Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The turtledove and the devil

By Shefki Hysa

The turtledove and the devil

Once upon a time a boy and a girl lived in Chameria district, in a mountainous village near a forest with oaks. The girl’s name was Turtledove and the boy’s name Murmur. Both shepherds: the boy grazed the sheep and the girl the goats. The aurora took them from home and the night brought them back home. All the day they were together. They swam in the waterfalls scum that were fed by the snow of the mountains heights. They drank rill water that flowed out of the rocks’ gaps, flowed downwards in small flows that swished in winter and summer through the humid grass and ran over in the tempestuous streams, whose gravels sparkled like jewels under the sun and the moon light. They wandered like does from a rocket to another rocket. They climbed up to the top of the oaks, clambered bough to bough and garland to garland, with gurgle of laughs, as to hearten even the squirrels. They capered and capered. They followed each other and hid themselves hollow to hollow and cave to cave, till the deepest hideaways. They waked up the beasts that flied away, teased the doves’ clouds that fluttered over the forest and induced the wildfowl’s songs. No bird’s nest or beast’s burrow could escape their eyes. They knew every flower, grass and wood. Knew all the secrets and the languages of the forest, imitated every kind of bird or animal. In a word they were gods of the nature round…

When they were sweaty and tired of the jokes that their vivid fantasy invented, the girl would say to the boy:

- Come on Murmur, let’s have a rest, - and together, with their hands clasped, they rushed at the swards.

They lied down among the flowers and the grass, face to face and bustled to see each other in the eyes, so exhilarated of the nice flavors that saturated the air. Their eyes blazed from some flames, hidden deeply in the breast. They looked and looked at each other and were lost in a fathomless longing that flourished the feelings, heighten the stature and approached them each day more…

- Come on Turtledove, the dinner is passing up, - would say the boy when they were hungry.
They grabbed each other and dashed to the cattle. The sheep and the goats were so mild. Just when the boy and the girl hallooed, they were going to crowd with gladness bleats. They quenched the hunger in the dugs like lambs and kids. Drank and drank until being overfed with the tepid milk. And everyday they felt how they grew beautiful like the own nature where were vivified. And everyday they understood that were made for each other…

But what happened hereinafter? Their fellowship was noticed by the village, but by the devil too…Their coevals envied them, the devil envied them too…

And I wish the devil never envies you!...
One day, the mischief appeared in front of the girl with the face of a friend and, after cutting her off, he began to whisper her that Murmur wasn’t the one who appeared but the devil himself… Was he the cleverest, the deftest, the fastest and the strongest boy in the village?!... Yes, yes!... Did he behave differently from the other people?!... Yes, yes!... Follies after follies he was doing to sell himself like nobody else!... Yes, yes!... Was such a behavior a diablerie?!... Yes, yes!... A diablerie to cheat her, Turtledove!...

And the nameless one acted this way tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, days, weeks and months until he defrauded the girl…

Now she considered incredulous the excessive daring of Murmur. His naughtiness, that once enticed her so much, now was intimidating her…

“Turtledove, isn’t Murmur the devil himself?!... Did I say this to you?... Look, look how he flies from a rock to a rock, from a oak to another oak?!.. And he doesn’t have bird wings!... Look, look how he sucks the milk of the goat dug and he has taught you too!... Look how he caresses the deer, like cows!... No one thinks about these things, only Murmur.. What a weird name!... What a hideous name, like the devil’s perversities!”… So, the friend’s voice, in the face of whom was hidden the devil, echoed time after time in her ears…

And the girl shook her head, each time more cheerless. She stayed sleepless all night with a silent grief that tore to pieces her heart. And each time more frozen, more lowering she stayed. She was waiting the occasion to get away from Murmur, though something was keeping her close to him…Some invisible yarns for her eyes…Maybe the enchanting power of a devil?!...

