Ismail Kadare's the file on H. and The comedy of epic

Erica Suzanne Weitzman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article analyses the relationship between epic, irony, and comedy in Ismail Kadare's 1981 novel Dosja H. (The File on H.), loosely based on the real-life attempts to discover the origins of Homeric epic. Using the theories of Lukács and Bakhtin, the article argues that Kadare's novel is not merely a droll satire of intrigue and small-town mores in 1930s Albania, but, far more, an enquiry into the function of literature in the age of philology and a dramatization of the birth of the novel out of the death of the epic and the world to which it belongs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-839
Number of pages22
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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