Thursday, February 19, 2009

By Shefki Hysa

"Krastakraus"- Love and resistance
Note about the novel "Krastakraus"
of the writer Bilal Xhaferri

Bilal Xhaferri (November 2nd, 1935- October 14th, 1986) was a poet, narrator and a distinguished dissident publicist. Author of many unpublished works: "Krastakraus"- his masterpiece. This would be the exact definition for Bilal Xhaferri, the writer of the Albanian ethnicity, as some scholars have defined him.

He was born in Ninat of Konispoli's region, in the district of Saranda, in a patriotic family that belongs to the tribe of the distinguished encyclopedic polymath Hasan Tahsini, the first rector of Istanbul University.

In 1945, the communists shot his father, Xhaferr Ferik Hoxha, because of his nationalist anti-communist convictions. Bilal remained fatherless, the only boy, brother of three sisters. Later his life would be a fatality. Like a Sisyphus, the heavy stone of the "the bad" biography would weigh over his shoulder. He hardly finished a school for a geometer technician and his life began to run along the difficult yards of the "bridge- road" enterprise, building and asphalting new streets and in pursuit of the alleys of the literary creativity.

In 1966 he published the volume with narrations "New people, ancient land", that fulminated in the reader's minds as the bolt from the blue. The extraordinary talent, Bilal Xhaferri was bringing a new romantic-realistic spirit in the Albanian literature, which aimed the rising of the faded feelings of the people, indoctrinated from communism. Against the "new man", the bastard that the communist dictatorship was trying to create, Bilal, with his composition appealed to the Albanians to turn the eyes to the antiquity, to their predecessors, the gentle, freedom-loving and combative forefathers, holders of these home lands. His poetic volume "The red clearing" was published in 1967, but it couldn't move along. With an order of the communist censure, it was converted in cardboard dough. In those few copies that were preserved, stolen from Bilali's well-wishers, caught the eye the silent dissidence of this inexorable author, proud of his Pelasgus- Illyricum blood.

In August 24th, 1969 Bilal Xhaferri was constrained to escape in Greece and from there he emigrated in U.S.A, in Chicago where he published, for more than ten years, the anti-communist magazine "The Eagle's Wing", a bilingual Albanian-English magazine.
He died in unknown circumstances, languishing from the nostalgia for his own country and the hatred for the communism that had isolated Albania within the barbed wires.

His novel "Krastakraus" (The Crest of Kruja, the birthplace of the legendary, lion-hearted Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu) written in 1968, passed for a long time through the newsrooms of the unique publishing-house of the communist state, until it ended up imprisoned in its archives for the ideas it treated. It was published only in 1993 from the private publishing-house
"Bilal Xhaferri", created to remember the name of this remarkable dissident writer.

The novel "Krastakraus" is a monumental and classic as well as modern creation. It takes the theme from the historical past of Albania, precisely from the period of the heroic wars of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu, the king of the Albanians (1417- 1467), who for a quarter- century afforded with his sword the ottoman invasions, in defense of the Albanian state and the Christianity. It is a creation written very neatly. The strong imagination of this author permeates the mist of medievalism and through the tableaus and the details that he describes, he succeed in taking away the heroes from the land of the legends and bringing them alive in the eyes of the readers. The whole history of the Albanian-Turkish wars, of the losses and victories, betrayals and resistance is outspread through the life and the jobs of the simple warriors of Gjergj Kastrioti.

Strezi, one of the courageous officers of Skënderbeu's commission is the central personage of this novel. The destinies of the other personages in peaceful and war times are evolved through the line of his love for the princess Ajkuna in one part, and his activity as a courageous warrior in the other part.

The world of the personages and their psychology is entwisted with the nature and sometimes it isn't understood whether the man is a creature of the nature or the nature is his creature. The trinity: God, nature, man and conversely, is entwined as a fatal node in the world of every personage, as well as in the lyric-dramatic situations and events, disposed toward "the tragic" that threats the destinies of the populations and personages.

The end of this novel is a masterly description, almost Homeric, of a bloody battle, without winners and losers; of a battle that means other battles and resistances, even more bloody, ensuring in this way the survival of a proud population that knows to live the life in peaceful times as well as in war times.

"Krastakraus" is a symbol of love and human resistance at the same time. It is a symbol of the victory of civilization toward the barbaric invasions of all the times.
The actual Albanian man finds in the pages of this novel his image and he nearly falls in love with himself like the Narcissist of Mythology in front of Bilal Xhaferri's creation. We hope that this book will be a kind surprise for the readers.

