OP-ED

The Tsar and the Counsellor

A journey into the heart of darkness: Giuliano da Empoli's novel "The Magician of the Kremlin" tells, through the figure of an adviser to Vladimir Putin, how power works in the Kremlin

In French, the novel is titled: "Le mage du Kremlin". In German: "Der Magier im Kreml". In English: "The Wizard of the Kremlin". In Albanian it reads: "Magistari i Kremlin". I don't know the reason why the title of the novel in Albanian is translated like this: "Magus of the Kremlin". What is magu? This word is not found in the dictionary of the Albanian language. This is the only criticism of the Albanian translation. Giuliano da Empoli's novel was published in 2022 by the well-known publishing house "Buzuku" and carefully translated by Urim Nerguti.

Giuliano da Empoli is an Italian-Swiss political scientist, a professor in Paris and was an adviser to the former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Perhaps in this function, Giuliano da Empoli had the opportunity to get to know Vladimir Putin's circle of advisers. The main character of his novel is called Vadim Baranov, and behind him is supposed to be a real figure: Putin's longtime adviser, Vladislav Surkov.