This was horrifying the girl, though she did and didn’t believe in the devil’s existence…The fairytales told so much for his misdeeds and deviltries. Were they true?... Who knows?!...
And regretted that she had wasted and was still wasting her time with that mischief…She was ready to cry... But what bad thing had she seen from him?...Maybe she was going to meet with it afterwards?!.. And shivered as of those winds of the dark and humid caves of the mountains…
That’s the place where the devils ensconce themselves!...

“You have stooped, she said to herself. But you have won something too, objected an internal voice, maybe the voice of the devil, of Murmur…But how come he doesn’t ask me for this withdrawal, she wondered. He has become so discreet, although he continues to caper as before… Has he understood the trick?!... Absolutely, otherwise he wouldn’t be the one he is”!...
The doubts and the guesses were killing Turtledove and one morning she couldn’t put up with it anymore and approached despairingly the boy:

- You aren’t a good man and I don’t want to see you ever again, Murmur!...
- Wake up, Turtledove!... - yowled the boy and the joy in his face hardened, he shuddered, like a oak leaf from the thunders.

- Yes, yes! You are the devil himself! Don’t hazard to show up again! I wish my imprecation kills you Murmur because you have deluded me! - darned painfully the girl and close the eyes, so she couldn’t see anymore that face, once so loved…
- Turtledove!... You don’t love me anymore?! - screamed alienated the boy, whose hand stiffened in the girl’s hair.

- My eyes hurt me! I hate you! - She shouted and the boy turned blue as he was hit by a thunderclap.

Then he felt how his fervid body was evaporating and blending slowly in the air, which began to swirl and thrill everywhere, bringing his fevers to the oaks too…

The air was swishing, the leaves were murmuring, the girl’s hair was murmuring, surprisingly everything was murmuring. And it seemed as though an invisible hand was fondling her. But she didn’t open the eyes… She thought it was Murmur near her, trying to coax her, to calm her down…

And she was combing more… Tying tightly the eyelids, however the Murmur’s shadow entered even in the darkness inside them. He wasn’t going to run away. He wasn’t going to leave her alone…Therefore she opened the eyes to wrestle with the devil-boy…

In front of her nothing, neither to the right, nor to the left, neither nearby nor far away…Nothing everywhere… Her eyes didn’t catch anything, in spite of the leaves that dangled as never before…Where was Murmur hidden?!..

- Mmmmrrrrr! - murmured the air and thrilled the nature.
She thrilled from the breeze too, from the solitude that surrounded her. She panted and suddenly, a weird longing for the devil-boy filled the emptiness that she was feeling. She wanted to hate him but she couldn’t. She wanted to forget him but she couldn’t. His shadow was prowling outside and inside her being. But where has he lent himself to?!...
The longing was hurting her in the breast…

- Murmurrr! - screamed with all the intensity of her girlish voice, but nobody answered, except a new buzz of the air, which murmured lightly when it bumped into grass and leaf and it seemed as somebody was whispering longing words to the girl… Suddenly she smelted something and her heart hurt. Her eyes were filled with tears. They rolled down her cheeks and her body. Her whole body got wet as from a rain of tears, as though her being had shed tears. And gradually the tears were converted in shiny plumes and herself in a bird, never seen before in those parts…

She moved the arms, already with plumes, clashed them violently as shaking them, and after a while she was in the air. The air was playing with her; she was playing with the air. And, while feeling its caresses that aroused inside her an old nostalgia, she opened the mouth to say something, but, in stead of the words, a series of melodious sounds flowed down: they were the first harmonics of a new bird song!...

The forest was murmuring green beneath Turtledove...


In the evening the sheep and the goats returned piecemeal in the village. Some of them lost by the forest and some others became preys of the wolves… And where were the shepherds? Had they grabbed each other, as the malignant mouths were whispering back and forth?...
However, the village was alarmed and the good people ran in search of them. They roamed days and nights but they didn’t find any trace of the boy and the girl…

Meanwhile the people noticed the weird drift of the air like an endless murmur of words…Wicked words!... Rumors!... The murmur of the air didn’t stop…Sometimes it faded away and sometimes it clattered and covered everything it could find before…

