not trying to outsmart Belgrade but only want to make the transition period of the unification as smooth and peaceful as possible.

This is the work of a whole nation, not only of "the Albanian Nationalists", "the Albanian separatists", and "the Albanian irredentists". But the Yugoslav leaders don't want to understand it. They don't want to understand the Albanian national rights, the Albanian national sentiment the history of the Albania people and the destiny of the Albanian nation. By trying to keep Kosovo chained by force to their communist empire, they are undermining the very principles the claim the Yugoslav state was founded on-as a federal republic made up with voluntary United Nations-the principles of democracy, national equal rights, freedom, and brotherhood.
Edgar Allan Poe


For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not-and very surely do I not dream. But tomorrow I die, and today I would unburden my soul.
My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences these events-have terrified-have tortured-have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but horror too many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the com place-some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive in the circus stances I detail with are, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond animals and was indulged by my parent with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, al never was as happy as when feeding an caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and, in my manhood, I derived from' one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cheered affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explainer the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in-the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship arid gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no I opportunity cit procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had bird’s gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat.
This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious', upon this point-and I mention the matter at all for', no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered.
Pluto-this was the cat's name-was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me-wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.
Our friendship lasted in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character-through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance-had I blush to confess it experienced a radical alteration for the worse I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless" of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use i intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, 1 were made to feel the change in my disposition. Ii not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however I still retained sufficient regard to restrain: me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when, by accident, or through affection, the came in my way. But my disease grew upon me-for what disease is like Alcohol!-and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old and consequently somewhat peevish-even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.
One night, returning home, much intoxicated from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame.-j took from my waistcoat-pocket a penknife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.
When reason returned wilt -the morning-when I had slept off the fumes of the night's debauch, I experienced a sentiment half of horror haft of 'remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; built was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, ;'and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.
In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket at the lost eye presented, it is true, and a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any "pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme throat my approach; hack so much of hyoid heart left, as to be first grieved by this evident dislike on the part, of a creature 'which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, tars if to my final and irrevocable overthrow the spirit or PERVEKSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not surer that my soul lives: than I am that perverseness is one of, the, primitive impulses at the human heart-one to the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a stupid action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual in culmination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we under tend it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this un fathomable longing of the soul to vex itself – to offer violence to its own nature-to do wrong for the wrong's sake only-that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unfurling brute. One morning, in cold blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;-hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;-hung it because I knew that it had loved me and because I feet it had given me no reason of offence;-hung it because I knew that in so doing I as committing a sin-a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it-if such a thing were possible-even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
On the night of the day on which this most cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames, the whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detail ling a chain of facts -and wish-not to leave even-a possible link imperfect. On the day, succeeding the fire, 1 visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not-very thick, which stood afoul the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the actor; of the fire-a fact vanish I at tribute to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd was collected, and man persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. The words strange, singular and other similar expressions excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas-relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with accuracy truly marvelous. There was a rope about the animal's neck.
When I first beheld this apparition-for I could scarcely regard it as less-my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to maid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in I garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd-by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames;-and the ammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.
Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, to beer came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appeasable, with which to supply its place.
One night as I sat, half stupefied, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of gin, or of rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not .sooner perceived the object thereupon, I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat-a very large one -fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body: but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast.
Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it-knew: to thing of it -had never seen it before.
I continued my caresses; and where I prepared to go home, the animals evinced a dissection to accompany me. I permitted-it to do so, occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated it to do so once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wire.
For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse or what I had anticipated; but-I know not how or why it was-its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed me. By slow degrees these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former: deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it.
