The Pyramid (Kadare)

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The Pyramid
File:IsmailKadare ThePyramid.jpg
US first edition cover
Author Ismail Kadare
Translator Joseph Vrioni & David Bellos
Country Albania
Language Albanian
Genre Novel, Fiction
Publisher Arcade Publishing (USA) & Harvill Press (UK)
Publication date
1 February 1996
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 224 p. (hardback edition)
ISBN 1-55970-314-8 (US hardback edition) & ISBN 1-86046-123-9 (UK hardback edition)
OCLC 32429764
891/.9913 20
LC Class PG9621.K3 P5813 1996

The Pyramid is a 1995 novel written by Ismail Kadare, considered one of the greatest works produced by this writer, rivaling The Garden Party, by Václav Havel. It is considered to serve both literary and a dissident purposes.[1]


Every sentence has two meanings – one in the novel and one that tells something about Communism. For example, the Pharaoh Cheops desires to build a pyramid so large that it will drain the prosperity out of Egypt, and an unprosperous people will not rebel.[2]


Like in all his novels, Kadare uses only the pure Albanian language and does not add foreign words. This is unique to him and many credit him with restoring the Albanian language. He is one of the most significant writers who has developed the Albanian language and literature.[citation needed]

"Ismail Kadare enjoys a reputation as Albania's greatest literary voice"[3]

And New York Times picked up on the significance of the "The Pyramid",

"For the pyramid, viewed by his subjects as an abiding symbol of his total and incontestable power, comes to be seen by him as a personal memento mori, a constant and paralyzing reminder that his brief life will give way to an eternal entombment in stone."[4]

See also


  1. Review 04/01/1996
  2. The Pyramid by Ismail Kadare
  3. "Central Europe Review: The Three-Arched Bridge". 10 May 1999. Retrieved 2006-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Bawer, Bruce (28 April 1996). "Land of the Pharaoh: New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>