Thursday, April 1, 2021






APRIL 2021

NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.

JETON KELMENDI: It’s true that for me the life without literature has no meaning. To give the right answer, it is not just a short sentence. First, in my family I have some writers. Azem Shkreli is my uncle and is considered the top poet in Albanian literature and our culture in general. Secund, I have the origin from the epic zone in the western site of Kosovo, Rugova. There people from there are pride for their identity and their history. The third, is art and literature that covers my body as my skin and of course takes place in my three pillars that my life continues: The god is first, my fatherland is secund and third is literature. The fact that poetry and literature is not in the best days, because day after day we have les readers, while this fact breaks my wish, but never stop me writing, translating and loving the literature in general and poetry especially. 


NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.


JETON KELMENDI: Literature does not give me the possibility to live from it. It gives me so much pleasure, but for relation to life I thought since early life. I studied for media, security and politics. This gives me the possibility to live physically, while the art and poetry gives me the possibility to live spirituality. When you see in this it looks a bit not satisfaction, but in fact this is my combination, which gives an intellectual living in our modern days in Europe. Simply, the relations of myself with myself is poetry and literature, that’s how needs a person to be himself in this nobody world wild.     


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?


JETON KELMENDI: What I believe and what is the reality in our days  does not mean to be always the same. To me creative soul is a concept of ideal person, but this fact it is not functional in most of the peoples in the world. The world has gone so far, where human is becoming more and more robotic. People for me they don’t live their life, but they spent their life, repeating things every day. The technology has goon so far and for me it has two sides: on one hand people can communicate quicker and fast, plus we can share our values and experiences as we are doing, for what I consider is a great lack for as, but if we see another side, people are fed-up with books, reading as it was before and as reflect of that we have lost our readers. I think also here we can separate in two groups: one group who love sincerely poetry is with fate, because can link with same other. Another group are people who lost the sentiments and as a reaction of this technology they became more technical people. One think I believe, now we are less poets, less readers, but stronger and better as a quality.     


NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?


JETON KELMENDI: Yes, we are living in the age of information and technology and of course this has given as the opportunity to extend our art and what is the most beautiful for me  is the fact that we as a family. Imagine how good is that we are friends, while we have never met each other personally. This have more goodness if we analyse: we know each other’s way of writing, way of thinking, building the sentences and more and more. To know more culture we become richer in our souls. One think I would like to tell, I am reach not with property, but I am very rich with my friends poets and however I speak with them I feel fulfilled that I am part of this community if I can call community the poets.     


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?


JETON KELMENDI: This time is a revolution on everything and in the revolution everyone has to deal with the speed of the developing. So, in the situation when you can be left behind, one think is important to understand: You have to adopt if you want to perceive. I tried to be in a step with the time. My poems I write in my mother language Albanian and I translate myself into English and I give any of my friends to correct and edit them. Moreover I have a lot of friends and some of them are translators and they aske me to translate into different languages, so in this way I collaborate with colleges and different international association of writers. As you know I am active member of European Academy of Sciences and arts and this has given me more possibility.     


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?


JETON KELMENDI: Yes, this is a different what is the real value and what is not value. Today we have good writers and good associations of writers, which they do a great job, but at the same time we have a lot more writers that are anonymous in their country and of course are not a good writers, but they have connection in international affairs and they play not a good game. Sometimes this makes me upset but the technology has given the possibility to everybody and we have to be carefully when we deal with this issues.  


NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?


JETON KELMENDI: I think in postmodern writing is important to have a personal stile of writing. To use the tradition and to express in modern way is a very good stile. In my poetry I always try to do that, because this looks more interesting to an international reader, as it look better to me when I read something from an author from another country. The essence of poetry for me is the personal things to make important for others, and if you arrive to do that, I think you have become a real poet.  


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?


JETON KELMENDI: Literary criticism is not doing its one job as it should be done. I understand that is not easy to read everything what is published in our days, but it should be more to do the criticism. Some media are serving sometimes more average and not good writers than a real poets and writers, but again the criticism have to write more on good poetry.  


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?


JETON KELMENDI: I think there are several factors that have influenced my formation as a poet and as an intellectual. National tradition, difficult life in captivity, because I was born in an occupied state and when I was 19 years old my country was liberated. So, these are the issues that have hardened me as a poet, but I also speak several foreign languages and I read and translate books from these languages, so I have got different experiences and I have combined them all. I think, or believe that I am an Albanian writer with a universal approach to themes, always maintaining the sense of being a citizen of the world.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?


JETON KELMENDI: In fact, I think that's true. Time has made that not only the middle class, but a majority of citizens are feeling deserving of literature. The dynamics of life is only one side that I believe has influenced, but we should not forget the fact that social networks are doing their own thing. I think we have become a consumer society of food and technical vital things, so there is a decline in readability in general.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.


JETON KELMENDI: During my upbringing, a series of factors influenced me: the enslavement of my people, my childhood unequal to other colleagues, I finished high school in the parallel system, that is, secretly from the Serbian government. I believe that family traditions have also had an impact. I have several writing uncles and they have naturally influenced my formation.


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?


JETON KELMENDI: I try to write about different topics and issues, but always preserving humanity and love as a universal value. I think the new generations are luckier, because technology enables them to access and even speaking foreign languages, especially English, helps them. one simply has to have passion and love for literary art and poetry. if you do not live with poetry you cannot be a real poet.


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?


JETON KELMENDI: Of course, humanity has survived and will survive against various threats, but only with love, work and faith. I believe strongly in value and love and of course I am optimistic.


NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?


JETON KELMENDI: The role of literature is to ennoble the souls of citizens. a person who reads literature has a very dignified formation, whether in communication or in content. literature is no longer ideological as it was in communist countries, but for me literature belongs to the aristocratic strata.


Prof. Dr. Jeton Kelmendi: Poet, player, publicist, translator, publisher and a professor of university and academic. Born in the city of Peja, Kosovo (1978), Jeton Kelmendi completed elementary school in his birth place. Later he continued his studies at the University of Pristina and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Mass communication. He completed his graduate studies at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, specializing in International and Security Studies. He finished his second master degree in diplomacy. Kelmendi did a PhD in the “Influence of media in EU Political Security Issues”. He is professor at AAB University College. He is active member of the European Academy of Science and Arts in Salzburg Austria. For many years he has written poetry, prose, essays and short stories. He is a regular contributor to many newspapers, in Albania and abroad, writing on many cultural and political topics, especially concerning international affairs. Jeton Kelmendi became well known in Kosova, after the publication of his first book entitled: “The Century of Promises” (“Shekulli i Premtimeve”), published in 1999.  Later he published a number of other books. His poems are translated in more that twenty-seven languages and published in several international Literature Anthologies. He is the most translated Albanian Poet and well known in Europe. According to a number of literary critics, Kelmendi is the genuine representative of modern Albanian poetry. International critics and poets wrote for him a lot of article, considering him as great European poet. He is a member of many international poetry clubs and is a contributor to many literary and cultural magazines, especially in English, French and Romanian Languages. The wisdom of his work in the field of Literature is based in the attention that he pays to the poetic expression, modern exploration of the text and the depth of the message.  His Genre is focused more on love lyrics and elliptical verse intertwined with metaphors and artistic symbolism. Currently resides and works in Brussels, Belgium and in Pristina, Kosovo.

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