I did not, for some weeks, strike, or other violently ill use it; but gradually-very gradually.
I came to look upon/it with unutterable loathing and to flee silently from its odious presence, from the breath of a pestilence. What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the be, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought home, that, like Pluto-it also had been deprived one of its eyes. This circumstance however, Or endeared it to my wife who, as I have already saps eased, in a high degree, that humanity of feel which had once belie my distinguishing the Source of many of my simplest and pun pleasures."
With my aversion to this cat, however it’s, partial for myself seemed to increase. It followed my for steps with a pertinacity which it would be deficit to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring up my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet al thus nearly throw me-crown, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, camber, in this manner to my breast. At such times although I longed destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly-let me confess it at once-by absolute dread of the beast.
This dread was not exactly a dread of physic evil I and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise I define it. I am almost ashamed to own-yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own -that the terror and. horror with which the amino inspired me, had been heightened by on of the merest chimeras it would be-possible to conceive My wife had called my attention, more than once, t the character of the nark of white hair, of which have spoken, and which constituted the sock visible difference between -the strange beast anyone had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by sow degrees-degrees near! imperceptible, and which for a long time my read so struggled to reject as fanciful-it had, at length assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It way now the representation of an object that I shudder to name -and for this, above all, I loathed, any dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared-it was now, I say, the image of hideous-of a ghastly thing-of the GALLOWS!-oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of rime-of Agony and of Death!
And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast-whose fellow I had contentiously destroyed-a brute beast to work out for me-for me, a man fashioned in the image of the High God-so much of 'sufferable woe! Alas! Neither by day nor by night new I the blessing of rest any more! During the former the creature left me no 'loments alone, and the latter I started hourly from dreams of un terrible fear to find the hot breath of the thing pond my face, and its vast weight-an incarnate nightmare that I had no power to shake off-in unbent eternally upon my heart!
Beneath the pressure of torments such as these the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates-the darkest most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatched of all things and of- all mankind; while from the sudden, frequent, and
ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas, was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.
One day she accompanied me, upon some house mold errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing I headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting in my wrath the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, maimed a blow at the animal, which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended, wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand it my wife. Goaded by the interference into a rage, re than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot without a groan.
This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar, Again, I deliberated about ca.s1iog it in the well in the yard -about packing it in a box, as if merchandise, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these I determined to wall it up in the cellar, as the monks of the Middle Ages are recorded to have walled up their victims.
For a purpose such as this the cellar was well: adapted. Its walls were loosely construe teed, and had lately been plastered throughout with c rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from havening. Moreover, in ailed of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up and If lade to resemble the rest of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect any thing suspicious.
And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crowbar I easily dislodged the bricks, and" having carefully deposiieafl1eooayaj: faiths the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while with lit e trouble re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this very carefully went over the new brick-work, When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor Wills picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself: "Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain."
My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death, Had I been able to meet with it at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forbore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe or to imagine the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night; and thus for one night, at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul.
The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises for ever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted-but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured.
Upon the fourth day of the association, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to mike rigorous in visitation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place or concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me ac. company them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time -they descended into-the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence walked, the ceil a from end to end. I faded my arms upon bison, arrogated easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained, burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to reorder doubly sure their assurance of my gutlessness,
"Gentlemen," I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, "I delight do have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this-this is a very welcome strutted house," (in the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at ail-"I may saran excellently well constructed house.
This walls-are you going, gentlemen these wall are solidly put together; and here, through the mere frenzy of bravado, I rapped heavy with a cane which I held in my hand; upon that very portion of the brickwork behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom.
But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was wired by a voice from within the tomb- by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a, held, anew then quickly swelling into one long, loud, anew continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman -a howl-a wailing shriek, half of horror and hall of triumph, such as might have arisen only out oi hell, conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation.
Of my own thought’ it is folly to speak. Swooning I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party on the stairs remained motionless through extremity of terror and awe. In the next a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already great decayed and cotter with stood erect before the eyes or the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder and whose in forming voice had consigned me to the hangman had walled the monster up within the tomb.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


