The Pyramid

Ismail Kadare (Author) David Bellos (Translator)


Egypt in the twenty-sixth century BC. The young pharaoh Cheops wants to forgo the construction of a pyramid in his honor, but his court sages hasten to persuade him otherwise. The pyramid, they tell him, is not a tomb but a paradox, designed to appease the masses by oppressing them. It is a symbol of nothing, a useless and infinite project designed to waste the country's wealth and keep security and prosperity, ever the fonts of sedition, constantly at bay. And so the greatest pyramid in the world has ever seen begins to rise.

Rumors multiply. A secret police is formed. Conspiracies--real and imagined--swirl around the rising edifice. The most drastic purges follow. By the time the first stone is laid, Cheops's subjects are terrified enough to yield to his most murderous whims. Each time one of the massive stones is hoisted into place, dozens of men are crushed, and there are tens of thousands of stones. . . .

Product Details

Arcade Publishing
Publish Date
May 09, 2013
5.5 X 0.7 X 8.2 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Ismail Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, and is Albania's best-known poet and novelist. He is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most important writers of our time. Translations of his novels have been published in more than forty countries. He divides his time between Paris, France, and Tirana, Albania.
David Bellos is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. The biographer of Georges Perec, Jacques Tati and Romain Gary, Bellos is also a translator whose prizes include the French-American Foundation Translation Prize and the Man Booker International Prize.


A hypnotic picture of a world drenched in death and crowded with stones . . . A haunting meditation on the matter-of-fact brutality of political despotism.

Richer and more encompassing than a political fable . . . Like Kafka, Kadare has the gift of writing parables of great weight in the lightest of tones.