|Born||8 August 1926|
|Died||6 November 2017 (aged 91)|
|Genre||fiction, short story, poetry|
|Notable works||Mekami, melodi turke; Odin Mondvalsen, Stina e Stinëve etc.|
Kasëm Trebeshina (Berat, 8 August 1926 – Ankara, 6 November 2017) was an Albanian member of national resistance during World War II part of the National Liberation Movement, an actor, translator and dissident writer. Trebeshina was one of the voices of dissent during the post-World War II era in Communist Albania, voice which got him arrested three times and he was proclaimed by the regime as a madman.
Kasëm Trebeshina was born in Berat, originating from Vinokash in the region of Përmet, born to Hysen Vinokashi and Hatixhe Sanxhaktari. He was born in his mother's house in the "Murad Çelebi" neighbourhood in Berat, because Vinokash was burned by the greek andarts during the First Balkan War and the family settled in the plain of Myzeqe. He finished elementary education in his birthplace and continued high-school in Elbasan, he left school in order to join the resistance movement, due to his brother being arrested by the fascist authorities.
In 1942 he joined the National Liberation Movement during the World War II, during which he was injured badly in February 1944. He fought in the region of Myzeqe and Mallakastër, after the injury he served in Vlora. In the last days of the resistance Trebeshina was proposed to join the Department for People's Protection (Albanian name-sake of OZNA), but he did not accept. He continued in the serving as a military officer, being banished at 8 January 1948. During the years 1945-46 he served as assistant judge of Bilbil Klosi in some cases.
After the war, he studied at the "A. N. Ostrovsky" Theatre Institute in Leningrad, but did not remain long. During his time there he expressed his desire to return to the army, and afterwards he left the Institute due to political quarrels. After he wrote a letter to Enver Hoxha, he left the Party and later the League of Writers and Artists. He was firstly arrested in 1953 and condemned with three years, yet served only 11 months of his sentence. He was firstly arrested in 1953 and condemned with three years, yet served only 11 months of his sentence. From 1955 to 1962 he did not work, and refused the jobs offered to him. Due to this behavior, in 1962 the authorities finally decided to send him to internment for 5 years, a sentence which he didn't serve in full. Afterwards was interned in Vlorë, Gramsh and Shijak. Then in 1965 he returned to Tirana, where he started a job at the National Library and afterwards at the Naim Frashëri Publishing House as a reviser. He was relocated to irrigation works and since 1975 he stayed jobless according to his investigative file compiled by the Sigurimi. Some sources claim that by 1981 he had been in prison for only 11 months. He had also been 2 and a half years in internment. Other sources claim he was imprisoned for 17 years, Trebeshina acknowledged during an interview that he spent 13 years in prison. Afterwards he was not released from prison until 1991.
All the oppressions Trebeshina faced during his lifetime would fuel, influence, and affect his literary work. After the infamous 1997 riot in Albania Trebeshina fled from Albania and migrated to Istanbul, Turkey.
Although the majority of literary works were written in accordance with socialist realism norms, one of the works that escaped these normes was Kënga Shqiptare (Albanian Song), in five volums, as well as other realist novels of Trebeshina. He wrote the novel "Mekami", in the narrative "Kukudhi", the short novel "Kisha e Shën Kristoforit: Legjenda e Kostandinit dhe e Doruntinës", the novel "Rruga e Golgotës", short novel "Odin Mondvalsen" and the short novel "Hani i Begomires". It is clearly expressed in the memuaristic essays in the volume "Dafinat e thara", in the historical novel "Këngë shqiptare" and the novel "Tregtari i skeleteve", perfect example of intertextuality.
Censorship and cryticism
Two of his novels, Rinia e Kohës sonë (The Youth of our Age, 1940) and Mbarimi i një mbretërie (The End of a Kingdom, 1951) were immediately banned. When he was lastly arrested, in his investigation file the authorities labelled his literary work as "amoral".
There have been assertions that he worked and later on was always supported by the Sigurimi. After the fall of communism he was proclaimed a dissident based on a letter he supposedly sent to Enver Hoxha in 1953, where he criticized the method of socialist realism. However the veracity of this claim has been called into question and the letter has been called a fabrication. Albanian writer Ismail Kadare expressed indignation at the attempt of portraying a member of the secret police Sigurimi, as a dissident. According to the writer, part of the blame for spreading the myth of Trebeshina's dissidence is attributed to the albanologist Robert Elsie.