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Albania: Cam Representatives Say Euro MPs To Help Seek Solution of Cam Issue
Report by Denion Ndrenika: "Euro MPs: Greek Citizenship for Cams"
Originally published on 10/29/2006 by Shekulli in Albanian
Representatives of the Cams, ethnic Albanians expelled from Greece at the end of World War II, said in Tirana yesterday that they had obtained from Euro MPs a promise to work for the solution of their problems along two important lines.

Muhedin Tahiri, head of the Party for Justice and Integration [PDI], said that free travel to the ethnic Albanian region of Cameria [in Greece] and the restoration to its former inhabitants of Greek citizenship, of which they were divested in 1953, were two of the issues the Euro MPs said they would work for.

Along with PDI Secretary General Amos Dojaka and other PDI officials, Tahiri presented yesterday [ 28 October] the results of their mid-week visit to the European Parliament and answered questions from a Shekulli correspondent about two issues: first, the restoration of Greek citizenship to the Cams, and second, the assessment of whether the 1996 Treaty of Friendship with Greece contributes to the solution of the Cam issue.

Tahiri explained that the restoration of Greek citizenship was of great importance for the Cams and that [Jorgo] Chatzimarkakis, a German Euro MP of Greek extraction, had committed himself to resolving this problem, that is, to take up this issue with the Greek Government in order to see whether something could be done for the restoration of the Cams' former Greek citizenship, a right of which they were collectively deprived by Greece in 1947 and by the People's Assembly of Albania in 1953 (with the result that about 70% of the Cam refugees have a "common" birthday -- 1 January of that year).

Tahiri said that the 1996 Treaty of Friendship with Greece has never functioned, as it offered no scope for the restoration of the Cams' property in Greece.
He stressed that this [meeting with Euro MPs] was "the first important step on the difficult road to the implementation of the behests of our forefathers."

The PDI leader said: "we presented no title deeds on our olive groves or other property [in Cameria] to the European Parliament, but asked it to work for a political solution to our problems."

In addition, Tahiri underlined that "this was the first time in Albanian political history that a delegation of an Albanian party had succeeded in putting to the European Parliament the 62-years-long concern over the unresolved problem of the Cam population," and that "it was the first time representatives of the European Parliament had heard the voice of the Cam people and listened directly to their requests as expressed by a party that has as part of its program the democratic resolution of the Cam question."

The restoration of Greek citizenship by the Assembly of Albania would force Greece to allow the ethnic Albanians expelled from Greece to return to their land regardless of the illegal rulings by [Greek] courts on the length of residence outside the country (Greece) (that is, exile), whereby after 30 years property rights are supposedly lost.

There are at least eight reports by international -- not Albanian -- lawyers or students dealing with the Cam issue. They figure among the documents contained in the file handed to the Euro MPs. The reports come from, among others, such students [of the issue] as Miranda Vickers, Tom J. Winnifrith, and James Pettifer of the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. The file contains "political analyses by international experts, historical studies, and proposals for the solution of this forgotten problem," Tahiri said.

He described as "very important" the promise given at the 13th meeting of the EU Parliament and Albanian delegations (25-26 October) for a prospective hearing with the participation of the two sides -- Cams and Greeks -- as well as the possibility of the adoption of a resolution on the Cam issue.

He also said that, this year, his party would expand its activities, including historical and juridical studies. There were two experts -- a lawyer and a historian -- who would work in this direction. They would examine the historic and legal problems in detail in order to facilitate the solution of the problem, which, following Tahiri's meetings with Euro MPs, was still "at the letter A, before the other 35 letters of the Albanian alphabet."

"We have obtained from Euro MPs the promise that they will work for the solution of the Cam question, as well as for the examination of its history. The European Parliament will henceforth keep the very serious Cam question under its consideration," Tahiri said.

The eviction of the Cams from the ethnic Albanian region of Cameria is known to the United Nations, which, through UNRRA [United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration] (the predecessor of the current Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR), gave the Tirana government $26 million in August 1948 in aid for refugees coming from Greece. Cameria, with its four districts -- Ioannina, Thesprotia, Arta (former center of the Greek troops who occupied the region in 1986 [as published; should be 1886], and Preveza -- was given to Greece provisionally by the 1913 London Conference of Ambassadors, and then definitively by the 1923 Lausanne Conference.

Tirana Shekulli in Albanian -- major independent daily

XigniteWorldNews delivers daily access to hundreds of international news articles from dozens of high-quality non. Articles are translated to English from full text and summaries of newspaper articles, conference proceedings, television and radio broadcasts, periodicals, and non-classified technical reports.

The European Union must request Greece to recognize the genocide that has taken place against the Cams, ethnic Albanians living in Greece. This request was addressed by the Party for Justice and Integration [PDI] to EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. PDI Secretary General Amos Dojaka told a Shekulli correspondent yesterday that the letter was filed by Rehn's office, and now they are waiting for a response, all the more so as Olli Rehn was informed of the Cam issue and confirmed its existence. Dojaka said that "we believe that there can be no durable peace without justice" and that "just as Turkey has been requested to recognize the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians for it to make progress toward its EU membership, the same must also be done with Greece." "Reminding Mr. Rehn that just as the PDI backs EU initiatives requesting Ankara to recognize the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians in 1915-1918 as a precondition for its access to the EU, it holds that Athens too must be requested to recognize the genocide perpetrated by the Greeeks against the innocent and defenseless Cam population in the years 1944-1945," the letter addressed to EU Commissioner Rehn said.
"The genocide against the Cams, ethnic Albanians living in Greece, started as early as 1876, as Greek troops occupied Arta, the main city of the ethnic Albanian region of Cameria. The PDI refers to what it calls a 'strategy' for the elimination of the Cam population in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, in 1915-1918, exactly at the same time as the genocide of the Armenians, which was recognized by the France's National Assembly in the 1990s, was being perpetrated. Informing the European Commission that the strategy for the elimination of the Cam population started in the same years as those of the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians and that the painful events the Cams had to go through and their dimension coincide with the European Commission's definition of genocide, the PDI asks for a rational response on the part of the Commission," the letter continued.

