Placebo. The Palace of Dreams


So-so album, but pretty damn great concert: Placebo. I just got back and in 6 hours I should be getting up because my plane leaves at 9.30 (and, completely unlike me, I also left packing for the very last minute) but I didn’t want to go before writing about the concert. Not that it was the best concert I’ve ever been to, but it was so much fun. I suppose the audience was good too, at least around me were screaming the shrillest voices ever; my ears are still ringing and I honestly don’t know if it’s from the music (I was really close to the stage) or the hysterics 😉 I’d never seen Placebo live before (last time they were here I was out of town) and Molko’s voice was a nice surprise, it really sounds like on the albums. He chatted with the public a bit; including comment about the great freedoms we enjoy – as opposed to the UK where apparently he can’t smoke onstage 😛 – and I couldn’t help laughing at the irony. Of course, he wasn’t actually being ironic (and I don’t expect history lessons from my rock stars 😀 ) but still…

About the book (which is the second part of the title) I actually wanted to write more, but a couple of lines will have to do. The writer is Albanian (to my shame, his name fooled me into thinking he is Turkish) and he immigrated to France in the early nineties. The Palace of Dreams was forbidden in communist Albania, but found great success abroad, and personally, I really loved it. It feels like it’s got a bit of Kafka in it – the palace with the identical corridors, the hushed whispers and most of all the dreams, and their prevalence over real life. In short, the story takes place in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, where a young man, Mark Alem, who is part of an ancient & noble Albanian family (the Quiprilii – hope I didn’t mess up the spelling) and who gets a job at the very prestigious Tabir Saray, the Palace of Dreams. Here all the dreams of the Empire flow every day, they are sorted and interpreted and then presented to the Sultan. And it’s not just dreams of the individuals, but dreams of nations – of oppressed nations, of free nations, nations living in various natural conditions etc (there is a scene in the archives where all the categories are presented – it’s a bit chilling) – and they all have an influence on the events of the waking hours. Decisions are taken, dignitaries enter and exit the favour of the sultan and men are tortured in order to retrieve the real root of a dream they might have had. Over his rise in function at the Palace, Mark Alem will find all these out and he will become, from a frightened novice, a well versed, thick skinned director. At the time, the book was considered to criticize the communist regime and its absurdity (similar to the sway the dreams had in this version of the Ottoman Empire) and because of this, Kadare was considered a dissident. Funnily enough, he never considered himself to be one.


~ by ameer on June 22, 2009.

One Response to “Placebo. The Palace of Dreams”

  1. […] mai multe despre Palatul Viselor pe blogul lui Ameer, sau despre o alta semnata de Kadare (Umbra) pe blogul […]

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