Poeti, Shkrimtari, Eseisti dhe Kritiku Kosovar Kadrush Radogoshi, në faqet më prestigjioze të gazetave kanadeze
Author Kadrush Radogoshi with his works at the library at Norquest College
Photograph by: John Lucas , Edmonton Journal
Gazeta “Edmonton Journal” njëra ndër gazetat e mëdha Kanadeze ( 14 rubrika dhe 80 faqe të formatit të madh) kolumnën javore kushtuar letërsisë këtë radhë ia kushtoi Poetit, Shkrimtarit, Kritikut dhe eseistit, (ish Kryetar i Lidhjes së Shkrimtarëve të Kosovës ) Kadrush Radogoshi. Kolumna u prit shkëlqyeshëm në qarqet letrare Kanadeze. Kolumnen e ribotoi edhe “THE GAZETTE” e Montrealit në anën tjetër të Kanadasë. Qarqet letrare Kanadeze e trajtuan shkrimin si atraktiv, të shkëlqyeshëm (wonderful) e të tjera attribute dhe e publikuan nëpër web-faqet e tyre letrare.
Hingston: Ex-Kosovo author makes new start in Edmonton
Edmonton- Kadrush Radogoshi has been many things in his life. Teacher in the former Yugoslavia. Translator. Union leader. Political dissident. Political prisoner. And, most frequently, author — of 16 books of Albanian poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction.
For the past three years, however, he’s been something new: Edmontonian.
Radogoshi moved here with his wife and their three adult children from Kosovo on Sept. 1, 2010, and it hasn’t been a seamless process. He and his wife both gave up prestigious jobs, as a university professor and family doctor, respectively. His oldest son, who studied English-language journalism at home, currently works as a bus driver.
Radogoshi himself arrived in Edmonton with next to no knowledge of English. Thankfully, he has some experience with other languages: back home he studied and has long been fluent in many of the languages of the former Yugoslavia, including Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin. To help with his English here in Canada, Radogoshi takes classes at NorQuest College.
In some ways, coming here was a risk for Radogoshi and his family. But it was a risk they were all willing to take.
After the Kosovo War concluded in 1999, “Kosovo became a new country, but it is difficult to be an established country,” Radogoshi says. “It needs more time to build democratic institutions. It’s too hard. Because Serbia crushed everything in Kosovo. After the war, it was very difficult.”
Among Radogoshi’s literary credentials are the Pjetër Bogdani Prize, the highest award for literature in Kosovo, which he won in 2003 for his book Through the Literary Universe, as well as the prize for Kosovo’s best poetry collection, for 2009’s A Devout Session. His work has been the subject of much critical attention from academics and journalists alike; one newspaper article compared his work to Picasso’s Guernica. Before immigrating, he also served for two years as president of the Writers’ Union of Kosovo.
If life here in Edmonton has sometimes been difficult, it’s nothing compared to what Radogoshi has already endured. In 1981, amid a wave of protests against the ruling Communist party, Radogoshi was teaching high school in his hometown of Gjakova. One evening, Radogoshi says he witnessed the Yugoslavian police provoke and then shoot two of his students, point-blank, in the middle of a busy street. One died of his injuries.
The next day, however, government officials showed up at the school and tried to argue that it was the deceased student who was, in fact, to blame.
“It was nonsense,” Radogoshi says, “and I disagreed, publicly.” He was thrown in jail for his efforts.
And on March 28, 1989, as Kosovo’s nascent autonomy was effectively revoked by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, Radogoshi was one of more than 200 Albanian intellectuals rounded up and imprisoned. “Without any court decision or statement,” Radogoshi adds. “We had nothing. Just police,” who, he says, arrived in plainclothes and threw Radogoshi into an unmarked car.
For the next two months, Radogoshi was held in isolation in a tiny, windowless cell. There was nothing to do. He didn’t even have anything to sit on, as his bed was folded up into the wall each morning. The only thing he had to look at was a series of 32 optical illusions on one wall of the cell. “They were to make us crazy,” Radogoshi says. “I studied psychology. I know. These were hallucinations.”
By the time he was released from jail, Radogoshi was 30 kilograms lighter than when he’d arrived. “After that,” he says, “I was active in political life.”
Radogoshi began publishing in earnest. As the Soviet Union fell, and Yugoslavia descended into a series of drawn-out wars, he used his writing to take public stands on topics that were then considered controversial.
“Politics (and) human rights were taboo,” Radogoshi remembers. His critiques extended into the cultural realm, too. “I was against literature that was white and black. Simple.”
Now, after so many years fighting against censorship and tyranny in Kosovo, Radogoshi is ready to try something new in Edmonton. For one thing, he’s started writing in English — one of the first poems he composed was about his teacher at NorQuest. Radogoshi is also part of this year’s Edmonton Public Library Writer-in-Exile writers’ circle, through which he appeared as part of a panel at this year’s LitFest.
“My goals are to publish something in English,” Radogoshi says. “I will try. I treat many universal motifs. They are the same everywhere. But my point of view is different, because I came from another reality. I came from hell.”