The PDI also recalls what happened in the years 1944-1945 which was the last stage of the Greek genocide against the Cam population, a crime which, on 30 June 1944, the Assembly of Albania formally decided to commemorate as the Day of Greek Genocide, which reached its culmination point with the Paramithia massacres of 27 June 1944 (see Presidential Decree, No. 885, dated 12.07.1994).

Dojaka explained that this request was based on international law and the rights of peoples that have been victims of genocide.

At the request of Hilary Clinton, in September 2002 a hearing session took place at the US Helsinki Commission in the presence of the representative of the Greek Helsinki Committee, Panayiotis Dhimitras who was questioned by Counselor Chadwick Gore about the Cam issue.
According to Dojaka, the PDI addresses its request to the European Commission in order to make Greece recognize the genocide as a sign of respect for the victims of chauvinist violence and for the restoration of justice. The PDI says that it believes that the European Commission entertains no political preconceptions about nationalities, religions, or states, but that, on the contrary, it acts in respect of the universal principles of justice. So, according to Dojaka, "the PDI is waiting for a response from the Albanian and Greek governments, and the European Commission in the spirit of respect for the fundamental human rights of the Cam population."

Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 18:30 GMT
Albania protest halts Greek visit The Çamis say they were badly treated by Greece Greek President Karolos Papoulias has cut short a visit to neighbor Albania, after a minority group's protest which Athens described as disruptive.

Up to 200 demonstrators from the Albanian Muslim Çamis clan gathered outside a hotel where Mr. Papoulias was due to meet counterpart Alfred Moisiu.

The Greek foreign ministry said Albania had not taken steps to ensure a trouble-free meeting.
Albania said the protest was peaceful and Greece's decision unjustified.
"We express our deep regret after this hasty and unexplained decision of the Greek delegation, based on misinformation despite assurances given by the Albanian side," said presidential spokesman Aferdita Sokoli.

'Unacceptable issues'

The two presidents were due to meet in the southern Albanian town of Sarande, opposite the Greek island of Corfu, on Tuesday afternoon.
We want basic rights; we want to be back at our land
Rexhep Ceno, demonstrator

But Mr Papoulias waited at a Greek consulate in another town, Gjirokaster, after hearing about the protest, and left for home when demonstrators failed to disperse.

"The Albanian authorities... did not take measures to deter known extreme elements, who in their effort to block the smooth development of the countries' ties present unacceptable, non-existent issues at a time when Albania is taking steps towards completing its European expectations," a Greek foreign ministry statement said.

Around 35,000 Çamis were expelled from Greece after World War II after being accused of collaboration with the Nazi occupation, they say. They were given Albanian citizenship in 1953.
The demonstrators, carrying banners reading "We want justice" and "Stop the indifference", were demanding compensation for or restitution of properties confiscated by the Greek government.

"We want basic rights. That is our land, our property. We thank the Albanian people for keeping us until now but we want to be back at our land," demonstrator Rexhep Ceno told AP news agency.

Albanian officials and local media said the demonstration was peaceful and under police control. Radio Free Europe,

Çamis Still Pressing For Return of Greek Citizenship, Property
Over the past few years, relations between Albania and neighboring Greece have shown marked improvement. But the two countries are still officially driven by the World War II-era Law of War imposed by Athens after Albania allowed Italian soldiers to transit its territory en route to Greece. The law today is largely a formality and has not prevented the two countries from signing a friendship and cooperation treaty and enjoying healthy trade relations. But until Athens agrees to dissolve the war law, it will continue to control the land and property of some 30,000 mostly Muslim Albanians who were forcibly deported from the province of Çamëria in 1944-45. RFE/RL correspondents Alban Bala and Ulpiana Lama report from Tirana and Prague.

Tirana; Prague, 19 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Qani Biraci, a 65-year-old musician living in the Albanian capital Tirana, was just 7-years-old when he and his parents -- along with some 30,000 mostly Muslim Albanians -- were forcibly expelled from the province of Çamëria in Greece.