Shefki Hysa

Saturday, February 14, 2009

By Dukagjin Hata

The Cham World, a spirited historical - publicistic narration
About the publicistic book “The diplomacy of self – denial” of Shefki Hysa

The writer Shefki Hysa, one of the most passionate searchers of the Cham spirit and psychology, following in the footsteps of Bilal Xhaferri and the other apostles of the Albanian letters, in that forgotten corner of Iliriada, where the goddess Dodona spoke for the first time the Albanian language, not only one time, has called on the collective conscience of a evacuee population, the Cham one, in the veins of which flows the pure blood of the old Epirotes, that writes the history of the proud and insubordinate tribes, in the bark of the gigantesque tree of our national memory.

Shefki Hysa has converted the subject of the Cham destiny into a universal metaphor of the discrete identity search where the individual and collective destiny interweaves in the metaphysics of the time-space of freedom.

After a lot of marvelous narrations, such as tales, novels and sagas, where the Cham world moves in the dark-light of time, Shefki Hysa returns in a point-blank history, “a history spirited from the poetic ego”, as Umberto Eco would say, for the Cham forbidden history. This time is given in its three-dimensionality, with regard to those bridges of the Albanian, Balkan, European and worldwide memory, where passes the historical facts, the gingerly truths and those proclaimed in a sensational way, toward the tree of pain and the love of a prohibited country.

In this way, his brand new book “The diplomacy of self-denial” is a publicistic summary with articles, essays, interviews, memories, impressions, portraits, adjustments, redactions, comebacks, reportages, narrations, sketches, in the focus of which is the discovery of the Albanian world of Chameria, in that historical and actual vector that is called the Cham issue and makes up the Gordian point of the modern Albanian history.

With a succinct and concise style, but at the same time warm and with a lot of colors, where are mixed together the narration and the investigation, the portraiture and the analysis, the academic connotation and the journalistic principle, the personal attitude and the communitarian attitude, and onward the national attitude for this capital issue of the Albanian world, with a lithesome and elegant language, where the integral search of the journalist is combined with the aesthetic principle of the writer, Shefki Hysi brings us with this book more than a concern for the historical destiny of a outgoing population, sacrificed in the road of a double Calvary, the Greek-zervist and the communist-enverist.

Author of some artistic books such as narrations and novels, and also editor of the prestigous magazine "Eagle's wing" ("Krahu i shqiponjës"), where frequently he has given us narrative spaces and occurrences of the Cham world, (Even Ismail Kadare speaks with admiration for his last book that treats the destiny and the fatality of the Cham world) Hysa with this book brings a philosophical and historical-literary estimation for a wound of the Albanian world, the Cham wound. The author, with facts and with his intellectual attitude of Gandhi type, claims that this wound, which continues to cause pain to all the Albanian people, must be operated soon, before it turns into gangrene and without damaging the frame of the Albanian national issue.

The author emphasizes with the force of argument that in the dark tunnel of the tragic past, which still keeps in hostage the memory of the living persons and the dead ones, after a period of silence, prejudice and disinformation, finally is seen a ray of light. The author invites us to run after this light, to see beyond it that street where is expanded the vision and the future strategy for that land and the sacrificed population.

In this voluminous book move historical characters and VIPs, ordinary people and individuals that have carried the Cham burden along the streets of the Albanian Stalinist Gogoltha, move Bilal Xhaferri, Ismail Kadare, Namik Mane, Sabri Godo, Bedri Myftari, Ibrahim Hoxha, Pandeli Koçi, Pjetër Arbnori, Sali Berisha, the shortsighted political vision that doesn’t generates nothing but moment conjunctures for the sake of x party or y politician survival, but even that vision which is molded in the anvil of the real nationalism ( not the folkloric nationalism) and generates ideas for the future of the Cham land and population.

But even international personalities such as Hillary Clinton, the British researcher and diplomat Miranda Wickers, who in the gloomy monastery of the Cham issue has fired up the candle of hope, aren’t excluded from the ample, investigative, comparative and polemical view.

