There are an infinite number of wise quotations, theses, books and philosophical observations, dissertations, lectures, paintings, songs, films, documentaries, thousands of pages of prose and poetry on freedom. The brightest minds in the history of mankind have researched and communicated to the core according to their classical, humanist, enlightenment, modern and post-modern perception, the concept of freedom, and throughout the ages freedom itself has been the most precious treasure, which, as the written human history informs us, seems to have never been achieved in its full form.
Strangely, conquered and enslaved peoples, as well as statesmen and individuals of societies labelled as free, may differ in their approach to freedom, but in essence it seems to remain increasingly absent. Sometime or somewhere freedom is measured by the expression of speech, sometime and elsewhere it is devalued in power as the word is expressed excessively, and thus the need arises for another kind of freedom, more refined, selective, which again, in the capillary system of the flow of freedom through the ages and among peoples, someone else calls it racism and discrimination. At one time or another, freedom is measured by living according to conscience and by the extent of obedience to the individual’s desire to choose his or her way of life, considering as dictatorship any system that deprives man of these rights, but in complete deprivation of these freedoms, somewhere in a country or in the mind of an ordinary individual this is considered excessive liberalism, debauchery, and even shamefully labelled as hippie. Therefore, in all the world knowledge on such a precious and endless topic as freedom, among the most prominent names of thought, I choose the quote by George Orwell that “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” as a definition of impression, which suits Lea Ypi‘s book “Free: Coming of Age at the End of History. “
Lea has used the freedom, strength and the right of her pen to tell the younger Albanian generation what it meant to grow up before the 1990s; to witness the greatest and most heart breaking exoduses on the continent that invented modernism; to be a frightened spirit, possessed by the nightmare of the days that seem like nights and surrounded by the terror of the nights as bright as days, illuminated by bullets, explosions and bloody feasts of horror, during 1997, known as the time of madness.
Through the epochal call to freedom she has dared to tell truths on behalf of those who perished under tyranny or who still have no voice today, being true to herself and under the full conviction of her enlightened academic and acquired conscience and philosophy.
Today, the experiences elaborated in the book sound meaningless to the ear and attention of the younger generation, and Lea has told truths that they would not want to hear, and that without the experienced and already written stories like those of Lea, they would disappear, along with the generations that lived them. It reminds those who grew up at the end of history that the struggle and battle for freedom is not over yet. It appeals to readers around the world, through the publication of this book in many languages of the world that every Albanian has his/her own story to tell, that there are nightmares and personal and national experiences of human vanity tortures that deserve to be known and recognized around the globe.
I am not tempted at all to comment on any part of the book, be it a letter or a word, as the book speaks for itself and is stronger than any commentator or critic, therefore, dear reader you have the freedom to pick and read this book yourself, as no one can choose your impressions and understanding but you, however the only thing I can assure you is that this book on freedom liberates.
It liberates the mentality of our society, that of all generations, because this book, although coloured with subtle humour and irony full of finesse, emits a cry of consciousness, which exclaims: Here is Lea Ypi, an Albanian philosopher and thinker, listen and understand. At last, before getting acquainted with the thoughts and theses of contemporary philosophers from the USA, Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, etc., get acquainted with the Albanian philosopher who has attracted the attention of the world as one of the ten best authors of the year, which should be known more by the country that gave birth to her.
Foreign Affairs, Irish Times, Daily Mail, Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Slovenian, Spanish newspapers, etc., have paid attention to the Albanian author and philosopher.
Read and listen to Lea who was born in a thorny cage, the curious creature who sought reason in the fog of secret descent, the adult child who asked wise questions but received silent answers. Lea who grew up in a gray city, but who is already running the race passing the bright relay of freedom to the future. This obedient missionary of emancipation who knows full well that there is still a long way to reach the destination of freedom, but at the end it can be achieved, even to a certain amount, enough to liberate the peoples.
Mankind’s journey to freedom has been arduous, the individual’s struggles to be free constitute the narrative of history itself, and each millennium has given birth to new challenges, but in all the storms of time there have been voices that make societies aware of the reality they are in. The book “Free” is a reflection of the past and the present of Albania, but also a manifesto towards a freer future.