The expulsion followed Greece's declaration of a Law of War in 1940, after Athens accused Tirana of allowing Italian forces to cross through Albania to Greece. The war law had a brutal impact on the ethnic Albanians of Çamëria, or Çamis -- with Greek army and paramilitary troops forcibly emptying towns in a sweep of violence that left many residents dead and mutilated. Biraci still remembers vividly his own experience nearly 60 years ago:

"When I was seven, I left the town of Filat together with my parents. Passing through [one neighborhood], where the biggest slaughter took place, I witnessed a tragedy, severed heads, pregnant women whose unborn children were cut out of their body and crushed on the ground -- such monstrous crimes. I remember the cleavers, the long carving knives that they used to sharpen in front of us."

Biraci now heads the Political Association of Çamëria, based in Tirana. The group's aim is to help forcibly expelled Albanians to regain Greek citizenship and reclaim some 200,000 hectares of land and property held by Athens since the expulsions. Biraci's group says the value of the sequestered property in Çamëria -- also known by its Greek name of Thesprotia -- amounts to $2.8 billion.

Albania has repeatedly sought to resolve the Çamis issue by pressing Greece to lift the war law. Recently, Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano addressed the Çamëria question during a meeting with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos.

Greece, however, has consistently dismissed the Çamis question. Following a Çamis rally in Tirana last year, a Greek Foreign Ministry official said: "There is no Çamis issue, and certain parties want to contribute to the destabilization of the region by raising such nonexistent issues. Such matters have been dealt with by history."

Furthermore, a law on the registration of assets passed in 1998 has left Çamis with no legal way to reclaim seized property other than through a lengthy and expensive court procedure.
But Albanian authorities refuse to let the matter rest. Republican parliamentary Deputy Sabri Godo is the country's most outspoken politician on the Çamis issue. He says the issue is sufficiently important to take to an international court should the two countries fail to resolve it on a bilateral level:

"I am of the opinion that the Albanian government, the Albanian parliament, should insist on opening discussions in the proper time and manner. We are not conditioning Greece for further development of relations. If the Greeks are going to categorically refuse to confront this very real problem, then the assistance of a third party might be required."

Martin Vulaj is a member of the National Albanian American Council in New York, which is lobbying to bring the Çamis question before the U.S. Congress. Vulaj says he hopes to move the Çamis issue out of the purely political realm and treat it as more of a human rights issue. He says the U.S. may prove a valuable partner in Albania's struggle to see rights and property restored to displace Çamis:

"I think that the U.S. Congress can help in a lot of ways. Greece is a U.S. ally -- they're both NATO members, so they have strong relations. And Albania has quickly emerged as a stronger ally for the U.S. in the Balkans as well. And U.S. credibility in both nations and America's status as an honest intermediary can facilitate the discussions and encourage resolutions of not only the [Çamis] matter but other issues as well, and can foster an environment where proper relationships can be formed."

Some say unyielding attitudes in Greece may be tied to concern that the restoration of property in the northern Çamëria province may pave the way for a reconfiguration of the Greek-Albanian border. But Mentor Nazarko, a spokesman for former Albanian President Rexhep Meidani, dismisses such speculation:

"In asking for the return of or compensation for their land and property, Albanians are in no way asking for a redefinition of the border, absolutely not. The Greeks might be interested in presenting this way in order to cast Albanians in a negative light, but in fact Albanians' only claim is on the question of property rights."

Biraci of the Çamis political association in Tirana agrees, saying: "All we are asking for is the return of our land, the recognition of our legal property rights."
2 Maj 2006

Et Albanian Daily News No. 3033 2006 October 28-29

Albanian Parliament to Lobby in Favor of Cham Community's Requests "The Cham issue has never been and will never be archived, but it will be resolved in the framework of the international conventions as well as based on the experiences regarding such matters," said Zogaj.

TIRANA - After the deliberations of the European Parliament, which discussed on Thursday the Cham issue forwarded to the Euro-deputies by the head of the Party of Justice and Integration, Tahir Muhedini, the head of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs, Preç Zogaj reacted on Friday, saying that official Tirana will be the advocate of the Cham question in Strasbourg. "The Cham issue has never been and will never be archived, but it will be resolved. This issue is not only a bilateral matter between Albania and Greece and it is going to be resolved in the framework of the international conventions as well as based on the experiences regarding such matters. The Albanian state has constantly tried to keep this case opened, respecting the relations with Greece and it has requested, in the context of the friendship that exists between our two countries, the resolving of the problem property and movement of Chams," said Zogaj.