His novel Odin Mondvalsen was translated into German by Hans-Joachim Lanksch, published in Klagenfurt in 1994. His memoirs-essays Dafinat e thara (The dry laurels) were translated in Italian (Italian: Allori secchi) by Edmond Çali, published in Rome in 2007. Furthermore his novel Pylli - Evandri dhe Nausika (English: The forest; French: La forêt) was translated in French by Anne-Marie Autissier and published by L’Espace d’un Instant editions in 2011.
He was one of the very first writers in the world to write an elegy about Stalin's death. hirty years separate his last publication during the communist regime, the poetry collection Artani dhe Min'ja ose hijet e fundit të maleve (Artani and Minja or the Last Shadows of the Mountains, 1961), with the post-Communist volume of stories Stina e Stinëve (The Season of the Seasons, 1991). Hist first post-Communist work published came out in Prishtina by the intervention of Martin Camaj. Most of his work was published after the fall of Communism, during the 1990s, which made him free to express his ideas in his works. His literary works include:
- Bavjola Shatro (2016). Between(s) and Beyond(s) in Contemporary Albanian Literature. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 9781443899970.
- Gëzim Hajdari (23 May 2013). "An Ode to Exile". Interviewed by Anita Pinzi.
- Trebeshina, Kasëm (2016). "Një ditë në natën pa fund" (Dafinat e thara). Prishtinë: Buzuku. pp. 49–53. ISBN 978-9951-08-240-2.
- Harold B. Segel, ed. (2012). "Albania". The Walls Behind the Curtain: East European Prison Literature, 1945-1990. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780822978022.
- Dragoj 2007, p. 26-28
- Kasëm Trebeshina (February 2007). "Ju tregoj për Luftën Civile dhe Ballin Kombëtar". Interviewed by Kastriot Kotoni.
- "Biografia e Kasëm Trebeshinës në dosjen 1338 e Sigurimit të Shtetit". 31 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- Dragoj 2007, p. 108
- Kastriot Dervishi (24 March 2009). "Bilbil Klosi, gjykatësi komunist që dha shekuj burg dhe u mori jetën qindra antikomunistëve: krimet e komunizmit" (73). 55: 2–3. Cite journal requires
- Segel 2012, p. 30
- Kastriot Dervishi (28 October 2018). "Dokument i 1950/ Shkrimtari Kasem Trebeshina kërkonte ndërprerjen e studimeve të larta për…". Panorama. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- Edmond Çali (2010). "Disidenca e Kasëm Trebeshinës dhe Ismail Kadaresë". XV (2). Tiranë: Studime Albanologjike: 210–216. Cite journal requires
- Dragoj 2007, p. 114-116.
- Robert Elsie (2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. pp. 450–451. ISBN 9780810873803.
- Bejko 2007, p. 83
- Bejko 2007, p. 146
- "Intervistë-bisedë me shkrim me Kasëm Trebeshinën". Interviewed by Hans-Joachim Lanksch. 20 May 1994.
- Raymond Detrez (2001). "Albania". In Derek Jones (ed.). Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 9781136798641.
- Çakirtas, Önder (2017). Ideological Messaging and the Role of Political Literature. IGI Global. p. 210. ISBN 9781522523925.
- Alma Mile (26 November 2012). "Dokumentet, veprat e Trebeshinës u akuzuan si amorale: Gjovalin Kola publikon ekspertizën e Lidhjes së Shkrimtarëve. Si u dënua dramaturgu". Panorama.
- Bejko 2007, pp. 98
- Apolloni, Ag (25 May 2015). "Disidenca e Don Kishotit". Panorama Online (in Albanian). Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- Kadare, Ismail (2012). Mosmarrëveshja: Shqipëria përballë vetvetes (in Albanian) (3 ed.). Tiranë: Onufri. pp. 270–271. ISBN 978-9928-186-54-6.
- "Në italisht edhe Promemoria e shkrimtarit dërguar diktatorit". Gazeta shqiptare. 5 April 2012.
- "Théâtre: "La forêt" de Kasëm Trebeshina" (in French). 10 September 2011.
- Shatro 2013, p. 55
- Abdullah Zeneli (9 August 2016). "Kur Martin Camaj më propozoi veprën e Trebeshinës". Interviewed by Violeta Murati. Revista Mapo.
- Elsie, Robert, Trebeshina biography
- Bejko, Sadik (2007). Disidentët e rremë. Tiranë: 55. ISBN 9789994356195.
- Dragoj, Nuri (2007). Trebeshina: Një jetë para gjyqit. Tirana: Globus-R. ISBN 9789994353453.
- Segel, Harold B. (2012). The Walls Behind the Curtain: East European Prison Literature, 1945-1990. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 9780822978022.
- Shatro, Bavjola (2016). Between(s) and Beyond(s) in Contemporary Albanian Literature. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443899970.