The universe of the author point of view is the same multiple and broken universe of the universe issue, which constitutes a dimension still unexplored of the Albanian national issue.
At bottom the book is an experience that the author and his collaborators have lived, with victories and losses, with achievements seen, rationalized, argued, prejudged and judged from the viewpoints of those people, who in their dream and ideal vision, have had and still have Chameria in the head place.

The author estimates the diplomatic world and its reactions, which though insubstantial, have done again their best to make conscious this joyless space of the collective memory of the Albanian world, emphasizing the fact that the achievements of the foreign diplomacies are much more than those of the wars.

Disciple of the Gandhi’s spirit and of those streets that bring water in the effective national choices from the intelligentsia grinder, Hysa appeals to the Albanian society elite to do what is necessary for the Chameria, to contribute for the Cham vision, so it won’t be a hostage of the gloomy past.

The author emphasizes with pain the silence, almost apostolic of the Albanian state in front of this historical and actual drama, the Cham drama, meanwhile the foreign diplomacy, benevolent versus the Albanians reminds the politicians of the eagle country that Chameria is a historical hostage that needs to get rid of the misunderstanding and the injustice, getting off this issue from the moldy buildings of the archives into the political agenda of the day. The author describes the labyrinths of a misunderstood and startling dossier from the perception rate of the Albanian political conscience. The action that our indolent and expectant politics has never done and it won’t take the courage to do, will be effectuated from the responsible foreigners, our country friends with their eyes toward the west. Thus in the summer of 2001 with the intercession of Hillary Clinton, the Cham issue was introduced before the American Senate. In an auditory session the senators were informed about the Greek-Albanian relations, the developments, the irritations and the appeasements, from the summer of 1944, when genocide was plied over the Albanian Muslim population of Chameria, called otherwise Thesprotia, massacring and deporting them from the birthplace and the dwellings, from their ethnic land. The author describes the reaction of the Greek lobby in America and the official policy of Athena, the cards of justification of this policy, the closure in an isolated cairn of this problem, the manifestation of the mock fact that in Albania doesn’t exist a organism to represent the Chams, that the Albanian state moots this issue only as a counterweight in the irritation moments of the bilateral relations between Tirana and Athena, that this problem doesn’t exist and when something doesn’t exist it doesn’t need a choice.

The British searcher and diplomat Miranda Wickers, as sublimating a new political reality, which was now contoured in the American senate for Chameria, referred another challenge to the Greek policy, when she, as a representative of the British Foreign Department published a detailed study with incontrovertible historical data and facts about the tragedy of the Cham population and its beginners. This gave a strong buffet to the political circuits of Athena, set in motion some deputies of the European Parliament, like the radical Italian deputy Marko Panela and other personalities such as Dr. Haim Reitan etc, that were a protest voice, which was coming in the right time and from the right direction against the silence, till oblivion, of one of the most cardinal problems of the Albanian history.

An important part of the book is the academic and intellectual personality of Bilal Xhaferri, the elite writer of Chameria, the dissident that paid up the freedom of creation with his young life, the most industrious and passionate amplifiers of the Cham world, whom he boosted in the seventh sky of a brilliant aesthetics.

Shefki Hysa, with his intellectual engagement, with the foundation of the Publishing House "Bilal Xhaferri" and of the Cultural Asociation "Bilal Xhaferri" (Shoqata Kulturore "Bilal Xhaferri"), influenced that the figure of Bilal Xhaferri could get out from the fifty years of misunderstanding and adulteration flour and could take the deserved place in the forgotten pantheon of the dissidents letters.

The journey of Shefki Hysa in the annals of the Cham world is a virtual journey where is interweaved the historical fact and detail with the impressions of the author, the international geopolitics with the narration of the apostolic silence, till political naivety, of the official Tirana institutions, the investigations for the truths covered from the oblivion flour with the deduction for the intellectual Gandhism, as a tool for the identification and the profit of the Cham paradise.

As our remarkable writer Ismail Kadare says: “This book is necessary, imperative, moral, like every ripe publication of this kind, as are numerous the reasons that the Chams don’t forget Chameria, and it can be intended that this is not only their right but the right of all the Albanians.
Furthermore, it is a moral obligation because one can never forget a suffering wound of thousands and thousands people. It can never be forgotten the displacement, it can never be forgotten the birthplace, where the earth is… Chameria can never be forgotten”.

