In the 1920s and 1930s, the writers of Shkodra in northern Albania were profoundly aware of the misery around them, and it is perhaps the extreme diversity of their social environment which furthered their talents. They looked to the West and longed for a new, European Albania, yet they found themselves in an archaic society, one so bound by the force of tradition and custom that progress was impossible. Their writings reflected and gave full expression to this dilemma. The present collection brings together a number of well-known short stories and prose sketches by two of the finest Albanian writers of the first half of the twentieth century: Ernest Koliqi and Migjeni. These two men of Shkodra, one raised as a Catholic and the other as Orthodox, could scarcely have been more different.
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Robert Elsie is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Albanian studies and the author of many books on the history and culture of Albania. see www.elsie.de
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