It is said that the people called this murmur wind. So, words in the wind…wind… Precisely this saying was the origin of that new label, according to the popular Cham etymology… And since then, it is said that began the wind…

Later, much later, the people noticed in their forest the strange bird that wriggled with the wind. It seemed that the wind blew for the bird and the bird flied for the wind. A fabulous game for the curious eyes…

But the time passed and the people were taught with the strong friendship of the bird with the wind. However, that fierce desire, with which the bird took wing and throw itself like an arrow in the wind, as to embrace the air, and the anger it murmured in such cases, didn’t escape people’s eyes and minds… The bird swallowed up the space!... It was swallowed up by the space too!... But there was a pain, a drama in this laborious flight…

But it happened that someone, maybe in a winter night, near the fire, connected in his mind, the traceless disappearance of Turtledove and Murmur with the weird fight of that new habitant with golden plumes in their forest…

And so was born this tale, which is told nowadays in Chameria…

Shefki Hysa

Friday, March 20, 2009

"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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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 Cham and for the Chame’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 Chameri, 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.
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, 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 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, 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 Shefki Hysa

The confession

Fatija trembled when the voice of the bride brought up the start of her thoughts. After all, a kind of sleep is even meditation, being lost in yourself darkness, where are accumulated the pains, the sorrows, all the sufferings and the troubles of life. There is no better cure for these incurable wounds, harmed unwittingly. You wander in your mind, you unwrap and spin that poor, slowly, like a coil of wool, like the old- age witch would long for. But what did the bride say? The poor thing supposes that the unfortunate old-woman is crazy!

- Did I hear your voice or I didn’t? - She said to the young lady who was grating some cabbages in a used copper pie- pan.

Everything in that cabin, where they had found a shelter after the horror that followed them until the gates of the Albanian border, was half. And, as if the horrible memories that went around time after time in the eyes of the mind weren’t enough, it was also the poverty, like a flock of thorns.

- I said a commission; a commission with some foreigners has arrived here- repeated the bride, in the face of whom, the mother distinguished compassion.

She felt creeps in her creasy, like a ball of rags, old body, arrant because of the gloom rather than the old- age.

- Did you say foreigners? But what do they want here? -almost screamed the old woman, full of shivers and without understanding if the presence of the foreigners brought this hatred or something else…

- They say that they are doing their best mother. They are collecting testimonies for the crimes of our murderers. They say that the world will condemn the Greek Zervist who set on fire, killed and destroyed Chameria- sweetened her voice the young lady, like she had in front her three years old son that needs to be fondled.

- The black goodness of the foreigner! The foreigner remains a foreigner, my daughter. This is from your mother… But what are they looking for? ... Can you say one more time because I feel like my ears are roaring! - emphasized the incredulous and curious mother, meanwhile converted like the fire that blows up in a flame that is thundering.

- The people have got together in Rexha Plaku’s house and they are telling the foreigners about the atrocities that the Greeks have done to us, how they killed and ousted us from our homes, how they plundered and burnt down our fortune, how they left us like refugees without a homeland - said tearfully the bride.

- Is it true?!- whispered hesitantly the mother as though a glimmer had inflamed the corners of the afflicted spirit.

She guessed that it had passed more than a year from that cursed day, when the death with the image of the perfidious Greek Zervists, had come upon their village there in Chameria, in every house, had furiously thrust their clutches in the life of innocent people, had slaughtered, massacred and covered with blood children, boys and men…The coward death wasn’t reserving neither the women!...

“Oh curse, only curse! - jumped the insurrectionary being.-Cursed in eternity! The foreigners! Those who killed us at night and cried us during the day! ... In this way and every time in this way… Maybe since this world was created… The foreigner kills with his knife and his smile too, with bullet and bread… Yes, yes even the bread of the foreigner harasses you! It can stick in your throat, and no one believes you… This is why the story with the foreigners is repeated and repeated… As it happens in our Chameri… No, foreigners I can’t believe you… At least me, the poor old woman, because you reduced me in this way, lonely…

