(About the storybook “Chameria Flavour”
of the writer Shefki Hysa)
Shefki Hysa is one of the most interesting writers of a generation of creators who came in Albanian letters, after their release from extra-literary limitations and taboos by a period of prohibitions and walls, giving us a new vision about the daily life, the time and the contemporaries. Son of a Cham family, who has experienced a double Calvary, the Greek-Zervist and communist, Shefki Hysa has set up in an aesthetic system the fate and the fatality of Chameria, a magical world full of messages deeply historical and mythological, in search of the faded Cham identity. In a vicious era, among the sadder Albanian national crossroads, an innocent population, in the noble ancestors’ lands, was chased and tortured from barbarians.
Shefki Hysa, in his stories brings back artistically Chameria, this piece of epic land mutilated by the harshness of ages. He confesses about a world where the dreams and the hopes of free people abound that someday they will be back to the denied Eden. Shefki Hysa is the writer of the fine psychological surveillance, of the vivid narration where are intertwined the description, dialogue, monologue, and where the real and the obsession goes together and merge with each other, the possible and the transcendent, the dream and the aware action, a world which by the protagonists who acts in that, appeals for more freedom, peace and humanism. But, what makes him a writer with an aesthetic profile all of him, is the rise in cult of the Cham’s world, that metaphorical search in the myth’s annals and in the history of a detained population, which in this new globalization era is still pledge of nationalist and chauvinist psychosis of our neighbors.
With a series of creations like stories, Romanesque, publicistic-literary books, where abound the light-shadows of a stuck time in one of the most complicated labyrinths of the Albanian time, Shefki Hysa builds a poetic narrative saga of all the times, where move the Cham’s dream and reality.
Three-dimensional time, where Hysa puts his events and stories includes in an esthetic manner those bridges of Albania, Balkans, European and World memory, where after every artistic whim is a historic fact for Chameria, the timid truths, announced or implied, which feed the tree of pain, of resistance and love of detained population.
Cham exodus from their ancestral lands, persecuted by descendants of those who had given the world the vision of the best peace and cohabitation through the narrations of Homer and sagas of Aristotle, Plato and Sophocles, those knights of the justice, is akin to the Biblical journey of Moisiu and Israelis, persecuted by the Pharaoh of Egypt. With a difference because Israelis were inclined in seeking the Promised Land while Chams were expelled from their lands and were wildly murdered and persecuted. The massacre against Chams is akin to the Nazi holocaust applied by a onster system, like the one who poured the over Jewish the lava of a pathological detestation, exerted the genocide until the extermination of human protein. Jewish were arose over the pain sea, over the demolition and wounds and went to their promised land to built up Israel and to find the lost self in a crazy time-space. Chams have the Promised Land, those areas where “leaky sun and honey” as a poet used to say, but in it live the foreigners, the Greeks, who have expelled them from their lands and properties, depriving them from grandparents graves, from the history of their noble ancestors, from the myths and legends of a population with a great poetic spirit.
Dr. Haim Raitan, diplomat, distinguished personality originated from Israel, after he has been acquainted with the Cham dossier, already expressed in one of his public attitudes: “Even I am Cham, I am from Chameria. Just like my ancestors survived to the holocaust, fought and saw with their eyes the establishment of the Israel state, I also would call it a great honor to try something about Cham issue”.
Internationalism of the single dossier in Europe and wider, the Cham dossier which is still hostage by the complexes of a false greatness that has gone together with crazy empires, everyday more evidences the necessity to depart from this Gordian junk, that keeps to maintain alive the war’s law between two places, Greece and Albania. Two places which are more united than divided with each other by the history are hostage of a syndromic, chauvinist complex. In the middle is Chameria, the temporarily lost land. It is the centre of Albanian world gravity as well as of democratic world which does not work with the old hour of several Athens’ districts.
This staring world by the charm of historical survival and the search to find new ways to rise up over the museum forgotten complexes, gives a boost to the writer Shefki Hysa to build up a range of themes where the protagonists make their next war for the triumph of Cham issue.
The author is aware that Greeks came more barbaric than Vikings. If Vikings after all were merged with Anglo-Saxons population, by learning from them the alpha and omega, Greeks not only displaced Chams, not only didn’t learn from their nobility until altruism, but certain segments of the Helene state and society still today continue to be more Viking than Vikings by feeding the psychoses of genetic detestation against Chams.
In this viewpoint, the book with short prose “Chameria flavor” of the Cham writer Shefki Hysa, is free hand narrative-poetic drawing of virgin world of ancestors where the characters seeks their fates and the fates of a land remained without people, of an escaped population, hostage of a misunderstood and digressive history up to nonsense. It is not only the topic of Chams space with its particulates, with the light-shadows, the mystery, with the transcendent world of myths and Cham legends, with the unknown or very little known in our letters, which make this book to be read by a spirit. Over all, is the magical of the narration, the suggestion of environments and situations, the agility of types and drawn characters, the foreshadow of that staring world by emotional flow of the upper level, that passes the fate of Chameria in the esthetic optic of the writer Shefki Hysa.
