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Nterpretarii alegoriile si enigmele onirice ale unei imparatii intregi Cerc dupa cerc ca intr un alt infern dantesc tanarul ajunge pana in varful ierarhiei puterii de unde supravegheaza cu ura si teama mecanismul orb al politiei inconstientului Insa inevitabil fatalismul balcanic il impinge tot mai aproape de prapastia indoielilor oare un stapan absolut chinuit de spaima muta de a nu intra el insusi in hatisul propriei masinarii demonice nu va sfarsi intr o buna zi condamnat de un vis anonim la dizgratie si uitare The Palace of Dreams written in Tirana between 1976 and 1981 takes us into an entirely diff Billy Connolly zi condamnat de un vis anonim la dizgratie si uitare The Palace of Dreams written in Tirana between 1976 and 1981 takes us into an entirely diff

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Nëpunësi i Pallati it të Endrrave

Palatul Viselor cea mai teribila si mai nemiloasa caricatura a totalitarismului in descompunere dupa cum spunea Andre Clavel a aparut intr o prima varianta Slujbasul de la Palatul Viselor la Tirana in 1981 si a fost interzis de regimul comunist al lui Enver Hodja Kadare isi publica versiunea finala in 1990 la Editura Fayard la scurt timp dupa emigrarea in Franta Romanul probabil cea mai curajoasa carte a lui Ismail Kadare surprinde cosmarul orwellian amplificat intr o izbucnire violenta a istoriei moderne impletin ”Mark Alem pressed on his mouth dry despite his attempts to reassure himself After all wh

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D intr o poveste atemporala spaimele mentalitatii primitive cu delirul birocratiei totalitareIntr un timp incert poate inceputul secolului XX sultanul imensului dar subredului Imperiu Otoman ingradeste libertatea supusilor controlandu le visele prin intermediul celei mai inspaimantatoare si mai misterioase institutii ale puterii Tabir Saray Aici se angajeaza Mark Alem descendentul unei puternice familii cu radacini intr o Albanie reala si mitica totodata cel care primeste sarcina kafkiana de a trece prin filtrul i Kadare's metaphor for a monolithic police state and its workings Set in the late 19th centu


10 thoughts on “Nëpunësi i Pallati it të Endrrave

  1. says:

