Quotes by Ismail Kadare

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The writer is always to some extent in exile, wherever he is, because he is somehow outside, separated from others; there is always a distance. more...

Who in the world has not yearned for a loved one, has never said, If only he or she could come back just once, just one more time...? Despite the fact that it can never happen, never ever. Surely this is the saddest thing about our mortal world, and its sadness will go on shrouding human life like a blanket of fog until its final extinction. more...

Dictatorship and authentic literature are incompatible... The writer is the natural enemy of dictatorship. more...

A mountaineer's house, before being his home and the home of his family, is the home of God and of guests. more...

An Albanian's house is the dwelling of God and the guest." Of God and the guest, you see. So before it is the house of its master, it is the house of one's guest. The guest, in an Albanian's life, represents the supreme ethical category, more important than blood relations. One may pardon the man who spills the blood of one's father or of one's son, but never the blood of a guest. more...

It was only a phrase that went from mouth to mouth and was never quite swallowed. more...

To tell the truth, this was one of the few cases in which she had not told him just what she was thinking. Usually, she let him know whatever thoughts happened to come to her, and indeed he never took it amiss if she let slip a word that might pain him, because when all was said and done that was the price one paid for sincerity. more...

His suspicion that he was not going in the right direction tortmented him more and more. At last he had the conviction that he would never go anywhere but in the wrong direction, to the very end of the handful of days that was left to him, unhappy moonstruck pilgrim, whose April was to be cut off short. more...

Can one move an empire as if it were a house? more...

I could not understand how people could not like something as beautiful as the aerodrome. But I had lately become convinced that in general people were pretty boring. They liked to moan for hours on end about how hard it was to make ends meet, about the money they owed, the price of food, and other similar worries, but the minute some more brilliant or attractive subject come up, they were struck deaf. more...

In our city spring came from the sky, not from the soil, which was ruled by stone that recognizes no seasonal change. The change of the season could be glimpsed in the thinning of clouds, the appearance of the birds and the occasional rainbow. more...

Not a single thought managed to take shape in her mind: for the likeness of this day to the last seemed to her the clearest proof that it would be another quite useless day, a day she would gladly have done without. For a moment she thought that a day like this would be pointless for anyone on earth, then abruptly changed her mind as she realised that thousands of women, after a hard week's work, or a family quarrel, or even just after catching a cold, would envy her just for having the leisure to rest in comfort. more...

A mountaineer's house, before being his home and the home of his family, is the home of God and of guests. more...

An Albanian's house is the dwelling of God and the guest.' Of God and the guest, you see. So before it is the house of its master, it is the house of one's guest. The guest, in an Albanian's life, represents the supreme ethical category, more important than blood relations. One may pardon the man who spills the blood of one's father or of one's son, but never the blood of a guest. more...

The days were heavy and sticky. All identical, one the same as the other. Soon they would even get rid of their one remaining distinction, the shell of their names: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. more...

Can a country's people be better than its planes? more...

Shiny musical instruments wailed, their mouths open like lilies. more...

Winter hurled more wind and rain at the city than it ever had before. Clouds dashed about in all directions emptying their thunder, hail and rain. The horizon was choked in fog. more...

If an animal has to be sacrificed when a new bridge is built, what will it take to build a whole new world? more...

And everything would be different, different. more...

I had three choices: to conform to my own beliefs, which meant death; complete silence, which meant another kind of death; to pay a tribute, a bribe. I chose the third solution by writing The Long Winter. more...


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