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Januzi M. THE HISTORY OF THE ALBANIAN LITERATURE (1983) PUBLISHED BY THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF ALBANIA [REVIEW] / M. Januzi // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2019. — № 3 (19). — С. 16—19. — URL: (дата обращения: 08.12.2021. ).
Januzi M. THE HISTORY OF THE ALBANIAN LITERATURE (1983) PUBLISHED BY THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF ALBANIA [REVIEW] / M. Januzi // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2019. — № 3 (19). — С. 16—19.


Янузи М.1
1Кандидат филологических наук, Университет Приштины, Косово
Настоящая статья посвящена изучению содержания и природы книги «История албанской литературы», изданной Академией наук Албании (АНА, 1983). Как и все академические исследования албанской литературы, написанные до сих пор, эта книга ориентирована на школьную систему обучения. Книга внимательно исследует вопрос о том, какие авторы и какие работы относятся к подтипам, какие из них рассматриваются кратко, а какие из них вообще не считаются литературной ценностью определенной эпохи. Стоит отметить, что это издание 1983 года; книга переиздавалась в 1989 году, но, тем не менее, обременена социально-культурными проблемами того времени. Наш главный вопрос – почему ценность некоторых авторов меньше, а также, почему некоторые другие авторы вообще не вошли в канон? Настоящая статья пытается дать ответ на этот вопрос.
Ключевые слова: История литературы, албанский, идеология, традиции, опыт.
Страницы: 16 - 19

Januzi M.1
1PhD in Philology, University of Prishtina, Kosovo
This paperstudies the content and the nature of the book: The History of the Albanian Literature, published by the Academy of Sciences of Albania (AShT, 1983). Like all the scholastic stories of Albanian Literature written so far, this book is written with dedication to the school system. Carefull observation will be paid to which authors and what works are considered subtypes, which ones are which are treated briefly, but also which ones do not appear at all as the literary value of the time. We always bear in mind the fact that the 1983 edition and the 1989 reprint are burdened with socio-cultural problemsof the time and ask why some authors are reduced in value and why some othersare left out altogether? This paper tries to answer this question.
Keywords: history of literature, Albanian, ideology, tradition, experiences, individual explosions.
Pages: 16 - 19
Почта авторов / Author Email: merita.bsaj[at]

Background of the history of literature

Looking at the contents of this book (a scholar book), we will look carefully at what is left and what is lost, as Genette said, who appreciates that the History of Literature gives both permanent alterations and changes: "It seems to me that in literature the historical object, which is simultaneously stable and changeable, are not works: are the constitutive elements of works … forms: rhetorical codes, narrative techniques, poetic structures … " [12 P.80].

Understandably, the history of literature is linked to the whole of the facts and does not stop only with great authors and masterpieces, but also with young authors who bring something new, something different. The change in literature is marked by its value, and the literary discourse of change produces the change in the established system. Generally with the term“history of literature” itself we see the historical development of a literature, the literary evolution of a nation, and beyond, to other levels up to the worldliterature. According to the formalists with evolution in literature we understand sublime texts rising at the level of scriptures that shake a field of literary values. Thus, the claimed value, verified and praised as granted, is arranged in the work of the history of literature. Within it we see tradition, experiences, individual explosions, all together.

The history of the Albanian literature of 1983 is a collective work made under the direction of Dhimitër S. Shuteriqi. It is noted that this work is strongly supported in the precursor work, also from Dhimitar S. Shuteriqi, published in 1959-1960. Here, the Albanian Literature is divided into three periods:

1. The Old Albanian Literature,

2. Albanian Literature of the National Renaissance,

3. Literature of the Albanian State (1912-1939).

It does not include what would eventually be called the contemporary literature, not even the oral literature as the basis of the written literature. Here we see that there are different criteria for naming each period: the first is arbitrary, like old literature; the second is a national cultural, as Renaissance literature; the third is state policy, like Albanian state literature. The authors who in the foreword under-line: "When it comes to periodization, in this new work the known periodization was adopted, according to the stages of the history of our people" [3 P.5].

This story of Albanian literature, albeit with academic claims, suffers terribly from the ideology of the state system of communist Albania of the time when it was published, and as such, this story excludes our eminent authors who were considered as adversaries and traitors of the country. This paper outlines these authors.