The mother, a little infuriated, like those that feel fainted and lose their temper, was missed in front of the scenes of the tragedy that her torpid imagination made and remade constantly, until the bride’s voice moved her from that self-stiffness. She experienced day and night this stiffness, which brought in the eyes of her mind, as with magic, all the dead people and she flew at the death with the arms of the fantasy, took it away, far away, cleansed the wounds of the victims, talking and discussing with them…

After all, the immersion in the past, even though excruciating, was the only pleasure that consoled the mother, besides her three - years old nephew, whom she loved like the apple of the eye. He was like her son and if she enjoyed the apple of the eye it was owing to this inheritor…

- Did you say anything my daughter? Because I think I am becoming deaf my poor girl - was felt the mother and she noticed that even the young woman, although she still wasn’t thirty years old, was cockling and turning grey, like many other widows.

- I said that those foreigners don’t believe the witnesses of our people. They consider them fantasies…

It broke Fatije’s heart as though the knife of the Zervists had struck her. Her sight darkened and she was stunned again. This time, only her bride’s hands pull her out from this faint condition. It was a kind of logic asphyxia.

- Look after your son my daughter, - said the mother and stood up with some efforts. She didn’t move her hands, lapful on the apron as she was a pregnant bride, waiting her first baby. The only thought that buzzed in her head was that the foreigner remains a foreigner. And her whole body trembled as from the fever…

Walking in a path, she set eyes on the leaves of the nuts that were yellowing. A turbid autumn sky hung beyond her head. It was the autumn of 1946. The fires of Cham refugees still puffed lightly in Vasilikua, beneath Konispol. The tombstones whitened in Qafëbotë. The mold on those graves wasn’t dried up yet…

The old woman climbed down in the midst of the village, holding herself in the trunks of the nuts and olives. She tried to fall and she didn’t fall. The hopes kept her up …

She looked from far away the crowd and they saw her too. The foreigners, although everything was translated in details, continued to shake their head doubtfully. The murderous massacre, that tormented and victimized them, and that was described from the eyewitnesses seemed to be a fabled bugbear rather than a lived homicidal truth. The konispolits, crowded together in front of the commission, were getting angry by this indifference.

Fatija, who was imagining just a little the run of the conversations, appeared above the square. Surprisingly, a waking force somewhere inside of her interior, made her footfalls more secure. “The foreigner remains a foreigner” was the only chorus thought within her skull, clothed with the white wimple, tied in the gill. The hatred boiled her body, shrunken and crooked from the terror of the cruelty. So hirsute in appearance, she gripped with her hands that were trembling, the lap of the apron. The irritated people hushed and paved like she was bringing a big proof that contained all the proofs, facts and testimonies, those said and those that the people were going to say…In this way the foreigners couldn’t shake their heads with distrust anymore…

The eyes of all the people were fixed simultaneously on the lap of the apron, in an anxious waiting, as though she was having a baby right now, a baby that would grow up instantly to witness with the signs of the wounds, the screams of the terror in front of the tortures of the death, everything that the fervid Chams had seen, heard and suffered…

Even the people of the commission scented something. They hushed and stared at the old woman like a lively and fabled testimony, like a suffering, dolor and poverty node, which was imperceptible from their minds.

The mother was drawing near slowly, like a mortal ceremony. In an instant she hesitated: should she stop or should she go to the end of that hall where the foreigners were staying. Sometimes she warped her face, like in her bride hood from the pangs of childbirth, her only child who was massacred in front of her from the Zervist hangmen. None of the people that were surrounding her didn’t peep or say even a word.

When she approached the table of the foreigners, she was out of breath and the tears that had withered from her deep eyes a long time ago, crashed and tied up her throat. However, she looked up from her belly and gazed the infuriating foreigners. Suddenly a plume of hair tore off from her hands and fell on the paper-work with the ghoulish semblance of a peel that is flayed from a human head…

The foreigners hit the ceiling and backed with horror. A scream, like that of the raven, rose from the breasts of the people. The cynical view of the mother involved all the people and stopped at the foreigners. They didn’t speak, like being scared of a punishment that could appear in every moment.

