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Robert Elsie

Albanian Literature | Modern


Fatos ARAPI, 1966

Fatos ARAPI, 1966




Fatos Arapi (b. 1930) from Zvërnec near the port city of Vlora, is the author of philosophical verse, love lyrics and poignant elegies on death. He studied economics in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 1949 to 1954 and worked in Tirana as a journalist and lecturer in modern Albanian literature. In his first two collections, Shtigje poetike, Tirana 1962 (Poetic paths), and Poema dhe vjersha, Tirana 1966 (Poems and verse), he made use of more modern verse forms than did his contemporaries and set the course for a renewal of Albanian poetry after years of stagnation. Child of the Ionian sea, Arapi has never lost his fascination with the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, the tang of the salt air and the intensity of light on the southern coast, all of which permeate his verse. His true poetic vocation can be glimpsed in the creation of an equilibrium between the harmony of the waves and the rhythmic impulses of his being. Fatos Arapi is the author of over 25 books. Since the fall of the communist dictatorship in particular, he has published numerous volumes of verse and short stories, and remains a leading figure of contemporary Albanian literature.