The author, this passionate searcher of Cham psychology and soul, in the framework of Bilal Xhaferri and other apostles of Albanian cards, in that forgotten corner of Iliriada where the Goddess Dodona firstly spoke in Albanian language and, the descendants of Pyrrhus were departed in the biblical journey towards an unknown fate, not once in his writings and books is directed to the collective consciousness of an immolate population which on top of Golgotha of a sad season were crucified by cruisers who don’t have even the pseudo-alibi of Pilat.
In the stories of this book mill about the Chams fate, the Calvary road, the existential anguish of a population that, despite has cohabitated in pre-history with Zeus and mythological Gods and has inherited the noble gen of Epirus, it has been denied the threshold of the house, the stone of the foundation and the stone of the grave.
In the narration “Elims”, the author, by using the heroes of Cham epos, the Elims, their mystical and magical world, those elements such special and suggestive, that gives in his hand a virgin folk and mythology, builds an wonderful narration where through the main personage, Fatos Mero Rrapaj, a real figure of Albanian world, a courageous historian who has carried the Cham issue as an existential hostage, escort the anguish, the disillusionment, the dream and the hope of Cham population in its secular war to find the self and the denied land. Actually, the fantastic world that gives charm and vivid colors to the narration in some short prose of this summery, like in the short story “Didini” where the magical elements serve for the narrative structuring and for the strengthen of vital substances, “The turtledove and the evil” that has in the centre of narration an ancient Cham legend, etc., “Elims” where the fantastically with the potential are emerged, reminds the kutelian images, that world of hobgoblins, night shades and ghosts which the distinguished narrator put in service of his esthetic messages for the fate and human fatality. But, different from Kuteli, Hysa uses an original superstitious archive not as a purpose in him, but to strengthen vital elements, to give them more charm and motivation in their archetypal journey towards dimensions of the great Cham dream.
Before it can be fulfilled in the magical prose of Shefki Hysa, we can say that the magical realism has existed since in the distant pre-history in myths, fairytales and legends of Cham population; in that poetic dimension of the deepest collective unconsciousness that has created by itself the Gods in the magnificent temple of Pelasgian Dodona.
Marquez spirit that traverses the Hysa’s prose, especially the narrations, deals with the vertical incision of narration lines where rules esthetic fixation and pre-destination. But, different from Marquez in whose prose are noticed the human relations and in this context also the Latin-American customary law that inhabits his prose in a pure dependence from the myth and mythology, Shefki Hysa put the myth and mythology in serving to the strengthening of history and to the evidencing of symbolic and metaphor of reality. In this sense, the fantastic serves to Hysa to make the real more touchable, to give the narration another understanding. So, for example, Didini, the hero of the narration with the same title, who appears and acts not like a concrete human but like a troubled soul of the nationalist boy, massacred by communists during World War II, in magical circumstances where he acts traverses very good the tragic of a bad time, where a part of Albanians murdered and massacred the other part due to borrowed ideology from Moscow steppes that entered as a killer nightmare among them. The events in the narration happen in perspective by wrapping all the vital material the soul-personage, who as an invisible breeze goes and comes in the homeland areas passing the events in an ice time that entered as a misery among Albanians. The fact the Didini is Cham makes his drama more tragic, neatly confessed by the soul of the young boy, which wanders away-that way, in searching for self start, remained in a bloody and painfully twilight.
The narration “World Neck” is a tragical dense and surprising saga with symbolic codes which are represented in the deadly clone (entourage nuisance with accompanying thorns of a murderous voltage of electrical energy), that separated two worlds, the propaganda world hence the Albanian border which vomited fire over them who dare to cross the thorny wires border toward the dream of freely world, where other wind blow, where Chameria is situated, this wonderful bride of Balkans, slave of Greeks. The protagonist’s journey of this prose from the iced clone where wanders the Stalinist-Albanian shade, toward Chameria is a tragic adventure where are interweaved the crime, paradox, delirium, the search of those psychic, esthetic, moral and philosophical truths which bear the prohibited Cham’s time and space. The writer Shefki Hysa has changed the Cham dossier in a searching universal metaphor of the lost identity where the individual and collective fate of a barbaric driven population from the ancestors’ lands, is combined in the metaphysics of freely time-space.
The book with short stories, “Chameria flavor”, in the sense of esthetic truths that unfurl and of the messages that passes, as our distinguished writer Ismail Kadare says, “is necessary, is indispensable, virtuous, like every mellow edition of this nature, as there are many reasons that Chams don’t forget Chameria and, this is guessed, it is not only their right, but it is the right of all Albanians”.
Essentially, this is the right of all progressives and idealists all over the world.
The compressed and concise style but worm and full of colors and life where are merged in one the pure confession, monologue and dialogue, poetry and lyrics, irony, grotesque and paradox, placement of fiction in a right context of the psycho-aesthetic-linguistic, figurative language full of brakes and surprises, slim phrases full of linguistic charm, etc., make the short prose of Shefki Hysa to be read with a spirit.
The Cham writer Shefki Hysa, believes in the divine reason of his ancestors homeland, believes in Chameria voice and in the voice of this transcendent reason and has crushed in dozens protagonists’ voices of his wonderful narrations presented in this book, which believe that one day will be back in their land, where love fruits and cohabitations fruit mature, in this trobled corner of Balkans.