The siege

by Kadare, Ismail.

Format: Print Book 2008
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Kadare
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Kadare
A Christian citadel in the mountains of Albania is met by the envoys of the Ottoman Army--their message, accept our terms of total submission and avoid the inevitable violence. As the bloody and psychologically crushing fight for control over the citadel unfolds, Kadare's newest work opens a literary window onto the eternal clash between religions and empires as well as the exhilaration, despair, and immediacy of the battlefield.

The imperial Pasha--an instrument of the vast bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire--is the commander-in-chief of a war council that debates and decides the strategies and methods meant to grind away at the Albanians' hold on their citadel and indeed their very way of life. The Pasha's cabinet embodies the political and strategic impulses that have characterized the mechanics of warfare throughout history: the engineer behind a technologically unprecedented weapon; the embattled leader of the restless foot soldiers and artillerymen; as well as the poet, war chronicler and astrologer who place it all in a larger context. All the while, the Pasha's harem soothes his greatest fears and insecurities as the siege becomes increasingly oppressive and hopeless - both for the besiegers and the besieged.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Kadare's captivating blend of fantasy and realism are again on ample display in his latest book to be published in English, a tale of a medieval Albanian fortress beset by Ottoman invaders. At its most basic, this novel is a suspenseful and artfully gruesome war story. Characters like Tursun Pasha, the ruminating general, and Meva Çelebi, the bewildered chronicler, are sketched with nuance yet a simplicity that keeps the focus on the grinding, perhaps unwinnable siege. But it is a rare war story indeed that can describe ubiquitous acts of war in a way that somehow resensitizes one to their violence. Kadare succeeds in doing so; in one particularly haunting passage, in which an astrologer waits to die in the suffocating darkness of a sapper's tunnel beneath the castle walls, the cliché that we all die alone is reanimated into true horror. Originally published in the author's native Albania in 1970, this book also functions as an allegory about the experience of totalitarian rule and the inevitability of conquest, even while illustrating the futility of military efforts to achieve victory. That Kadare's story continues to feel relevant today is further proof of the author's exceptional talent.--Driscoll, Brendan Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "First published in Albania in 1970 and translated into French in the '90s, Kadare's (The Successor) beast of a novel traces a 15th-century Ottoman siege of a Christian citadel in Albania. Ugurlu Tursun Pasha is commander-in-chief of a vast number of Turkish infantry troops, cavalry, swordsmen and janissaries. From his pink pavilion on the plain, the pasha must vanquish the Albanians, who refuse to surrender. Readers meet several on the pasha's side during the bloody battles, including the rather hapless Mevla ®elebi, chronicler to the Ottomans, and the enlightened quartermaster general. Although there are few Albanian characters, Kadare, a Man Booker International Prize-winner and Nobel contender, crafts a story whose details add up to a glimpse into the soul of his own country. Kadare's metaphors leave no doubt that the novel is also an insightful commentary on life in late 1960s Albania, when the book was written. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Albania -- History -- Turkish Wars, 15th century -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher Edinburgh ; New York : [Berkeley, Calif.?] :Canongate ;2008
Distributed by Publishers Group West,
Edition 1st American ed.
Other Titles Tambours de la pluie.
Kështjella, Roman.
Contributors Bellos, David.
Vrioni, Jusuf.
Kadare, Ismail. Tambours de la pluie.
Language English
"This translation made from the definitive edition of the text published as Les tambours de la pluie in Ismail Kadare, Œuvres complètes, t. II. Paris: Fayard, 1994, translated from the Albanian by Jusuf Vrioni"--T.p. verso.
Notes "First published in Albania in 1970 as Kështjella. Roman, by Shtëpia Botuese Naim Frashëri, Tirana"--T.p. verso.
Description 328 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781847671851 (hardcover)
1847671853 (hardcover)
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