- So you are collecting evidences against the criminals and their crimes? Here they are! They speak alone for the calamity that the perfidious people threw us, - she said and her voice broke as from a sudden blow. Some tears flowed down by the furrows of the weather- beaten cheeks. She hushed a little and then began to tell, more for herself than for the others.

- We heard the hectic sound of some shoes in the solid stairs. We froze. The foreboding of the bad or the shadow of that ominous clatter, which was flying at our two-storied house, like a solid castle in a cliff in shore there in Chameri, gagged us. We had a joy that day, I don’t remember very well but we were laughing with the little boy, who was dangling in the shoulder of my son. Even the little child stopped smiling. The whey- faced bride, like being simulated by something, grabbed the tongs in the fire- place and remained with the scared eyes fixed in the door. The tramp stopped for a little, the time that a man needs to breathe, in the ground upstairs, and then a kick hit and the door crashed like a thunderclap, against the walls. A leaf that had flowed out from the hinge slanted with a remonstrant crunch. Two bearded soldiers of Zerva, one taller than the other, appeared in the groundsel. The taller one had a red eye, infuriated from the beverage or maybe from the sleeplessness, like the view of a mad dog. Promptly he took the dagger from the girdle and so cross-eyed he threatened us that if we felt sorry for our skin we wouldn’t move or scream. The bride put the both hands on the face to smother the cry that she uttered from the panic. The other soldier, a thick- witted man that knew only to grin, put the point of the dagger in her throat in the moment that she was trying to hit him with the tongs. I rushed between the soldier and the bride and very frightened, I pushed them away from each other. My heart was beating like a drum in the breast. The little boy, who was in the hands of his father and scared from the brutal arrival of those foreigners, burst into tears with screams. Quit down that puppy because otherwise I will pluck his head like a bird - he grinned to my son and approached him with his eyes that were sparkling only badness. I threw myself again between the murderer and my son. They both had the same age of my son. Nameless and nor twenty years old they were cruel like a scion of the devil. They obliged us to go in the corner of the room, my son, the bride and me, trying to protect them with my body from the horrible cusp of the dagger in the hands of the cross- eyed man. The thick- witted man, who was keeping two guns and a dagger, hang around the house, with that abhorrent and voiceless smile, like a sufferer of apoplexy. The shabby floor of plane wood was whimpering and fulminating from those heavy shoes that those damning people were wearing. The cross-eyed man pulled over the heap with mattresses and quilts, the hampers, the buffets, messed the whole house and turned everything backward. He was searching for gold whereas the thick- witted man had his eyes on us as he was flying around, hitting with the toe cap the dresses of my set of clothes. My son hardly restrained himself but I stopped his run-up, nipping him to hush and staying in any case in front of him. The cross-eyed man, who wasn’t finding any worth thing, grumbled and grunted with a hollow voice. He was almost exasperated. His forehead became black. I followed with anxiety every move of him and in that moment I would like to have had a batch of gold for those bogeys so that they couldn’t touch my son, the bride and their child, my dear. I didn’t want the gold before the little child. But instantly the cross- eyed man sat up and ordered the thick- witted man to bind us. Oh, that instant! The eyelashes were wobbling from the deviltry of that criminal. How he squeezed the jowls and the teeth, how chuckled that peevish black hog! O my God, what a hideous creature on earth! He jumped over my son, slipped the terrified baby, threw it in the set of clothes and put his foot in the throat to suffocate it. My son escaped from the hands of the thick- witted man and hunched to save the child. He scuffled with the cross- eyed man, who flounced to him with fists and kicks. He grabbed my son from the hair and began to drag him by the room. My bride and me, bound together, screamed but it was impossible to save him. The thick- witted man held from the arms my son and the infuriating cross- eyed man hit him in the belly with his heavy shoes. His eyes were blooded from the rabies. When my son’s body fell in the ground, almost dead, the gluttonous cross- eyed man stabbed the dagger in his heart, pulled it, and so covered with blood stabbed it again and again… Even the thick- witted man blazed up… With the bayonet…They made his body holey… The bride lost consciousness immediately whereas I was watching as in a haze, with my broken heart, almost exhausted, how my son screamed: Oh, mother, they killed me”!