    ”Mark Alem pressed on his mouth dry despite his attempts to reassure himself After all what did it really matter if he did get lost? He wasn’t on some vast plain or in a forest He was merely inside the Palace But still the thought of getting lost terrified him How would he get through the night amid all these walls these rooms these cellars full of dreams and wild imaginings? He’d rather be on a frozen plain or in a forest infested with wolves Yes a thousand times ratherHe hurried on faster How long had he been walking now? Suddenly he thought he hear a noise in the distance Perhaps it’s only an illusion he told himself Then after a little while the sound of voices burst out again clearly this time though he still couldn’t tell what direction it came fromHe went down another two or three steps and found himself in another corridor which he deduced must be on the ground floor The sound of voices faded for a few moments then returned nearerMark Alem was practically running by now his eyes fixed on the end of the corridor where a faint suare of light came in from outside Please God let it be the back door An empty seemingly endless hallway can give a person a sense of disassociationThere are no signs directing people in the proper directions at the Palace of Dreams Mark Alem finds himself lost not only in the corridors of the Palace but also in the hour upon hour day to day work of selecting and interpreting dreams He is descended from a prominent family called the uprilis They have contributed generations of powerful men to the Balkan Empire ”For nearly four hundred years the uprilis had seemed fated eually to glory and to misfortune If its chronicles included great dignitaries secretaries of state governors and prime ministers they also told how just as many members of the family had been imprisoned or decapitated or had simply vanished”There are very few powerful families in the history of humanity that have not found themselves on the losing side of a power struggle at one point or at several points in history After a few messy decapitations or uarterings these families eventually rise from the ashes sometimes those ashes are relatives and find that eventually the state has need of their services again Now Mark Alem’s mother is a uprilis which means it is not evident immediately to the people he meets that he is related to that family He is timid enough that he does not offer that information readily Of course when he is summoned to the Palace of Dreams to be offered a position they are very aware of who he isHe is assured he is the right sort of manInstead of starting at the bottom he starts in the middle of the hierarchy He moves up so uickly he barely has time to settle into one job before he is sent on to the next one Given the nature of the job which is to select dreams and interpret those dreams with the most important ones being sent to the Sultan to help him make decisions about the course of action he will take in running the empire you would think there would be a long and arduous training regime There is not at least not for Mark Alem but as the plot advances we start to get inklings that he is a pawn in a much bigger much dangerous game He is absolutely oblivious He is paranoid and nervous but doesn’t know exactly what he should be paranoid and nervous about He is too worried about his workload and whether his interpretations of these dreams are correct He wears out erasures writing what he thinks and then becoming paralyzed with doubt as to how his superiors would interpret his thoughts Like any good bureaucrat he finds it is much safer to stifle any creativity and pass along the most bland safest interpretations of the dreams he finds in his folder Not that they need a reason to separate your head from your body but certainly try not to hand it to them on a silver platter The empire is ruled by dreams Every dream no matter how mundane is reuired to be written down by every citizen in the realm I think it only seems reasonable that if I were to have a steamy dream say about my neighbor’s wife that I would make a few changes like say make it two horses in a pasture or really spice it up and have a pig with a goat My luck somehow that would mean I was secretly plotting the downfall of the empire These dreams are collected and hauled to the Palace of Dreams where they start the cycle of elimination of those dreams that are deemed worthless or fabricated mineand those that are thought to be important are pushed up the chain for further interpretation As Mark Alem wanders around his work usually trying to find a door and usually on the wrong floor to find it he discovers that sometimes the dreamers are brought in for further uestioning about a dream they submitted The uestioning must be rigorous because sometimes those dreamers leave in a black coffin You're not paranoid if actually there are reasons to be paranoidThere is no sex in this book barely a hint of desire There is one moment where he passes a house where he knows two pretty sisters live and Mark Alem might have felt a twitch or tingle but other than that it seems as if the terror of his daily life is all consuming There is talk at the end of the book of an arranged married but Mark Alem is about as interested in the details as he is in catalogued Elephant stool samples Ismail Kadare was in Albanian politics during the communist rule in the 1970s He wrote a satirical poem in 1975 that came to the attention of the government and he was punished by not being able to publish for three years In 1977 he publishes a book called The Great Winter that is flattering to Enver Hoxha the Communist leader of Albania Kadare later said that the book was the price of his freedom In 1980 when the Palace of Dreams is published the book is immediately banned Not a big surprise dictatorships tend to not appreciate books that are Orwellian or Kafkaesue in nature It seems to me that Kadare was fairly politically astute He managed to be critical without getting himself killed It also helps to be Albania’s most celebrated writer In 1990 he applied for asylum in France Ismail Kadare dissident against a dictatorship or did he collude to survive? Both I do believe and brilliantly in my opinionThis book is the English translation of the French translation of the Albanian version Yeah I know scary isn’t it? I don’t read Albanian and I unfortunately do not read French so I have no clue how much this story has been sifted and strained and blended and fluffed I will say after I got over my initial shock at what the publishers had done to me I mean seriously the publisher couldn’t find an Albanian intellectual that has a solid command of English?I found myself as nervous paranoid and as frustrated as Mark Alem in trying to figure out what really was going on This book is certainly a blatant condemnation of the Albanian government trying to control everything granted they couldn’t figure out how to control their subject’s dreams but if they could have they would This is must read for those fans of Franz Kafka and George OrwellIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    I wonder why so few people have read this novel because it's uite amazing I can't say that it's completely original because it reminded me of Kafka The Castle and Saramago All the Names but imagining an institution where people's dreams are analyzed That is a brilliant idea masterfully developed by Ismail KadaréMark Alem comes from a powerful Albanian family the uiprili Köprülü and his relatives decide that he should apply for a job at one of the most influential institutions of the Ottoman Empire Tabir Saray the Palace of Dreams Thus he begins his ascent to the top although fearful and confused never fully aware of what he is supposed to do In this huge machinery of control the dreams from all over the empire are gathered sorted and analysed in order to choose one Master Dream that is presented each Friday to the Sultan Dreams are believed to foretell important political events thus being of utmost importance to the EmpireWe follow Mark Alem's journey through the mysterious Palace of Dreams with its nightmarish passages where he usually gets lost with the thousands of dreams stacked away in its huge underground archive with the kafkian beaurocracy and the strange happenings that make people paranoid Without realising Mark Alem becomes an active part in the events that will unfold in the story bringing misfortune to his familyAbsorbed in the world of dreams Mark Alem comes to believe that this is the real world powerful and vivid while the reality outside gradually becomes gray dull and less and less attractive He gets and isolated his relatives remaining his only connection to the earthly world He seems oblivious to any romantic relationship and the only mention of a possible wife comes from his uncles but we don't ever get to know the girl The lack of a sexual dimension makes the character a bit too flat but contributes to his total immersion in the fantastic world of dreams a sort of hell that Ismail Kadaré wanted to create in his novel


