The Palace of Dreams
By Ismail Kadare
208 Pages. Arcade Publishing. $20.
This 1981 novel was published in Albania, where, in accordance with the thematic movement of its narrative, it was immediately banned. The story presents a pervasive dictatorship that monitors even its citizens’ subconscious. The modern totalitarian police state operates in 19th-century Albania and follows Mark-Alem, an employee of the Bureau of Sleep and Dreams. Mark-Alem flourishes at the Bureau but, in a moment of failure, discovers the danger of his government.