The General of the Dead Army: MGP

By Nicholas C. Rose

Passage Analysis

“There is a veil of mystery all around you, and when I think that after these splendid days spent here basking in the sun you are going off to hunt for dead bodies over there, in Albania, I feel a shiver of horror. You remind me of the hero in that ballad by the German poet - his name escapes me at the moment but we had to study him at school. Yes, you’re just like him, the hero who rose up out of his tomb to ride through the moonlight. I feel sometimes that you are going to come knocking at my window in the night. Oh! What a terrifying thought!” (Kadare 84)

The general, priest, and the expedition in it’s entirety are a death after death. They represent the final rest for an army of the apocalypse, an army doomed to fail from the very beginning of the conflict. And in this task, the mission represents an ancient prophecy; that of the Four Horsemen. In specific, the general and the priest represent Death, the final stage of this apocalypse. This representation is fitting, as the priest and general are disbanding an army, and in doing so they are metaphorically killing it. But in this biblical prophecy, Death is preceded by three other horsemen; Conquest, War, and Famine. In this order, the horsemen stand for the entire lifespan of the army, from the day the soldiers leave their home country till the day they return. First, Conquest is represented by the army’s incursion into the hostile and foreign state of Albania. With a corrupt and evil ideology stemming from the highest command, this invasion was an unholy venture from the beginning. Next came War and Famine, as lone mountain men came across from their faraway homes to lash out at the enemy host, and deserters left the Italian force famished. Government-ordered prostitution, the height of sinfulness, fed the hungry army, keeping the beast only just alive. Plagued by guerrilla conflict, desertion, and by the weight of an unholy motive, the axis forces in Albania slowly crumbled. Then, at last came Death. Death came in two waves; the Blue Battalion, and the General. Colonel X unloaded his wrath on the people of Albania and on the deserters, killing any remaining Italian presence in Albania. The colonel did this in a satanic fashion, raping, murdering, and burning, and in total unleashing hell on earth. For his sins, Colonel X would never be allowed to rest in peace. This comes to fruition in the form of the second Death, the true death of the army, the General. Completely eliminating any evidence of the Italian occupation. This death was the morbid and slow decay of the army, the death not of the physical being but of it’s memory, it’s image, and its ideology: the everlasting darkness that will eventually take over every individual.

Albania From Above

Description: You are a British pilot flying in Albania. Good Luck and God Save the King!

Instructions: Make sure you are wearing headphones, and are in some degree of darkness in order to immerse yourself fully into this experience. Before starting the video, make sure it is in the highest quality

Annotated Bib:

A key background aspect that remains throughout the entirety of the book is the Albanian climate. To be more specific, there is a great deal of rain, mud, and general constant wetness. This article shows just how copious the rain in Albania is. This gave me a better understanding of the setting and environment, and just how miserable it was.


"Albania: Practical Information." Practical Information. Export Entreprises SA, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

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