  3. says:

    This is another fascinating story from Ismail Kadare It is a story of the uprilis Turkish Koprulu a noble Albanian family and the Tabir Sarrail the Palace of Dreams a government ministry which wields great unbridled power It reads very much like magical realism but is set against a historical backdropSet in the time of the Ottoman Empire the influential and respected uprili family had illustrious members who were Viziers and other important officials Not so for Mark Alem who was rather insignificant without much talent or gumption What he did have was a maternal uprili inheritance but counterbalanced by an Arabic paternal descent He is thrust into a highly sought after career at the Tabir Sarrail The task of the Tabir is to classify and examine the dreams of all citizens without exception The premise is that Allah sends a forewarning to the world through dreams which may come from anybody The Tabir has to sift out ordinary dreams as well as the “fake news” dreams leaving only the potentially important ones and to interpret these selected dreams Distilled at the end are Master Dreams which determine the future of the empireThe Tabir is a labyrinth of hallways and rooms filled with thousands of nameless staff who stick to fixed routines and run like clockwork It is in this Orwellian environment that the addlepated Mark Alem has to not only survive but to thrive That they collect sort and analyse dreams seems rather odd and could only be allegorical Also symbolic is how Mar Alem keeps losing his way in the Tabirview spoilerThe story is like a game of chess With gambits and sacrifices from both sides of the board It becomes obvious later that the push for Mark Alem is politically motivated Like on a chess board he starts as a lowly pawn from the bottom and gets slowly advanced all the way to the back row to convert to a important chess pieceThere is nothing endearing about Mark Alem but one feels sorry for him as he gets swept along by politics While he had no outstanding ability or wisdom he had insight into his situation Even at the pinnacle of his career he still understood that it could all be taken away just as easily as it came hide spoiler


  4. says:

    The Palace of Dream by Ismail KadareIf Kafka's The Castle and Orwell's 1984 got freaky with it and had a baby the result would be Kadare's The Palace of Dreams Karade is an Albanian and I would argue that the Palace of Dreams belongs to the long and productive tradition of subversive communist literature that cleverly disguises its critiue in a novel about the fantastic Karade's subversion isn't so disguised; it kind of hits in the face but he's Albanian and not a Russian and he lives in France but the novel is of this type The Palace of Dreams is a monolithic government agency that feels like it comes out of Orwell or the movie Brazil The agency's mission is to gather and interpret the dreams of all the citizens The protagonist Mark Alem gets assigned to a mid level position in Selection The job of Selection is to to choose the dreams that are worthy of Interpretation from those that are garbage Mark Alem starts at a mid level position because his family is second in the land only to the Sultan the book is set in the Ottoman Empire but this time period is of little conseuence The Palace itself feels like Kafka's The Castle It is a labyrinth in which Mark Alem is constantly lost and he winds up turning corners to find himself face to face with busy bureaucrats and big desks As he spends his time in Selection of the Palace is revealed It is by design mysterious Everyone works at their position but few know to what end It is revealed to him that there is a Master Dream that is of interest to the Sultan The Master Dream has something to do with major political events such as assassinations and wars and has existed and interpreted for hundreds of years After of the Palace is revealed Mark Alem goes to work one day and finds himself promoted into the division of Interpretation In Interpretation he reads several dreams and in particular one he choose earlier from Selection to be interpreted Little of the dream is discussed but it has to do with a bridge a raging bull and a fire In a nut shell the story follows the life of Mark Alem as a bureaucrat in the Palace He works he has coffee breaks he files papers and he discusses his work with his family despite the fact that he is supposed to be secretive Underlying the Palace and the prose is a tension Everyone works but because they do not know to what end and because they are forced to be secretive everyone is paranoid and second guesses their selections and interpretations Then one day it all changes His family is raided by the secret Police Their servants are killed and his Uncle is arrested Mark Alem feels his family may know why but he is left in the dark He goes to work the next day and the Palace is a buzz in whispered gossip The bureaucrats all talk of what happened to Mark Alem's family The next day there is retaliation Mark Alem's family second in the nation has retaliated in assignations and political moves Mark Alem finds him again promoted but his time into a directors position As a director he has the access to research what has happened He discovers that the dream he Selected and Interpreted was a part of the Master Dream and predicted a power struggle between his family and the Sultan His family would gain power at the cost of his Uncle's life Mark Alem wonders if he were planted by his family to Select and Interpret the Master Dream He wonders if it was a coincidence that he is now a man in power or that if he were set up to be handed the Master Dream and raised to Interpret it as such He wonders and he waits for he knows one day the secret police will come and take him Until that time he continues to workIsmail Karade said that he wanted to create “vision of hell” I would say that he succeeded Mark Alem's life is directionless mundane and worst all he waits in ignorance of a when horrible future will catch up to him I think that having the knowledge that the future will be 'bad' but not knowing when or how is one of the worst feelings of all time It creates anticipation and expectation and these feelings are often powerful than the reality itself At the same time Mark Alem's life is mundane and pointless He is not waiting for death by living an exciting fun life he is waiting for death by barely getting by in isolation and paranoia It is a hell a very modern and distinct vision The only critiue I could offer is that this reality of hell is present but that the emotion behind those feelings isn't well captured The book is not character driven but setting driven But I don't consider this a bad thing but a good choice The setting The Palace of Dreams is ultra cool The prose is uick and fun Together those elements make this a fun book to read The result is that Karade captures a modern hell in a fun way and that makes this a really great book