Further on he said that "the Cham community has found the proper solution by directly addressing the European institutions. This is an issue that can be solved with their collaboration because Greece, being a member of the European Union, has some obligations that derive from the membership."

According to Zogaj, the resolving of the Cham issue will strengthen the existing relation between Greece and Albania. The 13th round of the talks held in Strasbourg by the European Parliament with the Albanian parliamentary delegation ended on Thursday with the Cham question being high on the agenda of the proceedings.

When it was discussed the item on minorities, the demand of the Greek Cypriot deputy, Demetriu Panajotis, for the respect of the Greek minority in Albania faced the reaction of all the Albanian deputies who said that whereas the situation of the human rights of the Greek minority is good, Greece continues to not recognize the rights of the Cham population who were forcefully expelled from their lands in Greece during the Second World War.

The chairman of the Socialist Movement for Integration, Ilir Meta, a former Premier, said that generally the Greek minority has the same problems like all the Albanian citizens, which have mainly social and economic character but Greece should resolve the question of the Cham community.

He was backed by the other Albanian lawmakers like Majlinda Bregu of the Democratic Party, Arian Madhi of the Republican Party etc. In her comment, Doris Pack, head of the delegation of the European Parliament for South East Europe, said Greece should allow the representatives of this community to visit their fatherland. "This is a great human problem," she said, adding that the Cham community should visit and put flowers on the graves of their predecessors. The file of Chams has already arrived in Europe and calls for a democratic solution, she concluded.
After Pack's comment, Demetriu Panajotis said Greece as an EU country should absolutely find a solution to this problem and respect the human rights and values. A four-member delegation of the Party for Democracy and Integration, which represents the interests of the Cham community, was in Strasbourg where they had meetings with EP deputies raising the awareness of them on that question.
Edgar Allan Poe

American poet, critic, short story writer, and author of such macabre works as “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1840);

