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An short book based around various legends of interning a body into a structure in this case a bridge as a type of sacrifice But the story is about the various Albanian clans whose petty in fighting are carried out instead of focusing themselves on the real threat of the burgeoning Ottoman Empire The bridge is a metaphor for the Turkish invaders it is strongly built, replaces the old and will last for centuries. @READ DOWNLOAD Û Ura me tri harqe Î The Year The Place The Balkan Peninsula Here In Ismail Kadare S Novel, The Three Arched Bridge, An Albanian Monk Chronicles The Events Surrounding The Construction Of A Bridge Across A Great River Known As Ujana E Keqe, Or Wicked Waters If Successful In Their Endeavor, The Bridge Builders Will Challenge A Monopoly On Water Transportation Known Simply As Boats And Rafts The Story Itself Parallels Developments In Modern Day Eastern Europe, With The Bridge Emblematic Of A Disintegrating Economic And Political Order Just As Mysterious Cracks In The Span S Masonry Endanger The Structure And Cast The Local Community Into A Morass Of Uncertainty, Superstition, And Murder, So The Fast Changing Conditions In The Th Century Balkan Peninsula Threaten To Overwhelm The Stability Of Life There Dark As The Story Itself Is, Mr Kadare S Prose, Skillfully Translated From The Albanian By John Hodgson, Is Elegant, Witty, And DeftAnd With So Many Twists And Turns In Its Carefully Constructed Plot, This Political Parable Keeps The Reader S Interest To The Very End . My rating may not be totally objective I was about to give it four stars actually but this novel s core is a legend my father told me when I was a little girl the legend of Rozafa so I guess it really resonates in me, on a personal level.Anyway, in this novel Kadare analyses the relationship between legends and reality He tends to demonstrate how legends can be have been used for treacherous purposes conceal a crime for example.But as a master of allegories and metaphors, Kadare develops the whole story in order to describe a larger reality where the catastrophic events happening to the bridge only prefigure a terrible curse the invasion of Albania by the Ottoman empire. . The story is set in 1377, and our narrator is an Albanian monk, who watches as the Turkish armies gather over the Balkan Peninsula With a few deft strokes Kidare conveys the great extent of political and economic shifts occurring in Europe in the late Middle Ages the collapse of Byzantium, the spread of an international currency and the formation of large financial conglomerates, some of them complicit with the emerging Turkish imperial expansion.A picture is created of a community in the grip of forces it cannot control and can barely comprehend A medieval community tries to make sense of rapid historical change, against a bleak landscape of fogs, freezing rains, a great river and a stone bridge This is a profoundly atmospheric book. I thought this book was fantastic Kadare s story is short, almost a novella, and yet it is layered with issues of every shape and size, from mythology and religion to war and architecture There are hints of fable and satire in this story, and while it is set in the medieval period its questions about authority and deceit feel targeted toward the modern day I am fully impressed by Kadare s ability to write such a multi faceted tale. . Only red blood in common A babble of languages Their music this stupor, this hashish dissolved in the air in the form of song Their dervishes with ragged clothes that look like hair, and with hair that looks like rags The differences between Europe and Ottoman Asia, suddenly at Albania s borders.But differences between us and them come before that among people of the Balkans themselves Obscured competition for the profits of commerce come to this small principality from outside, places where no one has been Someone we never see maneuvers to buld a bridge and take the business of someone else we never see the magnate of water transport The peasants fear effects on the water spirits A mogul of water, a mogul of earth Ferry or bridge Reason or naiads Science or religion This book is than a parable, but it has the feeling of a very complex parable that invites contemplation of any number of ancient and current contentions On the surface it is about the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe The Orthodox priest who tells the story foresees his culture being obliterated under this juggernaut, except for what might be salvaged later if it gets hidden in crevices of the mountains It is about the basis of the endless wars of the Balkans In one of Kadare s linguistic digressions he tells of the Turks recent nomination of the peninsula as the Balkans , to do with mountains But, it could as easily be about the Cold War, the confrontation across the iron curtain, as it was written in 1976 78 It could be about today s religious wars About ecological disputes among those who believe the water and the earth are than elements to be shifted and exploited About the sacrifices of human beings that occur during the upheaval of modernization, to placate the Gods, whether they be real or legendary.As I finished the book I realized the priest had never mentioned crossing the bridge himself He only watches.It s a classic so I hardly need to recommend it, but I do.