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"Tactless and offensive reaction", Ben Blushi responds to Ismail Kadare's daughter and tells her the truth
Written by SOT.COM.AL 1 Shkurt 2023
Publicist Ben Blushi has responded to Ismail Kadare's daughter, who reacted harshly after the publication of a written conversation between Blushi and the great writer.
Blushi writes that he published the conversation with Kadare in written form, after he had obtained permission from the writer and he even thanked him. The publicist calls Kadare's daughter uneducated, insulting and offensive.
"Based on this goal, I would never have thought that Ismail Kadare's daughter and his circle would have responded so tactlessly and aggressively, insultingly and offensively to me, as I naturally did not expect to be thanked. But now that I read what they wrote, from his first daughter, I understand that they and I have a big difference: they think that Ismail is haunted, he is not lucid, he is not at all lucid and for this reason they think that he must be protected and isolated so that the world does not recognize Ismail as he is, but as he was. Very carelessly, thinking more about how to insult me ??and not how to protect her father, this is what Ismail's daughter had asserted in the ugly intervention towards me," writes Blushi, among other things.
Ben Blush's full post:
AN ANSWER FOR THE DAUGHTER OF ISMAIL KADARESA
Ismail Kadare's daughter made a very unworthy reaction to my address, to which I will not respond as she deserves, since she is Ismail Kadare's daughter.
The reason for this reaction is a conversation I had with Ismail, which was published in my latest book 41 Secrets.
I had never met Ismail Kadare until October last year.
Many people, in some cases mutual friends, occasionally brought me Ismail's judgments on my books, but this was not an incentive to meet him. I had my opinion about his literature and that was enough for me.
Maybe we would never have met, if last year Alda Bardhyli, a close friend of the Kadare family, had not sent me a message saying: Beni, will you have a coffee with Kadare? I told him that it was impossible that day because I was leaving for the burial of a loved one in Korça. A month later, Alda invited me again for a coffee with Ismail and I told him that that day I had to go to Shengjin, to photograph an Afghan basketball player.
At Alda's insistence and of course to my satisfaction, the three of us met in October of last year. At that time, I was very involved in photography, traveling from north to south, across empty beaches and through the provinces, to capture the faces of people who actually taught me how to photograph. When this meeting became possible, I thought it was worth having Ismail in my catalog of portraits, which today number more than 50,000.
Although we did not know each other, our conversation was so simple and spontaneous that I thought of writing and publishing it in my book 41 Secrets, where besides Ismail there are 40 other characters, some known, some unknown and some very well known as it was and the case of Kadare. This plan, which I did not have, was actually imposed on me by Ismaili himself. He spoke so calmly that I wanted to write that text artistically. In this way, Ismail Kadare became part of the book that was published in November.
However, to be careful until the end, before the publication of the book 41 Secrets, I took Ismail Kadare on the phone and told him that I intend to publish the conversation we had together. Of course I told him, I told him the simple things we talked about, what he eats, how much he sleeps, when he wakes up, does he watch TV, does he read, does he smoke cigarettes, does he drive the car, are you cold, what would you like his name to be, are you lonely, are you afraid of dying, etc. Ismail was happy and thanked me.
When the book 41 Secrets was published, I also sent a copy to Ismail Kadare. After reading his piece entitled, Ismail Kadare Pasdite, he called me and thanked me, telling me that he liked the text.
Since the day we met, I talk to Ismail on the phone and as he picks me up and picks me up every time I think that this very simple communication does not constitute any commitment for anyone, but is a mutual courtesy. The last time Ismail took me and wished me Christmas, as I wished him a few days ago for my birthday.
This is my story with Ismail Kadare, whom I once thought was a great writer, now I think he is a very good writer. Finally, when I got to know him, I really sympathized with him as a person.
Since Ismail Kadare's daughter claims that I did not get his consent, I must tell you that this is untrue, which also applies to the text, which respects in every word everything that he and Alda Bardhyli talked about. At this point, I understand the girl, because of course Ismaili doesn't have to tell her what he talks to me, just like I don't tell my daughter what I talk to Ismaili.
Ismail Kadare is often a topic of conversation in the circles I frequent, and that's why recently, from people who meet him, I heard that he refuses to talk, that he shuts himself down and doesn't talk to anyone for days, that he pretends he doesn't he knows those he meets, or he doesn't really know them and that because of his age he may not be very clear.
For the sake of truth, when I met him, I found no trace of haunting or senility during all the time I stayed with him, and even afterwards when we communicated. Ismail was completely clear, lucid and focused and if he pretended to forget or not understand something, it was his game. In my opinion a caprice. This is exactly what I wrote and this text has only this purpose: to photograph a writer in the afternoon of his life.
Based on this intention, I would never have thought that Ismail Kadare's daughter and his circle would have responded so tactlessly and aggressively, insultingly and offensively to me, as of course I had not expected to be thanked. But now that I read what they wrote, from his first daughter, I understand that they and I have a big difference: they think that Ismail is haunted, he is not lucid, he is not at all lucid and for this reason they think that he must be protected and isolated so that the world does not recognize Ismail as he is, but as he was. Very carelessly, thinking more about how to insult me ??and not how to protect her father, Ismail's daughter had asserted this in her ugly intervention towards me.
While I think the opposite.
Ismail Kadare is playing with them and maybe even with himself. So any attempt to protect him from me is futile. Just as Ismaili's defense of Kadare is meaningless, even when it comes from an uneducated girl, as is the case of his daughter.