The idea for the history of literature dates back to the XVIII century, but its writing dates back to the XIX and XX. Albanian scholars have consistently tried to offer texts of historical nature by offering the chronology of Albanian literature since its beginnings. See a series of works such as: Justin Rrota: The Literature of Albanian (1925), Gaetano Petrota: Albanian People, Albanian Language and Literature (1932), Eqrem Çabej: Elements of Language and Literature in Albanian (1936) and For the genesis of literature (1938), Albanian Writers I, II, 1941-1942, Arshi Pipa: Albanian Literature: Social Perspective (1978); Rexhep Qosja: The history  of Albanian Literature, Romanticism I, II, III, (1984), History of Albanian Literature (1983), Ibrahim Rugova: Directions and Premises of Albanian Literary Criticism (1504-1983) published in 1986; Robert Elsie: The History of Albanian Literature (1995). All these books have their peculiarities, both by their structure, composition, literary notions, and by the ways of periodization of literature.

As we can see, "The writings of the historical nature on the Albanian literary culture have begun with manuals, the analogies commented, followed with traditionalist historiographic texts. Further, the history of a formation / romantization (Rexhep Qosja) has been claimed, ignoring the fact that the literary formation is a synchronous literary manifestation. Eventually, it met the typology of a literary domain / criticism (Ibrahim Rugova). This order is also added to other languages ​​with historiographic and informative claims, thus promoting Albanian literature and culture. The stories of Albanian literature remain linked to the national and political history of the Albanians, the author's life or readings of concrete works, the work of literary criticism." (Kujtim Shala) [4 P.147]. Over time, there have been political and cultural problems and we have manuscripts in various periods that were not published by the censorship and did not have a cultural circulation. These problems are reflected in the books of the history of literature, which note the deficiencies but also the many obstacles, as we can later analyze within the article. Also in the bibliography of Albanian publications we can see that Albanian authors do not record everything, i.e. the information about texts, resources, etc. is poorer ( Somewhat different is the case of Elsi’s book, which is sometimes overused with notes because the book is dedicated to foreign readers. ). Even in the AShT book itself it is said that ”the bibliography is selective, which includes studies either as a stand alone publication or in a collection of scientific journals” [13 P.594], and it is well known that authoritative studies are considered, which are not all treated by the literary criteria.

Without stopping at other authors who deal with the history of literature, we are putting the emphasis on Sabri Hamiti's writings as anestablished scholar in this field. Here we will see the five volumes of his works:

  1. Literary criticism,
  2. Filobiblical Literature,
  3. Romantic Literature,
  4. Modern Literature and
  5. Contemporary Literature.


In these study books we note that the author highlights what is essential of literature in each literary period, consistently using the literary research method. In the theoretical discourse and in his research, he sees literary criticism as personal reading "as an awareness for the interpretation and reconstruction of the literary work” [6 P.8]. From work to work we see that it creates a whole system of reviewing and evaluating Albanian literature, with the forms, ideas, themes, literary phenomena that Albanian literature has from old literature to modernity. By making a theoretical and critical synthesis of Albanian literature flows in the diocyte and synchronous plan, it identifies the Scales of Literature, pointing to the zero Scale of Scripture (according to Bart) characterizing the imitation, the first (poiesis) and the second recreation (metapoiesis) to propose the interpretation of literature through literary schools. Hamiti's historical poetry follows discourses, codes, forms, formations, schools, phenomena, domains (like literary criticism), etc., and as such is a valid foundation for a literary history of literature.

Fortunately, now we have prominent scholars who write stories on literature history based on what literature is at different periods of time to derive literary and artistic values as precious pearls throughout each period and for every period.

Evaluation of the book “The History of the Albanian Literature” of 1983

What does The History of the Albanian Literature (1983) include and exclude?

Since this paper focuses on the albanian literature history of 1983 (Tirana), we will not elaborate on other works of the literature history, but by analyzing the book in question I will try a little bit of comparison with the predecessor book and with what follows to look at the prospect of developing this type of book.

