The Persian possessed

In Reading literary nihilists in Tehran I speculated that having an officially-sanctioned, award-winning, condemnatory literary critical book on absurdist, nihilist fiction might find its largest audience among the country’s future nihilists. Seeing some of the surprising titles that are being translated in Iran these days makes it look like these 21st century apostles of nothingness will have no shortage of reading material in their native language.

Alexander Herzen’s novel Who is to Blame? has recently been translated into Persian, as has Leonid Tsypkin’s brilliant novelistic meditation on Dostoevsky, Summer in Baden-Baden. Add to this an upcoming radio broadcast of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” and I think the potential for another revolution taking place sometime around 2035 in a decidedly old-fashioned Russian style does not seem farfetched at all.

On the other hand, there has also been a Persian translation of Mrs. Doubtfire, so maybe the revolution is not as imminent as all that. And one more thing – on the Iran Book News Agency site they do not refer to books being translated, but to being converted. I assume it is just a mistake in English, but you never know.

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Categories: Writers


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