The General of the Dead Army

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Manage episode 296196461 series 2848523
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In this episode, critic K. Austin Collins joins hosts Catherine Nichols and Isaac Butler to discuss Albanian author Ismail Kadare's 1971 novel The General of the Dead Army. In this novel, an Italian general comes to Albania 20 years after World War II to find the bodies of Italian soldiers who died there and return them to their families, and ends up in a small village looking for the remains of a particular army captain with a particularly brutal reputation.

Working as a writer in the Stalinist Albania of Enver Hoxha, Ismail Kadare became an international literary figure and a preeminent commenter on totalitarianism. His nominating juror for the Neustadt Prize wrote: "No one since Kafka has delved into the infernal mechanism of totalitarian power and its impact on the human soul in as much hypnotic depth as Kadare."

K Austin Collins is a film critic for Rolling Stone and a programmer for the New York Film Festival. He was formerly film critic for The Ringer, and has also written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Reverse Shot, and the Brooklyn Rail. He writes crosswords for The New Yorker, The New York Times and the American Values Crossword Club. He lives in Brooklyn.

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