Translated by: Lorena Uliu
By Bardhyl Maliqi

The Writer that Cracks up the Armature
of Arbitrary Values

With a difficult childhood, blooded-knees, mucky hoofs, full of yellowish flowers jam, lacerated pommels from blackberries, with pink eyes from the cold river “Pavel” from whose caves he fished trout and codfish, with seasoned limbs in sharply slants of rocks where he tracks pintails, Shefki Hysa got over the threshold of puberty and entered a problematic juvenility with a political convicted uncle, with his father dead on juvenility, with a family victim of the class war, a flock of children like a flock of sparrows swam in the compassion of destiny, was fed with seeds of plants like birds in the slabs of stones, always liable from trap, with their hand leather blackened from wild pears and riverside nuts fluid to extinguish hunger, always present, with a harsh drapery cheese-cloth, with books and copybooks of scholar , they mature and grow up.

And it came the day that the short young boy, with a heavy face, like a man went to Konispoli’s high school. He was skillful like a sable which smells, when he must and where he could, he clasps the good mark, but he was never estimated as he should, not because he didn’t deserve but because in his class were some beautiful faces of guys caressing from the political climate who necessarily must be the first of the class and even the studentship, the chosen stanza and the white necked maiden should be only for them.

Composed to coolness, worried face, seasoned on the atmosphere of a social nonchalance, without having the possibility to live his juvenility, deprived from the right to attend university, he was obliged to enter in the reclamation venture to be a Bulldozer. Inured with the petrol and grease smell, fattened with a driver dictionary, but very near to the nature virginity he began to sharpen the journalist’s and confessor’s pen to inlay a new profile of self-esteem. He was obsessed at the possibility to go to university at every cost, as a student of Tirana’s Philological University, owing to Dritëro Agolli goodwill for the new composers, in war with tarnishing biographies that never disunited to him. Thus, at hummer and tongs, owing to his ambitions to go onward , but also born educated like a contradictory reaction toward a vicious reality, he broke the armature of the dictatorship values system, to bill communicative ability and his reliability.

He is the author of phrases such as: “Turtledove and the boy” (Narrations), “Slave of Peace” (Novel), “The Cursed Heaven” (Novel), “Confessions of a Thief” (Novel) and also editor, chief editor and also redactor of “Eagle’s wing” magazine (which was established from the poet writer and the publicist: Bilal Xhaferri in USA), Shefki could attract the Albanians reader attention with his prominent individuality.

The admission of diversities and the observance of the real values of the writers and artists, regardless of their economical, political and social position, is a necessity that will condition the progress Albanian society. As one of the most talented and productive prose writers Shefki Hysa springs in literature with an abundance of motifs and themes that descend from the directly recognition of life as he was watered from its sources, in reservoirs and constructional brigades, in the school classes where he taught, in Saranda’s and Bulqiza’s precincts but also in down towns and capital cities where he worked as a journalist. Shefki’s prose has a deep realistic spirit because his individual evocations entwist with our communal biographical elements.

A scalene reference in the place names where narrating and Romanesque actions happen, or a chart of the protagonists would assure us that we have to do with an irreplaceable faint afflatus and a possibility for a detailed and persuasive demonstration of the settings and characters: Foinike, Dodona, Konispol, Saranda, Pandalejmon, Qafëbota, Qafëbualli, Bulqiza, Tirana, Chicago, Mileja, Mëllezi, the Holy Mountain, the Jinn Outfall, The Cross Crown, Epyr, Kosovo, Tchameri etc. This argument aggrandizes also the usage of well known and contemporary names as: Pirro of Epyr, Hasan Tahsini, Enver Hoxha, Niccita Hrushov, Dritëro Agolli, Ismail Kadare, Bilal Xhaferri or their Vilëza ( the same) , Ben Lleiz (Arben Iliazi), Ali Arkeologu ( Halil Shabani), Cifja (Josif Papagjoni), designer Gim (Agim Mato), etc. A concrete stratification consists of the symbolic names that are based in realistic events and characters: like Docent Ramushi, Nondë Kaçoli, Bill Burreci, Kapo Erosi, Kurrizo Hefesti, Ramush Kaleci, chief editor Kopani or denominations used as sobriquets based on epithets, vices as Babloku, the Reeve Maliq, Dullë Baxhaja ( taken from the H dossier), Xan Gungaçi, Çalamani, Capori Gungo, Satanai, Farmaku, Esmeralda, Lina, Lirika, Rozafa, Zemëria, Demona, Bardha, Eli, Turtullesha, Diella, Kumrija, Afërdita,Vejusha e Zezë, Princess Marsjana, Marsida, Kullumbria etc. This word of names is striking and significant and would serve as a tutorial target.

