…Thirst, his third book to be translated into English, assumes a cultural awareness as well. Dowlatabadi remains a modern anomaly in that he does not cater to an American – or even a Western – audience. His novels are written in Persian and, with the exception of The Colonel (which remains censored in Iran), intended to be read by his fellow countrymen. The resulting aesthetic is very different from what most Western readers are accustomed to. Continue reading *’Thirst, thirst… I’m thirsty.’
There’s a lot of talk among bloggers and reviewers about the importance of translation and International literature. Some of the most concise criticisms have been written by Tim Parks for the New York Review of Books blog. He makes good points that the idea that translation/international literature opens up cultures is exaggerated and a convincing case that literature as a whole is becoming homogenized. This … Continue reading The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
A basic grasp of 20th Century Iranian history is advisable if you plan to read Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel, published in English last month by Melville House Books. Readers might be able to get by on the information provided by the publisher in footnotes and a glossary, but a little time spent on Wikipedia can’t hurt. (I also recommend Lisa Hill’s excellent review on ANZ … Continue reading The Colonel: A Novel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (translated from the Persian by Tom Patterdale)
Nabokov has, in his brilliant lectures and lessons on literature, said, “Literature was born on the day when a boy came crying wolf, wolf, and there was no wolf behind him.” But this is simple. I would say that the best stories are those in which the lying shepherd boy, or the writer, comes crying wolf, wolf, and a wolf that was not there appears … Continue reading Censoring an Iranian Love Story. a novel. by Shahriar Mandanipour.