How trembled and curled the corpse, still warm, how dribbled the blood, sprinkled the wall and the murderer’s clothes, poured on the floor, some of it exuding through a slot downstairs, in the dark of the cot whereas the other part shrank and froze in my feet…

But was this enough?! The thick- witted man didn’t take away that bogey laugh from his lips whereas the cross- eyed man gabbled, grinning near my nose, with the blood of my son dripping from the knife…I was parched. With the wall-eyes from a horror that one has never heard or seen, from that very arduous dread for the shoulders of a grey- headed mother, I had lost, almost completely, my tenderness… I was like a living cadaver… Whereas the bad men, who still wanted to torture me, after they had slaughtered my son like a cattle, peeled his head and put the bloody skin on the lap of the apron… Even that apple of the eye darkled and I couldn’t see anymore… When I recollected myself, they had gone…

I washed with my tears the house that was covered with blood and I took the way beyond the border, at least I could save the bride and the little boy from the clutches of the pestilence that Zerva threw us, with that band of cursed recreants…

The crowd that was listening to the story terrified, without understanding, blazed in a rebellion whisper that surrounded the mother. So integrated, that close group of people, aforetime violated, irradiated the feverish desire for justice, in front of the table of the commission…

The foreigners that had already recollected themselves, as if they absorbed in every cell of their body the atrocity that these people had suffered, the revolt that the unrequited maiming caused to them…The justice was among them, massacred…

They took some pictures as if they wanted to fix in celluloid the human anger, wrote something in their papers, closed them hurriedly into some black briefcases and left the pace with a car…

Mother Fatija took with caresses and sorrow the skin of her son’s head, winded it on with caution and care, and put it in the breast, unbuttoned the shirt and put it near the heart, as if she wanted to give her life from her life…

She took a look at the people one more time, with the tearful eyes and so, with the hands on the breast she turned her body, ready to go…

The people paved without saying a word. She was going. However she remained like a fresh incurable wound in their hearts, one more wound near the just hurt wounds of the innocence that enlightened their faces…

Translated by: Lorena Uliu
By Shefki Hysa

The false miracle

When he opened the eyes, he saw how the sunbeams were toughing lightly the opposite wall. It was time to wake up but however he didn’t move from his bed. He only gasped and moved his arms out of the linens. He brought to mind that last night he had considered changing something in his life. Doing absolutely something worthily, which could serve to the people but he had no idea what to do. Thinking was necessary before deciding the step to take.
He had all the time, until two o’clock in the afternoon when he had to start the work in that old buses machine-shop. He was a mechanical engineer.

Recently, he had to repeat the same actions all the days. Getting up at about eight o’clock, prowling awhile until he could wake, then bathing in the old cracked wash-hand in the corner near the door, combing his hair in the blind mirror, nailed within the wardrobe covering, getting dressed and going out.

After leaving behind the long-standing hotel of the singles, along a still unpaved street, with five-storied buildings on sides, he could draw in at a crossing where he had the possibility to meet any friend and have a coffee at Piluri’s club. Then he could climb down at the city center to have breakfast at “The seaman” tavern, near the buses agency or at “The Fish” restaurant, in the boulevard which originated from the harbor. Later you could find him away the seashore, toward Bistrica embouchure. He drowsed himself in every kind of hypothesizes as far as that poppet, the schoolgirl appeared at the highroad. With black apron and white collar she could surprisingly arouse the nostalgia of the visitants, the swallows, maybe because she had to migrate every day from the village to the town, where she was doing the secondary school and conversely. His heart was flickering while he was making his steps slower, waiting for her to pass close to him. He could feel with every cell of his body the coming of the girl and suddenly, the heartbeats were intonating in her trot that was similar with that of a hind. He could hardly take heart in those moments, with the back quivering and the nape chilling from the sweat. He could feel even her flurried breathing in one of his ears and he didn’t have courage to flounce about. A voice tightened him from inside to talk to her but they had never said good-bye to each other. Her collar swished as a spring rustle while she was leaving and he damned himself that once again he hadn’t been man enough to talk to her.
But what was she thinking as she was walking anxiously awhile, without hazarding to pick up her eyes from the asphalt?! The girl was going away and he only whispered with the thinking that tomorrow he had to burst without fail. He was going to pour out his heart like the crack of a gun shot.
But the tomorrows, following quietly each other, were never ending. Every time he looked at the girl, the wing of a swallow in flight seemed to graze his face and further his heart.