If we compare the structure of The History of the Albanian Literature (1983) with two books: History of Albanian Literature (1975) and History of Albanian Literature (1980), but also with Robert Elsi's latest book: The History of Albanian Literature (2001), we will see that the structure determines the periodization of literature, which varies from book to book. For example, The history of Albanian literature (1975) has this structure: Albanian Folklore, Old Albanian Literature and National Renaissance Literature. The history of Albanian literature (1980) is structured with the following chapters: Old Albanian Literature, Albanian Literature of the National Renaissance, Albanian Literature of Socialist Realism. The history of Albanian literature (1983) begins with the Old Albanian Literature, continues with the Albanian Literature of the National Renaissance and concludes with the Albanian Literature of 1912-1939. The three books make a periodization not according to the nature of literature, but a time periodization (the old, the Renaissance, years 1912-1939) that reflects more of the historic era. Even the latter two are too ideologically charged by the communist system of those years. Such periodization is not proclaimed by any genuine scholar. Uelek mentions that the history of literature can be written considering periods, literary movements or calendar centuries. Most of the literary stories, he notes, have divided the periods in harmony with political changes or social revolutions, transferring the literary period to politicians and society historians. On the other hand, he notes, the literary period should be set with pure literary means. "The period is the time limit in which a system of literary norms, standards and conventions prevails, the introduction, diffusion, diversification, integration and disappearance of which can be followed" [11 P.402]. The period is easily distinguished by another of its differences and similarities, but also by the values they carry from period to period. Understandably, some of them may be lost as invalid, but also as a consequence of non-preservation, concealment or exclusion (as in the case of some authors excluded from the Tirana Academy of Sciences). Çabej in his book About the genesis of Albanian literature, published in 1939, in which in the last chapter Literature tries to make a historical outline of the Albanian literature. He treats this literature comparable to Balkan literature regarding the support of literary writing in folklore and the political color of the writer. ”Çabej emphasizes that the fair separation of Albanian literature should not come from historical periods, but from cultural and literary circuit. He distinguishes three pre-historic literary cultural circles:

The Catholic Circuit of Northern Albania, the Albanian-Italian Circuit, the Orthodox Circuit of Southern Albania and, finally, the National Literary Circle, 19th-century national literature” [4 P.13]. Robert Elsi periodizes Albanian literature according to historical development and with the cultural-time criterion, e.g. The Early History of Albanians, The Birth of Written History in Albania, The Beginnings of Literature in Albania. The XVI and XVI centuries, the Excellence of the Orient, the Muslim literature of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the Byzantine Heritage, the orthodox tradition in the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the Arbresh literature in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Renaissance Period, Literature of Albanian national awakening, Albanian literature current from the beginning of the 20th century to 1944, Literature under Enver Hoxha's regime (1944-1985) and getting out of isolation, Albanian literature in Kosovo, Our crumpled blood, Albanian Literature of XX Century in Italy and Diaspora and Chronology of Albanian Literature (as can be seen from the naming of literary periods in the chapters of Robert Elsey's book: Histori e Letёrsisё shqiptare, Dukagjini, Pejё, 2001).

 As noted above, this book of literature history (1983) divided literature into three periods:

1. Old Albanian literature,

2. Albanian Literature of the National Renaissance,

3. Literature of the period of the Albanian state of the years 1912-1939.

It does not include contemporary literature, but even oral literature such as the cultural treasury of nurturing literary literature (there is no proper interpretation of oral literature — literary literature.) Folk literature is only mentioned when talking about collecting folk tales such as: Thimi Mitko, Zef Jubani, Jani Vreto, etc. Or even in a case of ideological effects such as:

"Fishta supports his art in populist creativity, but his work has got an antifolk character, precisely this season was in contravention of the basic set of measures, contrary to their democratization" [3 P.116].

Claiming to be a textbook for the education of younger generations is also felt by the state of the censorship within the content and classification of the authors. Understandably, the thoughts, interpretations of literature over time are being dictated.

As far as space is concerned in this book, the National Renaissance literature (with authors: Naim Frashëri, Sami Frashëri, Zef Serembe, Fan S. Noli, Ndre Mjeda and others) dominates, while the Old Literature, but also the period from 1912 to 1939, have the smallest space but (some of which are mentioned in the passing, perhaps due to their inadequate recognition, eg Loni, Logori, Jani Vruho, Milto Gurro, Kozmo Serembe, Andrea Varfi, Ndoc Nikaj, authors from Kosova, etc.).

