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Dhimitër Pasko

Dhimitër Pasko
Dhimitër Pasko during imprisonment
Born (1907-09-13)13 September 1907
Pogradec, Albania
Died 4 May 1967(1967-05-04) (aged 59)
Tirana, Albania
Pen name Mitrush Kuteli
Occupation writer
Period 1933-1967
Genre Novels, Translations
Notable works Netë shqiptare (Albanian Nights), Ago Jakupi, Kapllan Aga of Shaban Shpata (Kapllan Aga i Shaban Shpatës), The Love of Artan the Barbarian (Dashuria e Barbarit Artan), Old Albanian Tales (Tregime të Moçme Shqiptare), Attack and Tears (Sulm e Lotë), and Songs and Cries from the Burned City (Këngë e Britma nga Qyteti i Djegur),

Dhimitër Pasko , (b. 13 September 1907, Pogradec, Albania – d. 4 May 1967 Tirana, Albania), alias Mitrush Kuteli (or Janus), was an Albanian writer and translator.


  • Career 1
  • Imprisonment and release 2
  • Works 3
  • Translations 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6


Dhimitër Pasko studied at a foreign language school in Greece, later moving to Bucharest where, in 1934, he graduated with a doctorate in economics.

While in Bucharest he became a journalist with the Albanian weekly newspaper Shqipëri' e re (New Albania), using the pseudonym Janus. In 1937 he published Lasgush Poradeci's collection of verse, Ylli i zemrës (The Star of the heart), and the following year, the first edition of his first authored book, Nete shqipëtare (Albanian nights), a compilation of eight tales of village life from his native Pogradec. This edition was largely detroyed by a fire, and only became widely read through a second edition published in 1944.

He returned to Albania in 1942, and during WWII wrote and self-published most of his major works. At the end of the war he founded the short-lived literary periodical, Revista letrare (Literary Review), with Nexhat Hakiu, Vedat Kokona and Sterjo Spasse, joined the editorial board of Bota e re (New World), the first Albanian post-war literary journal, and became a founding member of the Albanian League of Writers and Artists.

Dhimitër Pasko died of a heart attack in 1967, leaving a novel on an Illyrian theme unfinished.[1]

Imprisonment and release

The Albanian Communist Party took power after WWII, but by 1947 was in the control of Yugoslavia. Pasko, an official Albanian delegate to Yugoslavia, disapproved of a proposed currency and customs union agreed between the two countries, and of a Serbian re-occupation of Kosovo; an earlier 1944 Pasko poem, "Poem kosovar" (Kosovar poem), asserted his criticism of Serbian actions. Upon the Albanian delegation's return from Yugoslavia, Pasko was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for his criticism, during which he attempted suicide. Following the freeing of Yugoslavia's hold over Albanian party politics, Pasko was released and worked as a translator for Naim Frashëri, the state-owned Tirana publishing company.

Pasko, as with other Albanian writers of the time, accommodated the imposed cultural doctrine of Zhdanovism by translating Soviet-approved Russian authors, although he found himself able to translate his favourite Russian, Romanian, and Spanish writers, publish tales and verse for children, and adapt Albanian oral verse to prose.[1]


  • "Lasgush Poradeci" - 1937
  • "Net shqiptare" (Albanian nights) - 1938
  • "Pylli i gështenjave" (The Chestnut Forrest) - 1958
  • "Ago Jakupi e të tjera rrëfime" (Ago Jakupi and other stories) - 1943
  • "Sulm e lotë" (Attack and tears) - 1943
  • "Shënime letrare" (Literary Notes) - 1944
  • "Havadan më havadan" (From Havadan to Havadan) - 1944
  • "Kapllan aga i Shaban Shpatës" (Kapllan Aga of Shaban Shpata) - 1944
  • "Dashuria e berberit Artan" (The Love of Barber Artan) - 1946
  • "Xinxifilua" - 1962
  • "E Bija e Hënës dhe e diellit|Tregime të moçme shqiptare" (Old Albanian Tales) - 1965
  • "Tregime të zgjedhura" (Selected Stories) - 1972
  • "Baltë nga kjo tokë" (Mud from this land) - 1973
  • "Në një cep të Ilirisë së poshtme" (In a Corner of Southern Illyria) - 1983
  • "Këngë e britma nga qyteti i djegur" (Songs and Cries from a Burnt city)
  • "E madhe është gjëma e mëkatit" (Great is the Lament of Sin) - 1993


  • "Kujtimet e një gjahtari" (Memories from a Hunter) from Turgeniev
  • "Tregimet e Petërburgut" (Peterburg's Stories) and "Shpirtra të vdekura" (Dead Souls) from Gogol
  • "Zotërinj Gollovlinovë" (The Golovlyov Family) from Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin


  1. ^ a b Dhimitër Pasko biography, Robert Elsie; retrieved 29 March 2011

Further reading

  • Dhimitër Pasko biography; Robert Elsie
  • "The Fall of Xheladin Bey": Dhimitër Pasko (Mitrush Kuteli); translation in English by Robert Elsie
  • Dhimitër Pasko (Mitrush Kuteli) poetry; translation in English by Robert Elsie
  • "Translators to Albanian: Dhimitër Pasko, Fan S. Noli, Lasgush Poradeci, Vedat Kokona, Gjergj Fishta, Gjekë Marinaj, Kostandin Kristoforidhi". ISBN 1-156-20086-5. Retrieved 29 March 2011
  • Images of Dhimitër Pasko (Mitrush Kuteli). Retrieved 29 March 2011
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