The rich language full of Phrase logical Phrases, dialects, jargons, which are functionalized especially in the character’s chamber, utters the realistic characteristics of Hysa’s prose. Beyond the inclinations of his prose we notice in it elements but even concepts of a real prose which being based on folk compositions and also contemporary literary techniques, appears to us as complex as rich in its apparently simple structures, but also excessively expressive. It must be pointed out that this wont has its basement in the dramatics of vital material dredged and picked by writer.

The narration “Didini” that has as a protagonist the so named character, a discrete nationalist, betrayed and shot, who isn’t at rest in his tomb and wonders like a squab in the old house’s relics, is an artistic model of the usage of the magic elements which are an utterance of the magic realism in our literature. In the same way the setting of the conversation I.Kadare and Pirro of Epyr, vivid dreams of the same protagonist etc, support the idea of magic realism in our literature is not imported from Italy or Latin America, from Dino Buxati or Garcia Marquez, or Isabel Aliende but is a contrivance of Albanian Folklore’s influence; a product of fantastic fairy tales that populate it, thus it is a lawsuit artistically natural and wrongful. The folklore’s influence is fairy-well obvious in the other magic narration “The Turtledove and the Demon”, where is operated with the same artistic means, in the transformation of the girl into a turtledove and the boy into a whisper. The umbra’s role, acting as umbrae characters or the umbra images in Hysa’s books for ex: the soul or the umbra of Didini speaks in benefit to the existence of magic realism in Albanian literature: “The soul stopped in abeyance on the roof of the old house” (“Confessions of a thief” pg.51).

In this sense art’s burden is not a naturalist reflection but an esthetic transformation of reality based on the main esthetic categories, where the beautiful becomes more beautiful (Rozafa, Afërdita, Esmeralda, Diella) and the ugly is disfigured (Kryeplaku, Babloku, Dudumi). Reddish face of Babloku, big and rounded, in a mash of deep wrinkles as impaled with knife… looked on you through hollows life, as two fresh wounds where two pupil eyes blanched like two breezes, stuck in reddish reeves’ nets (The Cursed Heaven pg.122).

Divinities and monsters bristles on this principle, the grandiose and the grotesque. Kryeplaku, Kapo Eros, Kurrizo Hefesti; Babloku and Dudumi; jackass president and the shit under the fez are just artistic embodiments where the reality is changed and transformed through the hyperbolical features, manners and attitudes, thus creating the grotesque image which has a more sensitive esthetic effect as an archetype of the hideous and the ridiculous. Embodiments of the evil with faces like red skinned indigenous, with the utterance sometimes of idiot innocence and sometimes of beast’s savagery which fences tooth, sometimes cynic and supercilious, sometimes rambling as caricatures, are symbols of Power and Violence or blind executives of this embodiment. Thus the author manages that through entwisting of naturalist and expressionist elements to fulfill in details the perverseness, the disdain that the characters awake, when they eat carrion like vulture animals, when they snore like pigs in slush and urinate under the table. Even their criminal deeds acted placidly and deliberately, are neatly motivated. Murders of Dardan, Albano, Rozafa and Jack witness this ghoulish attitude.

If greatest artistic figure existed like the one which are artistic in our case in literary opus, these are the figures of Bablok and Dudum, which should be considered together as representatives of Power and Violence. The author merit is the disposal of the two socio-political archetypes that have ruled Albania among all the time until the 20-th century. How many Chieftains, Majordomos, Reeves, constabulary commanders, cooperatives elders, commissioners, directors, deputies and ministers used to be part of us? Such has been thousands. Monsters with debonair faces, monsters with monstrous faces, tarnished souls and daring people that never forgot that ever and anon to pour ashes in our eyes by doing some public commonweal or in benefits of a dervish, a “common weal” for the sake of name. The naïve peasant used to say: “mister so and so does but good deeds too”. In the narration with same title, the reeve is the continuation of the same character with Bablok, but not of a socialist dad but that of the Albanian democracy (read this as anarchy). This character has evolved, but still awakes a grater disdain and a deep disappointment feeling for our vicious realities. Anyway, the deflection of the white and black colors and the emplacement of these characters in concrete situations make the artistically reliable.

