The Ferrante phenomenon in Albania

The Ferrante phenomenon in Albania

Dr. Alva Dani

“Luigj Gurakuqi“ University of Shkodër



In the last decade, the Albanian reader has welcomed the work of the Italian writer Elena Ferrante. The work that caused a stir and made her famous in Albania were the four volumes “The genious friend”, which were successively published. What mostly attracts the Albanian reader is the reality the characters live in and the city of Naples where the events take place. Thanks to the way and style of writing, the Albanian reader experiences this reality because there he/she finds many things in common, almost the same mentality, not only the same lifestyle and habits, but also problems similar to those of southern Italy and especially Naples. The atavistic asphyxiation of the Neapolitan social classes only evokes ignorance and violence in daily life, and painlessly suppresses human intelligence. Elena, the main character of the work, embodies the characteristics of the city from which she wants to leave at all costs and where again the blood bond calls her and does not leave her free. Elena Ferrante portrays with a lot of elegance this reality which the Albanian reader can undoubtfully encounter in his/her daily life. Another motive that attracts the reader’s attention is the close relationship of two friends, Lenu and Lila, a close friendship between girls, where love and envy, cooperation and rivalry, acceptance and rejection are the necessary directions of a society which would not exist, if it were in another, different form. For this and many other reasons the Neapolitan saga has been translated into 40 languages ​​of the world and still continues to fascinate readers and publishers.

Key words: narrative, reader, friendship, mentality, culture.


Since 2011, the Neapolitan saga of “The genious friend” has attracted over millions of readers around the world considering their writer Elena Ferrante as the most admired author of recent years. In the United States, a documentary entitled “Ferrante Fever” was made and the phenomenon Ferrante was discussed at the academic level and became the focus of  researchers’articles and papers in seminars, conferences and serious publications. In Albania, Elena Ferrante comes with four volumes translated into Albanian. The first one entitled “The Genious Friend” appeared in 2016, then followed the “New Surname” in 2017, “The History of Escape and Resistance” in 2017 and “History of the Lost Girl” in 2018, all published by “Pegi” publishing house. The Albanian reader immediately welcomed Ferrante’s work turning it into a bestseller and Ferrante herself into a literary phenomenon similiar to many other parts of the world. This novel is mainly part of what is called the novel of formation (buildingsroman) focusing on the story of the journey of two female characters, their formation throughout life until the disappearance of one of them, a moment when the other friend undertakes to tell the story of their life by perpetuating it.

Volume 6.No.1(2022): April – (Humanities Session)

ISSN 2661-2666 (Online) International Scientific Journal Monte (ISJM)
ISSN 2661-264X (Print)

DOI : 10.33807/monte.20222474


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