Katherine Mansfield on fear, fleeting moments and unspoken love

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” Mansfield’s short story “Psychology” is perhaps not the most witty or wellwritten work from her, as several of her other works, such as “Bliss” and “A married man’s story” are truly masterpieces in storytelling. “Bliss” is a … Continue reading Katherine Mansfield on fear, fleeting moments and unspoken love

The Red and the Black – Stendhal, Martin Luther King Jr. and Woody Allen

No soul is purely virtuous, none fully corrupted I have heard the name Stendhal all my life. Shameful as it is to admit, I have a degree in Literature and had never picked up any of his work. I had created the very wrong idea that he was a sort of a boring French philosopher, an idea perhaps caused as a result of  a certain pretentiousness … Continue reading The Red and the Black – Stendhal, Martin Luther King Jr. and Woody Allen

Best Albanian Expressions

Part 2: Daily Expressions and Colloquialisms Cover Image: Art by Albanian artist Edmond Gjikopulli shows a traditional furniture pattern in Albanian living rooms for many generations with an image of modern children’s sneakers laid on top) In Albanian, as in every language, there are certain idioms which people use in their daily lives that can only be understood with a bit of context. The expressions below are … Continue reading Best Albanian Expressions

Migjeni – Albania’s little big poet

The Songs Unsung Migjeni (Millosh Gergj Nikolla) is considered to be Albania’s national poet of “misery”, partly of his own but mostly that of man, in general. This initially off-putting, yet beautifully accurate, title is the result of his heart-wrenching descriptions of his squalid surroundings. No Albanian poet had neither dared nor cared to tell this particular truth until then. At least not quite in … Continue reading Migjeni – Albania’s little big poet

Best Albanian Expressions

Part 2: Compliments, offenses and ironies In Albania, we have colorful ways of describing people – generally those we do not like or respect. In the expressions below, you’ll see how sarcasm plays an enormous role in our communication with one another. To borrow a nice expression from English, we don’t bite our tongues when it comes to judging people’s faults of character. Derr me … Continue reading Best Albanian Expressions

Best Albanian expressions

Part 1: Words of wisdom (Fjalë të urta) Cover images: Prints by Coco de Paris I find the specific expressions of each different country fascinating, no less for their humor – the inherent kind but also the kind of humor caused by their literal translations – than the fact that they so simply grasp the culture, mindset, spirit of an entire nation. There’s no gray areas and not … Continue reading Best Albanian expressions

Songs of Biblical Proportions: “Take me to Church” and “Hallelujah”

The magical combination of love and religion that spawned endless covers There is a certain magic that happens when [physical] love is described in [literal] terms of faith and religion. Clearly, this works because they, piousness and physical love – are often seen as opposites or, rather, enemies of one another. So when one is taken to describe the other, boundaries of blasphemy are crossed and, in that, there’s certain power … Continue reading Songs of Biblical Proportions: “Take me to Church” and “Hallelujah”