Even Kapo Eros and Kurrizo Hefest are like two halves of one entire. The connotation and the hyperbolas that the author has used has crated two different characters not only in their physical appearance but also in their characters. As much beautiful and fascinating is Kapo Eros, as capable of absorbing like with a magnet and to seduce all the feminine beauty, as ugly and disdainful is Kurrizo Hefesti, a chase of whom is all the feminine world seduced but now by Kapo Eros who is incapable of fulfilling their sexual desires. This couplet also reminds Power and Violence (read Bablok and Dudum) but in an indirect sense. Women are seduced by the power of Eros and are restrained by Sword’s violence. This couplet that stigmatizes the moral aspects of nowadays society becomes unwillingly her portrait.

* * *

Beside the literary language inside Shefki Hysa writings vivify even southern-northern dialectical forms, taken from the labors environment and due to the characters psychology. But actually the language of this narrator is characterized by the will and effort to produce new forms, often linguistic forms, produced with the dough of our linguistic treasury or the will to make use activate rear forms, which effect in the ideas expression, in portraitures and give to the artistic tableau a special emotional connotation. Some of them are: the hole entity was re-alarmed, flummery attitude, anxious expectancy, over –tiring, imperial twilight, ghoulish flip, head-idol of the empire, crouched in invisibility, lights constellation, ticklish laughter, crazy love, widow-hood fast, elderly solitude, the darkness of the stocking cave, pained body, greasy acridity, the spoons pitter pattering, winter souls, mysterious ruins, draggle-tailed snows, etc. Sometimes this linguistic attainments stipple around a name or around his form, in a word formation and in the lexical frames of the key word for example world-neck, dream-neck ,hope-neck, pig-neck, lost-neck; the dept-city, the city-dept; or I’m Dullë Baxhaja, the multi-hands, multi-animus, the multi-face, the very invisible, the very ubiquitous… and other new colloquialism acquire new-words with new-meanings in function of the ideas ex: the idea that we have to deal with an immoral human being is given by these words: ladies tracer, searcher, hidden gluttonous, his body pullulates for the amorous desire, devil orgasm, erotic battle. An ominous tiding is given by these means and other characterizations: the raven-phone, the ravish phone, cawed, portentous, the ominous tiding, the thunderclap- tiding etc. I doubt that these word-forming structures aren’t influenced by one of his literary idols, Ismail Kadare writer. But still the linguistic novelties artistry goes further when they serve to built up alliterations and harmonic sound organizations that create coherence to the realities essence, Ex: the blood traces hunter, love rendered him into an ox for Danana, carrion crows with black-calamity caws, a calculated hesitation from diabolic minds etc. These sounding organizations and the metaphoric, symbolic and metonymic language of the author bring up his prose near to poem, because we know that these are means and techniques of writing poems.

In order to establish stylistic effects the author uses densely functional suffixes, often diminished: slightingly, dully, bluntly, blindly, violently, furiously, cyclonically (as adverbs); geezer, dame, a saintly way, groom, little avenue, little town, squeaker, a small lawn, a small fez; (nouns): decrepit, grayish, wounded (adjectives) etc. Actually these morphological operations in word structure refresh it, make it meaningful and more though-conveyer and feeling conductor. To see their functional side we can give an illustration in a more concrete way. Ex: he considered himself grandee as Penelope, he took the little antenna with the top of his fingers and hold up the fez; …the walls were grizzled, the roof-tiles where livid, kissed the absorption like a small strawberry, with a singer tone… I was out-scarred etc.

The use of vulgarizations by this author, have an artistic function to justify the art democratization, the right of citizenship of speech, authenticity of circumstances etc. The possibility for another cause is not either excluded. Generally the writers and the artists aren’t the nature’s caressing nor are the power favorable. This kind of language puts them nearer to the mass of simple people, their real readers because they feel like real authors, people made of flesh and blood. And we can say this language is the expression of discontent, their inner revolt.

Let’s get to a new problem: it’s about the foreshadowed and impressionable tonality of the literary and artistic work or to the idea-emotional attitude of the author. We know that these tonalities and attitudes are reflective towards different socio-political, economic and cultural realities, but primarily they express the outlook and the evocation of the artist. He has a social origin, sources of a fortune, economic situation, political engagement, ideological convictions, and the psychology as an artist and as a human being. Being like this he can’t be immune from the politics’ influence but would be indisputable not to fall his pray.