  5. says:

    Kadare's metaphor for a monolithic police state and its workings Set in the late 19th century Ottoman Empire I figured this out from several subtle hints in the novel along with elements from the late 20th century this novel tells of a young man Mark Alem who is employed by the Palace of Dreams the author's surreal intelligence agency where dreams from all over the empire are collected sorted interpreted with an eye to discovering which might be a Master Dream pointing to a possible coup or other upheaval in the State When one is discovered the sultan's secret police can nip a possible plot in the bud and do away with any perpetrators Mark Alem starts out in the Selection Department and passes along a file containing what he feels might be a possibly incriminating dream a wasteland filled with garbage a musical instrument a rampaging bull and a bridge When he is promoted to the Interpretation Section he is faced with the very same dream We don't know his final interpretation but agents from the Master Dream Section become very busyA chilling and nightmarish novel reminiscent of Kafka the claustrophobic labyrinthine corridors of the Palace are evoked frighteningly Mark Alem must find his way from one department to another alone hoping for help On his day off he notices how pale and insipid the real world has become as compared with the inner lives of people in the Palace Atmospheric Very highly recommended I'd advise reading the author's Three Arched Bridge first if possible to get some backstory


  6. says:

    The uniue idea at the heart of this story is instantly intriguing Mark Alem scion of the powerful uprili family is given a job at a prestigious institution the Tabir Sarrail or Palace of Dreams Transcriptions of citizens' dreams are collected here in their thousands then pored over analysed and interpreted for indications that they contain some divine prediction a message of glory or doom for the Empire The eventual aim of this mammoth task is to identify the 'Master Dream' the most meaningful and portentous of them all which is delivered to the Sultan on a weekly basis Unsurprisingly the novel has often been compared to the works of Orwell and Kafka Mark Alem's job is bureaucratic yet bizarre and cloaked in so much mystery that at first he doesn't even know what he's supposed to be doing or the way around the vast Palace or what all the oddly named departments do There are recurring scenes in which he wanders the corridors lost and disorientated Parallels are drawn between being swallowed up by this place and the experience of sleep or even death Having become accustomed to its strange ways Mark Alem finds real life comparatively insipid 'the whole world seemed to have lost all its colour as if after a long illness How tedious grasping and confined this world seemed in comparison with the one he now served' Yet when he's at work the dream transcripts often seem incomprehensible to him At times he marks them at random and it's this cavalier approach to the task that ultimately brings about the plot's bloody climax Its meaning as a political allegory is clear but the novel is always eually enjoyable as an imaginative often uite suspenseful storyHad this been a smoother read my rating would be higher as I really liked the story However I thought it had a stilted and awkward feel all the way through and I'm convinced this can only be the result of it having been translated twice this English version is not translated directly from the original Albanian but from the the French edition There were a couple of unusual recurring phrases that really jarred and seemed like inaccurate choices; certain words were repeated with irritating freuency I found all of this really offputting and I'm afraid it also makes me less likely to read Kadare though I'd first need to establish whether all of them have been through the weird Albanian French English treatment


  7. says:

    I put this book down in complete awe I remember feeling the same when I put down Chronicle in Stone Kadare is an amazing writer The Palace of Dreams like most of Kadare's work is political It talks about the Tabir Sarail a secret government agency under the watchful eyes of a totalitarian government that specializes in analyzing dreams of the citizens The main character Mark Alem belongs to the influential uprili family who have had their share of political trials and tribulations over the yeas He is however not in the least bit interested in pursuing a political career Ironically he is sucked into the very political whirlpool he has always avoided and that his mother sought to protect him from over the yearsDon't be fooled by the synopsis of the book this is no fast paced thriller Yet Kadare manages to keep you interested the whole time with the calm narrativemellifluous prose and of course what he does with the topic of dream analysis and interpretation How he does this I have absolutely no idea The man is a geniusand although this might be impetuous of me to say considering I haven't read ALL his work why on earth hasn't he received the Nobel prize yet??Some of my favorite uotes areYes of course there were risks but they were of dream dangers in a world of dreams the very world the Ancients used to wish to be transported to when they were in trouble and cried Oh God let it be only a dreamIn those files was all the sleep in the world an ocean of terror on the vast surface of which they tried to find some tiny signs or signals Hapless wretches that we are Aren't sleep and death close neighbors? It was as if dreams no longer dared visit him knowing he'd fathomed their secrets and could tell them to go and find someone else to play their tricks onWhat had happened then to life to mankind to everything here below? There he smiled inwardly as if at some precious secret there in his files all was so different so beautiful so full of imagination The colors of the clouds the treesthe snow the bridges the chimneys the birds all were so much vivid and strong And the movement of people and things was freer and graceful like stags running the mist defying the laws of space and time How tediousgrasping and confined this world seemed in comparison with the one he now servedThere before him lay the melancholy aggregate of the sleep of one of the vastest empires in the world than forty nationalities representatives of almost all religions and of every race if the report had included the whole globe it wouldn't have made much difference To all intents and purposes it covered the sleep of the entire planet terrible and infinite shadows a bottomless abyss from which Mark Alem was trying to dredge up a few fragments of truth Hypnos himself the Greek god of sleep couldn't have known than he did about dreams


  8. says:

    In this spare novel Ismail Kadare creates a metaphor for the police state A young distaff scion of a family powerful enough to rival the leaders of Ottoman Empire is given a job in the Palace of Dreams Here a huge machinery gathers the dreams from around the Empire It copies sorts interprets sifts and archives themJust as a thought police thrives on rumor and innuendo so does the Palace The power struggles of the mighty are not discussed or understood even among the intimates of the participants but are palpable throughout the empire and very keenly felt at the Palace of Dreams Kadare demonstrates how the fear of the unknown paralyzes bystanders and how participants keep everyone in the darkWhile this book is over 15 years old I had not heard of it or its author I found it through an reviewer whose interests run parallel to mine This book and perhaps the author I'll have to read Kadare should be on academic reading lists along with the works of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley


  9. says:

    The Palace of Dreams written in Tirana between 1976 and 1981 takes us into an entirely different universe set at the fictitious crossroads of a 20th century dictatorship and the 14th century Ottoman Empire Characters from those ancient times mix with contemporary characters—state employees and office clerks reminiscent of Kafka’s world—in a bureaucratic labyrinth identical to any other bureaucracy save for its purpose to collect sort interpret and finally choose the “Master dream” of all the dreams dreamt throughout the Empire and to decipher in it the fate of the Empire and of its rulers The Palace of Dreams incorporates the traits of all powerful secret institutions—one cannot help think of the Sigurimi the Albanian Secret Police of the Communist era—as well as the characteristics of an almost Totemic figure a Kafkaesue Castle whose rules no one can figure out Kadare himself has declared that this is probably his best novel from a literary standpoint and very likely his most courageous an opinion the Albanian Communist regime must have agreed with considering that shortly after its release the novel was banned But Kadare’s genius is such that in the end the Palace of Dreams has no precise signification except that revealed by its name It is a fabulous otherworldly place where the “real world” doesn’t exist sleep is reality’s only substance and it isn’t the real as we know from Freud that brings the dream into being but the other way around Thus at the end of the novel one of the dreams that the main character Mark Alem uprili who works at the Palace sorted and filed at the beginning of the novel makes an unexpected appearance literally acting upon the present and causing the drama the reader has been anticipating all along


  10. says:

    it has disappointed me most of all the end there is so much open things at the end wich lets you the feeling of emptinessAt the begining the complicated description of the Tabir Saray and how it works was so delightful the idea of compilate all the dreams and trying to find the meaning is great the complicated society government and the way of working reminded me to George Orwell 1984 The powerful family wich the main character has is also very interestingThe atmosphere of the book is dark with a touch of thrill the palace the streets even the relationships Mark Alem the main character is always afraid scared in the beginning is easy to feel pity for him afterwards everything changes and several issues have lack of sense the so fine descriptions and well writen pages turn into a precipitated finish by Kadare just like he didn't feel to keep writing this book like if he got bored of it and didn't have the feeling of gifting a good end to it


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