- Bo! Perhaps it’s time to go to work, - he suddenly called up to himself and jumped frightened.

He began to get dressed hurriedly, but surprisingly the clothes were not the initial ones. He noticed that he was wearing a brand new suit, made of one of the most expensive and uncommon coating, that was glittering like the room itself, drowned in a wonderful, blue light, like a sleep light, but more sparkling. He wasn’t realizing if it was the sun shining this way or the flashlight. Even the furniture wasn’t the same. They were fabulous and smelled as they were just taken from the joinery. He wanted to observe a long time this fabulous change of the environment but the thinking that the bus could run away pull him out from the seat. He rushed outside.

A forest with monumental trees, whose garlands were thrilling like green fountains that throw themselves into a copper air, rose at the building entrance. He stopped for a while, terrified of that fancy view, but the voice of a red horse, which appeared suddenly from the forest profoundness, shook him.

- Come on Sir, get on and I can take you wherever your heart wants, - pronounced humanly the humble horse.

- I just wanted to go to work and if you want, take me at the bus station, - asserted the boy, almost disconcerted from that horse with a man tongue.

- It’s late Sir. At this hour you return from work…I would better take you to your girlfriend… It’s been so long that she is waiting for you… She said to me that you have to meet each other today, - was felt lowly the horse, like those old-time servants of the kings’ stories.

- What are you saying, I don’t know her, and neither do I have a girlfriend?! - rebelled astonished the boy.

- You know each other Sir, you know each other! You have met each other many times in dreams, - insisted the horse.

- Then as you want, take me there, - gave in the boy and hunched at the horse’s back, which meanwhile flied across the trees that were whistling every kind of magic carols and melodies.

They stopped under the garland of a gigantic, thousand years old olive, whose bole hardly could be carried even from the arms of seven giants. The tree cleaved with a crash and in the just-opened door appeared a phosphorescent creature, with the form of a known as well as unknown girl, who looked like that schoolgirl and she was irradiating with a grace, kindly fascinating.

- I am the Beauty of the Earth. Give me your hand my sweetheart, - intonated her voice and the boy sensed that that melodic voice was shuddering even the stone and the tree.

He held out his arm, she grabbed it and in mid-air, as in dreams, they lost across a range of royal hallways and stood amidst a grandiose library, with infinity of books. The boy wondered. He forgot the Beauty of the Earth and began to browse those strange books that could tell their title with a human voice when you were touching them.

- All the thesaurus of the human knowledge is in this Library. Here you can find even the books of the famous Library of Babylonia, disappeared thousand years before. They are yours, if you like them, - said the Beauty of the Earth.

The boy didn’t take his eyes off of that Beauty, unknown from the mankind.

- Everything you are looking at is yours. I am yours too, - continued The Beauty of the Earth with her intonating voice.
- But with a condition…, - was felt the boy with half voice.
- With no conditions! The thesaurus and me belong to you, - was felt imploringly the Beauty of the Earth.
- I want this thesaurus to serve to the humanity. So this eighth Miracle, discovered by me, can be useful - emphasized the boy.
- Neither can the sun view this Miracle, - implored the Beauty of the Earth.
- Then its grandiosity is false! I don’t want a false Miracle! You have to know that the humanity has lost too much with the disappearance of the famous Library of Babylonia. - asserted emphatically the boy.
- Don’t hurry guy, put aside the humanity and its loss. You deserve the Miracle. We belong to you, only to you.
- No! - screamed he boy. - I don’t need this miracle if I don’t have the possibility to help the people with its values.

