I Don't Believe in Ghosts

Overview

Between 1970 and 1974, Moikom Zeqo wrote a collection of poems called Meduza that challenged the core tenets of Albanian socialist realism. When samples were published, Zeqo’s work was denounced as "hermetic, with modern influences, dangerous, [and] foreign.” Meduza was suppressed until 1995, after the collapse of the Albanian communist system. I Don’t Believe in Ghosts gathers the best and most translatable poems from Meduza.

Moikom Zeqo is Albania's former minister of culture ...

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Overview

Between 1970 and 1974, Moikom Zeqo wrote a collection of poems called Meduza that challenged the core tenets of Albanian socialist realism. When samples were published, Zeqo’s work was denounced as "hermetic, with modern influences, dangerous, [and] foreign.” Meduza was suppressed until 1995, after the collapse of the Albanian communist system. I Don’t Believe in Ghosts gathers the best and most translatable poems from Meduza.

Moikom Zeqo is Albania's former minister of culture and directed Albania’s National History Museum. He now works as a freelance writer and journalist in Tirana.

Wayne Miller teaches at the University of Central Missouri, where he co-edits Pleiades.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Denounced and suppressed in 1970s Stalinist Albania, Zeqo's poems explode socialist realism with exuberant bursts of imagination. Though Zeqo says, "I don't want to overwhelm you with metaphors" it's just one of the many playful ruses put on by this surrealist dreamer stuck in a land of repressive bureaucrats. Throughout this collection-which culls 67 poems from Zeqo's Meduza-he does nothing if not overwhelm with shimmering imagery: "Ten dolphins jump/ in the April sea./ Ten living hearts/ in the sea of my blood." Reminiscent of other rabble-rousing poets born mid-20th century in the Soviet Union's shadow (such as Slovenia's Tomaz Salamun and Poland's Piotr Sommer), these poems reflect a particularly Albanian point of view: "And now, unpredictably:/ in this beauty parlor in an alpine town,/ girls sit fearlessly in the dryers,/ helmeted against this history." At times Zeqo's language (or Miller's translations of it) becomes almost comically indulgent-"I want to kick the planet like a soccer ball/ into the open goal of the future"-but every poem crackles with life. This is poetry set free from the bonds of enforced "realism," and if it's at times overzealous, it remains a pleasure throughout. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934414019
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Language: Albanian
  • Series: Lannan Translations Selection Series Series
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


MOIKOM ZEQO, born in Durrës, Albania, in 1949, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, novels, story collections, scholarly articles, and children's books. Albania's former Minister of Culture, Zeqo currently lives in Tirana, where for a number of years he directed the National Historical Museum, and where he now works as a freelance writer and journalist. WAYNE MILLER is the author of a book of poems, Only the Senses Sleep (New Issues 2006), and co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, The New European Poets (Graywolf 2007/8). He teaches at the University of Central Missouri, where he co-edits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    this book is out of this world

    this book challenges the bounderies of what people can write. it is an esquized book. it is a little hard to understand but it makes you think and wonder and that is what i like in a book. this author is great and he should be congratulated for his work.

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