I looked upon the scene before me - upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain - upon the bleak walls - upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees - with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium - the bitter lapse into everyday life - the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart - an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it - I paused to think - what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?
Contributing greatly to the genres of horror and science fiction, Poe is now considered the father of the modern detective story and highly lauded as a poet. Walt Whitman, in his essay titled “Edgar Poe’s Significance” wrote;
Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page. … There is an indescribable magnetism about the poet’s life and reminiscences, as well as the poems.
Poe’s psychologically thrilling tales examining the depths of the human psyche earned him much fame during his lifetime and after his death. His own life was marred by tragedy at an early age (his parents died before he was three years old) and in his oft-quoted works we can see his darkly passionate sensibilities—a tormented and sometimes neurotic obsession with death and violence and overall appreciation for the beautiful yet tragic mysteries of life. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.—“Elonora”. Poe’s literary criticisms of poetry and the art of short story writing include “The Poetic Principal” and “The Philosophy of Composition”. There have been numerous collections of his works published and many of them have been inspiration for popular television and film adaptations including “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Black Cat”, and “The Raven”. He has been the subject of numerous biographers and has significantly influenced many other authors even into the 21st Century.
Edgar Poe was born on 19 January 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of actors Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins (1787-1811) and David Poe (1784-1810). He had a brother named William Henry (1807-1831) and sister Rosalie (1811-1874). After the death of his parents Edgar was taken in by Frances (d.1829) and John Allan (d.1834), a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Virginia.
Young Edgar traveled with the Allans to England in 1815 and attended school in Chelsea. In 1820 he was back in Richmond where he attended the University of Virginia and studied Latin and poetry and also loved to swim and act. While in school he became estranged from his foster father after accumulating gambling debts. Unable to pay them or support himself, Poe left school and enlisted in the United States Army where he served for two years. He had been writing poetry for some time and in 1827 “Dreams”—Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! first appeared in the Baltimore North American, the same year his first book Tamerlane and Other Poems was published, at his own expense.
When Poe’s foster mother died in 1829 her deathbed wish was honoured by Edgar and stepfather John reconciling, though it was brief. Poe enlisted in the West Point Military Academy but was dismissed a year later. In 1829 his second book Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems was published. The same year Poems (1831) was published Poe moved to Baltimore to live with his aunt Maria Clemm, mother of Virginia Eliza Clemm (1822-1847) who would become his wife at the age of thirteen. His brother Henry was also living in the Clemm household but he died of tuberculosis soon after Edgar moved in. In 1833, the Baltimore Saturday Visiter published some of his poems and he won a contest in it for his story “MS found in a Bottle”. In 1835 he became editor and contributor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Though not without his detractors and troubles with employers, it was the start of his career as respected critic and essayist. Other publications which he contributed to were Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (1839–1840), Graham’s Magazine (1841–1842), Evening Mirror, and Godey’s Lady’s Book.
After Virginia and Edgar married in Richmond in 1836 they moved to New York City. Poe’s only completed novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was published in 1838. The story starts as an adventure for a young Nantucket stowaway on a whaling ship but soon turns into a chilling tale of mutiny, murder, and cannibalism.
It is with extreme reluctance that I dwell upon the appalling scene which ensued; a scene which, with its minutest details, no after events have been able to efface in the slightest degree from my memory, and whose stern recollection will embitter every future moment of my existence.—Ch. 12
Poe’s contributions to magazines were published as a collection in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840) which included “The Duc de L'Omelette”, “Bon-Bon” and “King Pest”. What some consider to be the first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” was published in 1841;
Now, brought to this conclusion in so unequivocal a manner as we are, it is not our part, as reasoners, to reject it on account of apparent impossibilities. It is only left for us to prove that these apparent ‘impossibilities’ are, in reality, not such.
Poe’s collection of poetry The Raven and Other Poems (1845) which gained him attention at home and abroad includes the wildly successful “The Raven” and “Eulalie” and “To Helen”;
Lo, in yon brilliant window-nicheHow statue-like I see thee stand,The agate lamp within thy hand,Ah! Psyche, from the regions whichAre Holy Land!
Poe continued to write poetry, critical essays and short stories including “Ulalume”, “Eureka” and “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846);
It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.
Now living in their last place of residence, a cottage in the Fordham section of the Bronx in New York City, Virginia died in 1847. Poe turned to alcohol more frequently and was purportedly displaying increasingly erratic behavior. A year later he became engaged to his teenage sweetheart from Richmond, Elmira Royster. In 1849 he embarked on a tour of poetry readings and lecturing, hoping to raise funds so he could start his magazine The Stylus.
There are conflicting accounts surrounding the last days of Edgar Allan Poe and the cause of his death. Some say he died from alcoholism, some claim he was murdered, and various diseases have also been attributed. Most say he was found unconscious in the street and admitted to the Washington College Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He died soon after, on 7 October 1849, and was buried unceremoniously in an unmarked grave in the Old Westminster Burying Ground of Baltimore. On this original site now stands a stone with a carving of a raven and the inscription;
Quoth the Raven, Nevermore
Original Burial Place of Edgar Allan PoeFromOctober 9, 1849UntilNovember 17, 1875
Mrs. Marian Clemm, His Mother-In-LawLies Upon His Right And Virginia PoeHis Wife, Upon His Left. Under TheMonument Erected To Him In ThisCemetery
