The Palace of Dreams

Ismail Kadare, Author William Morrow & Company $19 (205p) ISBN 978-0-688-11183-0
First published in 1981 in Albania, where it was immediately banned, this hallucinatory novel unfolds as an extended parable about an all-controlling dictatorship that monitors even the subconscious lives of its citizens. The setting is 19th-century Albania, a backwater of the Ottoman Empire, which in Albanian novelist/poet Kadare's tense allegory represents the modern totalitarian police state. Mark-Alem works in the bureau of sleep and dreams, which collects, sorts and analyzes tens of thousands of dreams duly reported by an abject, compliant populace to a state that avers that ``the interpretation of a dream, fallen like a stray spark into the brain of one out of millions of sleepers, may help to save the country or its Sovereign from disaster . . . '' Assisted by his powerful uncle, the Vizier, Mark-Alem enjoys a meteoric rise in the dream-interpreting bureaucracy, but his failure to decipher one politically significant dream gives the state an opportunity to lash out against his aristocratic, patriotic family, leaving behind a pile of corpses. The author of four previous novels published to acclaim in Europe, Kadare found asylum in Paris two years before Albania elected its first noncommunist government. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
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FORMATS
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-55970-416-8
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4464-1946-5
Hardcover - 205 pages - 978-1-61145-327-0
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-62872-323-6
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