- Forget the people and take care of yourself, Sir. You don’t exist for them.
They have never thought about you. Why serving to those people, who has never been impressed with your existence?! You deserve their servings, you deserve the Miracle too. Don’t push away this blessing but open the door when it knocks. It is said that the bird comes to your hand only once, - supplicated frightened the Beauty of the Earth.

The boy thought an instant. The beauty of the Earth reached and kissed him magically as to fuddle the boy with the celestial sweetness of her lips. He was almost falling asleep as it were, afoot.
- No, my darling, I can’t accept your gift. Maybe I don’t really exist for the people and they don’t know how much valor do I have inside but I want to change precisely for this reason. I want to become someone, be among them so they can see me with their own eyes, touch me with their hands, perceive me with mind, feel me with heart and so I can diminish their sorrows and enhance the joys. This is me. I want them to feel that I am serving them a little and say: It’s our blood! So, I want to be useful for the people, I want everything that serves them.

The Beauty of the Earth whispered and laughed violently.
- You don’t believe me?! - jumped the boy with a hurt sensibility.
- You want me to serve the people?! My love too?! My love is sacred and it belongs only to you, to nobody else! I can’t believe that you are so ingenuous at all! - stressed bitterly the Beauty of the Earth with a tearful face.

The disappointment was clearly read in all her being…
The boy faded away by her reaction, even was he ashamed for that terrible misunderstanding, however he pulled himself together and exploded dolorously:

- I feel with all my soul your sacred love and neither can I think to give that God’s gift to somebody else. I am not so immature. On people’s service I want to put the “Miracle” of this thesaurus, not you, don’t misunderstand me. The poor people are so longing for knowledge and I feel so eager in front of this thesaurus, but it looks like a desert mirage if it doesn’t quench my thirst…

- This miracle is my set of clothes and together we are a sufficient gift to quench your thirst, I hope! The bride’s set of clothes, is understood, can’t be put on everyone’s service, can it?! - interrupted his speech the Beauty of the Earth.
The boy hushed.

- Do you accept this sacred gift or you don’t?! - shouted the Beauty of the Earth, impatient as much as angry.
The boy shrugged humbly.

- Do you?! - echoed languishingly her voice.
The boy swallowed up faintly. How could he convince the Beauty of the Earth that his knowledge didn’t go for anything if he couldn’t extinguish the human curiosity, if he couldn’t soften with them, just a little, the permanent glow of the unquenched thirst of its kind, so unknown in front of the Universe Mystery?! Probably it was impossible. And he was taught from the human practice that it was impossible for the man to coexist with the impossible. Coexisting with it was an absurdity. It meant a coexistence of the life with the lie. And this was unacceptable for a guy like him, with that moral, with those convictions, with that knowledge ambit of life. But he was made this way…

- Do you?! - was repeated the Beauty of the Earth’s voice, more faraway, more glacial, sharper than the edge of a homicidal arrow.
- No! - wheezed painfully the boy.
He had the sensation that the glacial arrows of her voice permeated his heart and it ruptured and fell on the ground.
- Then goodbye, guy! Have a felicitous journey in the people’s world.

- Goodbye Beauty of the Earth! Goodbye, you unachievable Miracle! - spoke through clenched teeth drowsily the boy and immediately disappeared from that dreamy world with a frightful glass crash.
Suddenly he opened the eyes and felt that an invisible hand had thrown him away from that magical dreams paradise to the reality of the cold room. He whirled his eyes and distinguished in the concrete floor, between the bed and the dressing-table, the shredded glassworks of the flagon that, as he could understand, he had pushed down while sleeping, with the instinctive movements of the arm.

- Welcome to the human reality! - shouted joyfully the boy and after throwing away the linen, jumped with the thinking that he had to change something of this equal daily life with a gray color.

He was going to color his future with the warm colors of the dreams and put it on humanity’s service. So his life could have a sense henceforth…

Translated by: Lorena Uliu