In a dedication ceremony in 1875, Poe’s remains were reinterred with his aunt Maria Clemm’s in the Poe Memorial Grave which stands in the cemetery’s corner at Fayette and Greene Streets. A bas-relief bust of Poe adorns the marble and granite monument which is simply inscribed with the birth and death dates of Poe (although his birthdate is wrong), Maria, and Virginia who, in 1885, was reinterred with her husband and mother. Letters from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Lord Alfred Tennyson were read, and Walt Whitman attended. The mysterious Poe Toaster visits Poe’s grave on his birthdays and leaves a partially filled bottle of cognac and three roses.
All that we see or seemIs but a dream within a dream.—A Dream within a Dream
Biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
The above biography is copyrighted. Do not republish it without permission.
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Recent Forum Posts on Edgar Allan Poe
Three Tales ... which never quite emerged
Since the 1960's I have loved Poe (first memory being that of the Roger Corman/Vincent Price version of Pit and the Pendulum which I saw in 1967 and found truly frightening). Of course I discovered his poetry, satire and so on in later years and came to appreciate him more than an author of morbid tales. :D In 1995 I had an idea to compose a series of three pieces for Cello and Orchestra, each descriptive of one of Poe's stories. One of my friends was Principal Cellist of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg and told me that, if I could get the work written and send him a score, they might get a performance. I entitled the work Three Tales after Poe for Cello and Orchestra and selected (1) The Cask of Amontillado, (2) The Descent into the Maelstrom, and (3) The Masque of the Red Death. Composition did not go well and during the Summer of that year decided to work "from the back inwards," so to speak so I began working on The Masque of the Red Death, and made a great deal of progress. I was going to turn my attention to the other parts of the work and told my friend in Germany that it would likely be finished in 1996 so it might be premeired in 1997 at the latest, but at this point my Mother took ill with heart disease and passed away (mid-September 1995). And for some strange reason, inspiration simply vanished. Within 3 years I'd lost all the desire to write music. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever try again. I wonder. ...
Posted By Isa at Tue 20 Nov 2007, 10:24 PM in Poe, Edgar Allan 0 Replies
To I heed not that my earthly lot Hath little of Earth in it, That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute: I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer-by Just reading through a collection of Poe's work that I have, when I happend upon this poem, and there is something about it which I quite like That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute: I think these lines are amazing and speak such volumes of truth. I think this poem is very deep for such a short work. His writing is always so rich and soulful.
Posted By Dark Muse at Fri 9 Nov 2007, 2:43 AM in Poe, Edgar Allan 1 Reply
Fall from the House of Usher Question
Was the Usher bloodline, inbred? "I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch ; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain."
Posted By Diavolo at Fri 2 Nov 2007, 2:12 PM in Poe, Edgar Allan 1 Reply
Poe symbology
I need to write an essay about powerful word, image, or symbol that is common among Poe's works. Im thinking about choosing darkness as a symbol. Anyone have any other suggestions, or good examples of Darkness in Poes works. Another thing is how do you think the meaning of that work would change if darkness were to be substituted with another symbol?
Posted By bennyboy391 at Thu 1 Nov 2007, 10:40 PM in Poe, Edgar Allan 0 Replies
A couple of Poe questions.....
Hey everyone. This is a great little site. I just stumbled upon it a few days ago. It's a FANTASTIC was for me to catch up on the literature that I have never read for one reason or another. I'm VERY new to reading literature so I'm an ultra "newb" when it comes to who said what, who writes what genre, etc. My first question is, are Poe's works in the public domain now? The second one is, what writers compare to Poe, in terms of his macabre and dark style? Are there any literary writers that delve into even darker and more sinister stories? Thanks for the help in advance guys and gals! :idea:
Posted By Diavolo at Thu 1 Nov 2007, 10:32 AM in Poe, Edgar Allan 10 Replies
Edgar Allen Poe "The Raven"
i would like to discuss what these two stanzas of Edgar Allen Poes' the raven mean to everyone else and why, also why do you think he structured them in the order and phrasing he did, so that it seems that he is sure its nothing, but that he calls out to someone? And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; so that now, to still the beating of my heart, i stood repeating "tis some vistitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-- some late cisitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-- this is it- and nothing more" presently my heart grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, sir said I or madam, truely your forgiveness i miplore; but the fact is i was napping and so gently you came rapping, so fainly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, that i scarce was sure i heard you"--here i opened wide the door; darkness there and nothing more
Posted By stephofthenight at Tue 30 Oct 2007, 11:29 AM in Poe, Edgar Allan 1 Reply
Techincal Problems
Hi, I'm trying to interpret The raven by Edgar Allan Poe. I counted 18 Stanzas with each six lines and I was wandering if this is a special type of poem? (You know, like a sonnet has 3 quatrains and a couplet!?) Ben.
Posted By Benyameen at Wed 17 Oct 2007, 12:08 PM in Poe, Edgar Allan 2 Replies
Poe and women
Hey everybody, I'm writing a biographical term-paper on Poe and his relationship to women, especially his wife and his mother. I want to analyze this relationship by thoroughly looking at some clues he provides in the poems The Raven and Anabel Lee. I think there are quite a few lines that deal with this subject in particular. However, I'm looking for advice! I haven't started yet, so anything would be helpful (secondary literature, essays, comments, anything that deals with this subject). What do YOU consider the best Poe biography? Any recommendations? Please help me, I'd like to get your opinion!! Ben.
Posted By Benyameen at Mon 15 Oct 2007, 4:33 AM in Poe, Edgar Allan 3 Replies
edgar poe
I have to present an arugument for or against the claim that poe was a scientist and a mathmatician
Posted By classroom5 at Tue 2 Oct 2007, 10:43 PM in Poe, Edgar Allan 1 Reply
Stag image from a Poe work
I am trying to find a story or poem I read some time ago (hehehe...that would be about 40 years ago...) that I found in a collection of works by Poe, but I cannot remember the title. The work had, as a central image, a stag in a forest. It was extremely well-described, as one expects from the master, and was one of his early works. I remember it as a prose poem, but can't remember anything else. I'd love to find it. Can you help?
Posted By Hagridore at Tue 28 Aug 2007, 10:20 AM in Poe, Edgar Allan 1 Reply