Generally in his literary work Shefki escapes from this trap. He presents in that book an incubus commander who shoots with a bullet behind shoulders but to the other side he has a partisan nurse that feels sorry for human beings and moves heaven and earth to save their lives. The socialist realism is stigmatized there, but it is also spoken out in a delightful way for I.Kadare, D.Agolli, and Bilal Xhaferri as characters in the novel “Slave of Peace”. Occasionally like in the “Slave of Peace”, the hell scene, which actually is excessively episodic and has nothing to do with the main lines of the conflict’s development, where the writers of socialist realism don’t let each other to perk, is explained by the eternal envy of creators but even by the state politics to set them against each other and this has been real. Other scenes are justified by the symbolic burden of main characters. Still the author sometimes hasn’t purposely avoided the exaggeration. “Beasts’ junket, the lion grabs the haunch (Babloku), the wolf a part of the chest (Dudumi), Chippings some ribbings (some cadres of the party and power), and hyenas (some simple communists and distinguished miners) what is remained from the beasts’ junket. Ex: Dudum is described not as a lawman but as a gigantic police, a biped brute as an ignorant being and the wolf-herder of the human race of this city of the hell. Even the city itself is scaring, rolled with an old mountain pelisse, and a black cloud cap above the head, a city that consumes only peppers, whose paunch is empty and cant fill the miners’ punches either etc. It is to be mentioned that Bulqiza or Memaliaj of the 80s don’t differ much from this tableau. Even the fact that with the same vivid colors and the same grotesque scenes, are described Bablok and Dudum, as representatives and products of yesterday and Kryeplaku and Kumria as representatives and products of the present, assures that the author doesn’t see all in black and white, that the exaggeration is an artistic lawsuit and not a political playbill. In the roman “The Cursed Heaven”, in the ingoing scene the portraiture of the two harlequins, that among centuries have tried to destroy Albania, the scenes of the battle for the head-idols’ crown in the chapter for the Holy Mountain and especially in the narration
“The idols Empire” it is built the thought that idols are our national disgrace.

The author feels sorry for this country and every time he has the chance, he disinters his patriotic soul, his anguish for Tchame and for the Tchame’s issue, for Kosovo and Kosovo’s issue, for the whole Albania and for the Whole Albanian issue. Scenes of Pirro of Epyr, of Bilal Xhaferri, and of the massacre that Zerva committed in Tchamëri, of that of the Bota’s saddle, the scene with the two emigrants in America etc are the evidence that establish this kind of conviction. I wonder how many years will we wander as yellowish in desert.
Despite all this, optimism and hope, is not lacked by the author. The depiction of big-heart characters as uncle Miho, the lakes’ magic oldster, the presence of lovers who for the sake of great feelings as love is, sacrifice and underline this faith.

Another important artistic joint in the narrative composition of this author, in which his mellow values catch the eye distinctly, is undoubtedly a psychological rummage of characters, feelings, thoughts, manners and their attitude especially in the culminant and conflict moments. In “The Cursed Heaven” novel, when Jack is between two choices the battle of motivations is very long he finds very difficult to choose: loving Rozafa, not just because of affection, but for great true human feelings and sincere love, in this way bearing the vital privations and sacrifices or else lay in bad with Diella, the innocent ideal-beauty and who is also a victim of Bablok, in this way gaining a well ordered life in Tirana, in expectance of a important post but without human dignity. What triumphs in his soul is closely connected with the power of his character, when he discovers Rozafa was massacred to open way to the marriage of Diella. He doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice paying his disapproval with death, murder in the mountain, in cold, in darkness, in the wolf’s mouth. Even in the major narrations, especially in those in which the author doesn’t use catches but the vital juice is directly given, the psychological motivation is naturally found, it flows in their interiors, because of the action and the personality of the characters, is not an outer dishing to legalize characters’ variables. Lets recall certain narrations such as “Didini”, “Testimony”, “Maggie of the City” , “Olives”, “Qopeku” ,”The Oldster of the Lakes” etc.

Shefki Hysa’s compositions speak clearly of the fact that he has the ability to bake art works with dough from his own magic. There are writers who have created during their entire life but haven’t baked a single crumpet from their corn.

With his tireless job, with culture and passion he will always be able to mould and bake each time better his literary bread. His so far compositions allow us to hope so.

Translated by: Dr. Haim Reitan