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Robert Elsie

History of Albanian literature
2 vol.

UNESCO Collection of Representative Works
European Series

ISBN 0-88033-276-X
Social Science Monographs, Boulder
Columbia University Press, New York 1995
xv + 1054 pp.


  • Preface
  • Note on Albanian pronunciation
  • The Albanians and their language
    Facts and figures
    The structure of the language
  • Early history of the Albanians
    Illyria to Byzantium
    The earliest references to the Albanians
  • The birth of written literature in Albania
    The humanist traditions of the Renaissance
    The beginnings of writing in Albanian
  • Early Albanian literature (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries)
    Gjon Buzuku and the first Albanian book (1555)
    Lekë Matrënga and the Christian Doctrine (1592)
    The works of Pjetër Budi (1618-1621)
    Frang Bardhi and his Latin-Albanian dictionary (1635)
    Pjetër Bogdani and the Cuneus prophetarum (1685)
    Minor works of the seventeenth century
  • The splendour of the Orient. Eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Moslem literature after the Turkish conquest
    Historical and cultural setting
    Turkish-language writers of Albanian origin
    The literature of the Bejtexhinj
    Minor writers of the period
  • The heritage of Byzantium. Eighteenth and early nineteenth-century writing in the Orthodox tradition
    A schism of cultural identity
    Albanian in Greek and other scripts
    Dictionaries and grammars
  • ‘Sotto il sereno cielo italiano’ (Under the serene Italian sky) - Italo-Albanian (Arbëresh) literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
    Albanian emigration to Italy
    Arbëresh literature in the eighteenth century
    The remnants of Catholic writing in eighteenth-century Albania
    Girolamo De Rada and nineteenth-century Arbëresh literature
    Romantic poets: Francesco Santori, Gabriele Dara the Younger and Giuseppe Serembe
    Other Arbëresh writers of the nineteenth century
    The contribution of Arbëresh writers and scholars using Italian
  • Allah’s Albanian acolytes. Moslem and Bektash literature 1850-1950
    The recondite art of the Bektash
    The waning of the Moslem tradition
  • The Rilindja period. Literature of the Albanian national awakening
    The beginnings of national awareness (1830-1850)
    Scutarine Catholic literature of the mid-nineteenth century
    The Frashëri brothers and the Rilindja literature of romantic nationalism
    Southern Tosk literature under Greek cultural influence
    The northern Geg writers of Shkodër
    The struggle for education
    The rediscovery of oral literature
    The rise of Albanian journalism and publishing
    Minor figures of Rilindja literature
  • The currents of early twentieth-century Albanian literature to 1944
    Historical overview of the independence period
    The poets of transition: Andon Zako Çajupi, Ndre Mjeda and Asdreni
    Faik bey Konitza, Fan Noli and the American connection
    Gjergj Fishta, the voice of the nation
    Migjeni and Lasgush Poradeci, the harbingers of modernity
    Other Albanian verse before the communist takeover
    Ernest Koliqi, Mitrush Kuteli and the prose of the independence period
    The rise of Albanian theatre to 1944
    The cultural zenith of the mid-thirties
  • Literature under Enver Hoxha (1944-1985) and the road back from isolation
    The historical and social context
    The onslaught of socialist realism. Post-war Albanian literature to 1961
    Ismail Kadare, the will to achieve
    Other prose writing from 1961 to the present
    Modern poetry in Albania
    Theatre in Albania from 1944 to the present
  • Albanian literature in Kosovo
    The place of the Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro
    The rise of Albanian prose in Kosovo
    Poetry on the Plain of the Blackbirds
    The development of Albanian theatre in Kosovo
  • ‘Gjaku ynë i shprishur’ (Our scattered blood). Twentieth-century Albanian literature in Italy and in the diaspora
    Arbëresh literature and scholarship come of age
    Contemporary Arbëresh literature
    Albanian writers in the diaspora
  • Chronology of Albanian literature
  • Glossary of place names and technical terms
  • List of illustrations
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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