All scholars have so far judged it as a textbook with an ideological burden because it makes the authors' differences to the point that some of the most eminent authors of albanian literature are labelled as reactionaries, traitors, anti-nationalists, etc. (Fishta, Konica, Kuteli, Prenushi, Vangjel Koça, Branko Merxhani, Anton Harapi, Bernardin Palaj, etc.) We consider the consequences, the delays in interpreting and reception of the creativity of the denunciated authors. Similarly, the differences in national / revolutionary (New World) and anti-communitarian / reactionary (Besa, Neo-Albanian, Democracy, Albanian endeavors, etc.) we also see the magazines and newspapers of the time. In defense of communist ideology, the authors of the literary history text distort some of the eminent national figures so that these figures come full of negativity in front of the readers and so leave them completely out the literature education. Half a page is dedicated to Fishta and  Konica, two lines about Vinçenc Prenushi and so forth, making them as the worst, as follows: "Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940), poet, publicist, pedagogue, politician, directed for a while during the printing of the Franciscan order and the cultural and educational activity of this order. For the interests of the church and the religion stood the interests of the homeland and the people, which he proclaimed and defended with all the demagogy and cynicism, and laid the foundation for his literary work. His main work, the epic poem Lahuta e malsis, attacking shovenism came in the second fight against the Ottoman invaders … Among the clerics and the most aggressive journalists was Vincent Prenushi, the weak poet sentimental and religious. Faik Konica joined this stream (1875-1941). Son of an old beylers family, mostly a publicist, he started the literary activity with the publication of Albania magazine … An unscrupulous politician, Konica was unbreakable, brutal and aggressive all his life, attacking one case with another very patriotic progressive … " [3 P.471-472]. In addition to such distortions we have no presentation and analysis of the works of the labeled authors, so that the reader can be left to evaluate the author himself, but the tendencies and impacts that are claimed to the masses / readers.

The text is constantly charged with the tendency to interpret literature in the ideological spirit, giving it powerful political function. We can find as many texts of the type: "They were held as desirous of Western civilization, against the Anadolian spirit … According to them, the nation's moral or political community or supposedly supplant the ruling classes, provided that they stripped themselves of their egoisms and were shining, something that the intellectuals would do in their service …. Or "Against the dominant ideology were the communists and other progressive elements set up … Different artistic and theatrical groups and progressive theatrical repertoire were set up at that time … By expounding the bourgeois nature of" neo-Albanians "and" youths ", the magazine proclaimed the Marxist thesis , according to which the people create history and ideas become material strength when they serve the masses … " [3. P.463-464]. In each part there is an explanation of the political-historical circumstances under the communist ideology that led the Albanian state at that time and the space of such explanations is so great that it gives the typical ideological character of this book.

As such, the book lacks a lot of literary interpretations alongside literature periods and authors, and ideo-artistic novelties. For example, the structure of a chapter is as follows: Part II Albanian Literature of the National Renaissance: Introduction, Historical Conditions, Ideology and Politics, Cultural Activity, Artistic Activity, Renaissance Literature Development Stages, General Characterization of Renaissance Literature, Topics, Tools and Gender, Aesthetic and Critical Thought, Conclusion. Although this structure has the logic of the general perspective and there is plenty of valuable information on the aforementioned developments, but the longest part is Ideology and Politics out of all others. This implies and decodes the dominant function of this literary history, full of history of socio-political circumstances, alongside them with the course of literature, but without complete literary analysis. Also, when it comes to special authors (mainly to the authors of the Renaissance) always the text is associated with the sub-title Worlds and social and political views, so that the colors that characterize the ideological aspect that this text carries are seen. It is understandable that the authors of old literature and Romanticism come in full treatment, whereas the most impoverished ones come from those who are not sufficiently recognized, mostly authors of the 1920s and 1930s. It is worth pointing out that each chapter has a conclusion that comes as a summary of the basic characteristics of authors and periodic periods, sometimes referred to as literary currents or literary movements. Within the text there are also information on translations performed by our authors (Noli, Çajupi , etc.) that speak of the interests of foreign literature and their influence more or less in albanian literature.


This study presents the Albanian Literature History (AShT, 1983), where among other things it is stressed that the studied book does not sufficiently represent the history of Albanian literature, because it contains major deficiencies. Dictated by the ideological scheme of the comunist state of Albania, it neglected major authors (such as Fishta and Konica), treats briefly and not enough authors such as Kutel and Poradec, while the authors of the period 1912-1939 treats and evaluates according to the preferences of power, so we also have errors, lack and unprofessional literary access.

Despite the barriers and tendencies of ideologically dictated interpretations, Albanian literature moves on and develops, i.e. stands out and grows outside the alleged frames. Along with its development, numerous valuable studies of the process of drafting a new history of literature are also underway. We have a number of advanced studies that fill the gaps so far and come as a good to the labelled, denounced authors. Here we consider Gjergj Fishtta's studies (A. Plasari, S. Hamiti, A. Berisha, K. Shala, B. Kosumi), for Faik Konica (S. Hamiti, J. Kastrati), for Bilal Xhaferri (S. Hamiti, K. Shala), for Ernest Koliq (A. Berisha, K. Rahman, Dh. Shehri, S. Hamiti) for Mitrush Kuteli (S. Hamiti, A. Plasari, K. Shala, S. Bashota, N. (S. Hamiti, A. Berisha, K. Shala, N. Krasniqi) for Zef Skiroi (Mandala, A. Berisha, S. Hamiti, E. Kryeziu) for Zef Zorb (S. Hamiti ), for Martin Camaj (A. Berisha, Y. Berisha, Xh. Beqiri).

