Albanian Folktales and Legends: Selected and Translated from the Albanian
Folktales are still very much alive in the mountains of Albania, a land of haunted history. They are recited in the evenings after a day's work or out in the fields, are learned by heart and pass, as if immortal, from one generation to the next. Whose imagination could not be captured by the cunning of the Scurfhead, by the demands of the Earthly Beauty, by the heroic feats of Muja and Halil or by the appearance of a fiery Kulshedra in the forest? Included in this collection are not only folktales but prose versions of some of the best-known Albanian legends (based on historical or mythological events and figures). The adventures of Muja and Halil and their band of mountain warriors are still told and indeed sung in epic verse in the northern Albanian mountains, and the exploits of the great Scanderbeg, the Albanian national hero who freed large parts of the country from Turkish rule in the fifteenth century, are recounted everywhere Albanians gather, as if events five centuries old had taken place yesterday.
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