Klara Buda’s Chloroform, the book we were all missing

“Chloroform, the first novel of gifted author Klara Buda, makes us believe that the Albanian novelists are the latest promising phenomenon in the literary revival of our small Balkan country.” RM

Rudolf Marku

London, November 15, 2009

Her novel brings back memories of Kundera’s books or Miguel Angel Asturias’s El Señor Presidente (Mister President). The book is an autopsy of a totalitarian system and the reproduction of a rough reality that turns into a macabre one more than once.

However, the totalitarian reality, as described by a female author, is a monochromatic sketch that hides all the warm and nuanced undercurrents of impressionism permeating it. The way this book is written allowed for it to be read in one sitting. The readers believe in it because they can feel that the author believes in it too. Sincerity in literature is not a moral category but is expressed in the combination of style, rhythm, syntax, and structure.

Klara Buda belongs to that category of writers who do not pander to the reader. Her tone is rough but gently convincing; she writes macabre prose using a poetic pen. The novel is titled Chloroform, but its contents do not lull the reader to sleep at all. Rather, the style and creativity of writing kick their amnesiac memories awake by speaking to the readers of a reality invaded by amnesia.

For all these reasons, Chloroform is the book we were all missing in Albanian literature.

London, November 15, 2009

Published Albanian daily ” Gazeta Shekulli

Original Title: Kloroform, një libër që mungonte

El Señor Presidente (Mister President) is a 1946 novel written in Spanish by Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan writer and diplomat Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899–1974).

Translate from Albanian Blerta Alikaj, NewYork, 2016