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The man who put Albanians on the list of immortal peoples
Albania will be grateful to Ismail Kadare for at least three of his great contributions, which in the current turmoil and relativism of the value system, do not stand out so much.
The first is the unification of the national language and its enrichment. There are many debates and reservations about the way to the literary norm of the Albanian language, but this debate has been closed by the literature of Ismail Kadare.
Ismail Kadareja is the only great Albanian writer who adores Gegërisht and his literature has mostly subjects from the North of Albania.
At first Naim Frashëri and then Gjergj Fishta, each tried to write in their own dialect and although they are considered as the founding ether of our literature, they remained within Gegërisht and Toskërisht.
Ismail Kadare's work has put an end to the debate over the literary norm, as Ismail Kadare is the writer who is read with the same weave in Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, or Gjirokastra.
Only great literature manages to establish authority over the standard of language and Ismail Kadare has closed this debate with the power of his work.
The enrichment that he has made of the Albanian language, the unification that he makes of Gegërisht with Tosk Albanian, the careful approach that he has to the injustices that the literary norms have towards Gegërisht, have made him a re-founder of the Albanian language.
Albania has no more accepted writer than Ismail Kadare in every corner of the Albanian territories where Albanian is spoken, which is proof that he is the unifier of our national language and our national consensus on the literary norm.
His second major contribution is being a guardian of Albania's western orientation. He was like that during communism and remained like that after him.
Albanian society during communism had its cultural substrata, ideological people, and readers who sought even a glimmer of hope in the literature to feel Western.
Ismail Kadare has been read and devoured precisely to explore the western taste of his work. Every Albanian reader looked at the antennas that brought signals from the West to Albania.
It has been the only western thing in Albania of 45 years of communism that you can touch and read.
Then, in the chaos of the transition, his words, his alarms about the occasional slips of Albania towards anti-Western behaviors, have been crucial to reorient society.
His third major contribution, which is in fact his lifelong work, is that he has put us on the list of peoples with great literature.
A nation without great literature is frivolous and destructible. Ismail Kadare's work has made Albanians an elite people, nurturing the cultures of other great peoples, with a piece of Albania in every library of every country in the world.
In doing so, Ismail Kadare has put the candidacy of the Albanian people on the list of immortal peoples and languages.
A people and a language die if they do not have great literature. This danger for us as a small people would be even greater if we did not have these 85 years, Ismail Kadare.