More about Fatos Lubonja
On December 13, 1997, I posted a Frosina infobit titled "Fatos Lubonja: Albania's Vaclav Havel?" to Frosina's WebSite www.frosina.org where it can still be found under "Infobits/Historic Personages." Thus, I was pleased to receive the updated E-Mail about him below from Morelle Smith to keep Lubonja's worthy name front and center. A big tip of the Christo cap to Morelle Smith for adding to the body of information about Fatos Lubonja.
As stated previously, my wife, Jane, and I were pleased to arrange a dinner party in honor of Fatos Lubonja when he once visited our city to give a lecture at Boston University. Notwithstanding his long imprisonment by the repressive communist government in Albania, we found Fatos Lubonja to be of good will, pleasant demeanor, and, especially, not bitter. Fatos Lubonja's unbroken spirit during his 17-year prison confinement in Albania immediately brought to mind the poem "Invictus" (see Note below)that nurtured Nelson Mandela during his own long imprisonment on Robben Island in South Africa.
Dear Van Christo,
I was delighted to come across your blog about all things Albanian and particularly the essays on Fatos Lubonja. I lived and worked in Albania ten years ago and have been back several times. I met Fatos [and John Hodgson his translator] last year in Edinburgh Scotland, when he gave the PEN lecture at the Edinburgh Book Festival and again in Tirana later in the year, when I was there for the Byron conference and I agree he is a wonderful man. I wrote a review of his book Second Sentence, first published in the TLS and it can be read on the Scottish PEN website
I also wrote an article about him, his book, and being in Tirana, which can be found on the online Scottish Review here http://www.scottishreview.net/MSmith157.html
I'll look forward to reading more of your blog,
with Best Wishes,
Note: See wonderful (excellent!)Albanian translation of the inspirational "Invictus" by our talented Albanian poet, Merita Bajraktari McCormack, on Frosina Blog posted June 10, 2010.