The Blinding Order

The Blinding Order (Albanian: Qorrfermani) is a short novel written by Ismail Kadare in 1984 and published in 1991, shortly after the collapse of the hoxhaist regime in Albania.[1] Set in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, The Blinding Order is a parable about the use of terror by authoritarian regimes,[2] and it is linked through its main subplot to the author's banned 1981 novel The Palace of Dreams.[3]

The Blinding Order
First edition
AuthorIsmail Kadare
Original titleQorrfermani
GenreDystopian fiction, political fiction
Publication date
Published in English


Kadare wrote The Blinding Order in the aftermath of a terror campaign in Communist Albania.[citation needed]


The plot centres on a religious order issued by a Sultan, calling for all people with the "dubious power"[4] of the evil eye to be blinded, and the subsequent terror campaign that follows. All this is narrated in a "fable tone of one thousand and one nightmare nights" [5]


Describing the novel as "superbly plotted" and "charged with bitter black humor," Kirkus Reviews praised it as "a masterly parable worthy of comparison with José Saramago’s Nobel-anointed fiction.[3]Boyd Tonkin from The Independent described it as "a chilling fable of inscrutable tyranny and collective surrender".[6] Wolfgang Schneider from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, while reviewing Der Raub des Königlichen Schlafs – a volume of 12 stories, novellas and short novels by Kadare, published in German –singled out The Blinding Order as the best one, describing it as a "grandiose story". According to him, it gives "literary form" to the "horror of the sabotage-accusation"-which numerous people in socialist countries fell victim to.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Röhm, Joachim. "Anmerkungen zur Entstehung der einzelnen Texte des Sammelbands "Der Raub des königlichen Schlafs"" (PDF). Joachim Rohm (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Chilling tales of Albania". The Washington Times. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Agamemnon's Daughter". Kirkus Reviews. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ Thomas, Christine. "REVIEW / Tyranny's death grip reaches all". SFGATE. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b Schneider, Wolfgang (30 July 2009). "Blicke ins offene Hirn". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. ^ Tonkin, Boyd (22 February 2008). "Paperbacks: Agamemnon's Daughter, by Ismail Kadare". The Independent. Retrieved 15 September 2017.