in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

An e-mail.


From: Aeneas Dardanos <*****@gmail.com>
Subject: Bektashis

Dr Mr Weir,
I came across your website 'beyond the pale' sometime ago and I was wondering what connections
do you have with the Albanian Bektashis?
I'm an Albanian interested in Sufism.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Flamur

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Dear Flamur,

Many thanks for writing to me.  I’m sorry to say I have no connection with the Albanian Bektashis.  Albania always intrigued me, not just because of the unlamented Enver, but because it is a miracle it exists at all, even in its very reduced state.

As soon as it was possible to visit it – via cheap flight from Corfu – I went, but only twice, to Sarandë and Gjirokastër.  Subsequently I acquired an Internet Friend from Vlorë who had emigrated to the US in 1992 . I think she was vaguely connected to the Nomenklatura – she showed me pictures of her very beautiful family house…  Anyway, through her I deepened my interest in Albanian culture, especially poetry since World War 2.  I had read Kadarë, then Fatos Kongoli in translation to either French or English…and so on to the Bektashis, because I, like you, for a long time (like many atheists!)  have had an interest in Sufism.   You may have seen translations I have made of Rumi on my site, as well as a lot of translations of modern Albanian poetry.

I also read a very interesting little-known book from the 1920s called “Two Vagabonds in Albania”.  Their “Two Vagabonds in Languedoc” is equally interesting and original and full of forgotten history.

I never got far in learning Albanian, as you can see, but Zana sent me texts and literal translations, and I also had dictionaries.

I have always been an  outsider, and still live mostly alone, aged 76 – now in SW France.  (I had once considered Albania between Vlorë and Sarandë, but being an EU citizen and always having loved France and the very good connections by air between Ireland and France, made me choose the latter.)  Zana came to visit me in both Ireland and France, and I took her daughter out to dinner (in an Uzbek restaurant!) in Paris a few times when I travelled via Paris (which I don’t do now).  Zana, like a lot of immigrants, does not like the USA.  I have a Lithuanian friend who is selling up and coming to SW France with her dog, because she can’t stand America anymore.  Like many immigrants, including Zana, she divorced fairly soon after arriving in the USA, but “kept herself well above water”.  Zana, however, though originally a research chemist, had to live on low wages and so is still stuck in the US.  Though now she has a permanent, Palestinian boyfriend who conveniently lives in a nearby flat: the perfect arrangement !

Gjithë të mirat,

Anthony (alias Ujku)

Flāmur : flag or banner or standard



I like your pseudonym!

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