Список литературы / References:
  1. Çabej E. Për gjenezën e literaturës shqipe / Çabej E. – Hylli i Dritës, Shkodër, – 1939
  2. Elsie R. Historia e letërsisë shqiptare / Elsie R. – Dukagjini, Pejë, – 2001
  3. Historia e letërsisë shqiptare, Akademia e Shkencave nё Tiranё, – Tiranё, – 1983.
  4. Historia e letërsisë shqipe, Materialet e Konferencës shkencore 30-31 tetor 2009, Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve e Kosovёs, Akademia e Shkencave tё Shqipёrisё, – Prishtinё, – 2010
  5. Hamiti S. Vetëdija letrare / Hamiti S. – Rilindja, Prishtinë, – 1989
  6. Hamiti S. Vepra 1-8 / Hamiti S. Faik – Konica, Prishtinë, – 2002
  7. Hamiti S. Albanizma, Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve e Kosovёs / Hamiti S. – Prishtinë, – 2009
  8. Hamiti S. Studimet letrare, Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve e Kosovёs / Hamiti S. – Prishtinë, – 2003
  9. Qosja R. Romantizmi I, II, III / Qosja R. – Rilindja, Prishtinë, – 1990
  10. Shuteriqi S. Dhimitër: Histroria e letërsisë shqiptare, Enti i Teksteve dhe Mjeteve Mёsimore / Shuteriqi S. – Prishtinë, – 1980
  11. Velek R. Teoria e letërsisë / Velek R., Voren O. – Rilindja, Prishtinë, – 1982
  12. Zherar Z. Figura / Zherar Z. – Rilindja, Prishtinë, – 1985
  13. Histori e letërsisё shqiptare, AShT, – Rilindja, Prishtinё, – 1989

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Cabej E. Për gjenezën e literaturës shqipe [On the Genesis of Albanian Literature] / Cabej E. – Star of Light, Skodra, – 1939 [in Albanian]
  2. Elsie R. Historia e letërsisë shqiptare [History of Albanian Literature] / Elsie R. – Dukagjini, Peja, – 2001 [in Albanian]
  3. Historia e letërsisë shqiptare [History of Albanian Literature], Academy of Sciences in Tirana, – Tirana, – 1983 [in Albanian]
  4. Historia e letërsisë shqipe, Materialet e Konferencës shkencore 30-31 tetor 2009 [History of Albanian Literature, Proceedings of the Scientific Conference October 30-31, 2009], Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo, Academy of Sciences of Albania, – Pristina, – 2010 [in Albanian]
  5. Hamiti S. Vetëdija letrare [Literary Awareness] / Hamiti S. – Renaissance, Pristina, – 1989 [in Albanian]
  6. Hamiti S. Vepra 1-8 [Acts 1-8] / Hamiti S. Faik – Konica, Pristina, – 2002 [in Albanian]
  7. Hamiti S. Albanizma, Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve e Kosovёs [Albanism, Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts] / Hamiti S. – Pristina, – 2009 [in Albanian]
  8. Hamiti S. Studimet letrare, Akademia e Shkencave dhe Arteve e Kosovёs [Literary Studies, Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts], – Pristina, – 2003 [in Albanian]
  9. Qosja R. Romantizmi I, II, III [Romanticism I, II, III] / Qosja R. – Renaissance, Pristina, – 1990 [in Albanian]
  10. Shuteriqi S. Dhimitër: Histroria e letërsisë shqiptare, Enti i Teksteve dhe Mjeteve Mёsimore [Dhimitër: History of Albanian Literature, Entity of Texts and Teaching Resources] / Shuteriqi S. – Pristina, – 1980 [in Albanian]
  11. Velek R. Teoria e letërsisë [Theory of Literature] / Velek R., Voren O. – Renaissance, Pristina, – 1982 [in Albanian]
  12. Zherar Z. Figura [Figure] / Zherar Z. – Renaissance, Pristina, – 1985 [in Albanian]
  13. Histori e letërsisё shqiptare [History of Albanian Literature], AShT, – Renaissance, Pristina, – 1989 [in Albanian]

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