Farzaneh Doosti

Writer, Translator, Researcher

Farzaneh Doosti
پارسی English



Though not my favorite, Amirkhani has established himself as a prolific and creative writer among the rightists. What makes his novels and travel writings outstanding, in my opinion, is much time and effort he spends on collecting information, contextual bricks, for his works. And in spite of weak plots or better say, storylines less appealing to me, he has managed to mingle them so well with historical and contextual social materials that almost all of his stories are received well by the mass.

Here is an excerpt from his novel, 'Homelessness'. At the moment I cannot find a better sysnonym for the Persian title 'Bivatan' but should mention that there is usually more into the titles which he deliberately works out by intentional misspellings, abnormally putting words together and equipping them with allusions and connotations that seem almost untranslatable.

I have prepared the following rough rendition for a catalogue intended for Frankfurt Book Fair:


"The trajedy of this young man reminds me of Sheikh Zubair's trajedy of Macbeth," says Abdulqani.

-           Sheikh Zubair's Macbeth?! Shakespeare you mean"?

-           No, this one I mean right. Sheikh Zubair is true.

-           Shakespeare the well-known British poet, writer of Macbeth.

-           You see! You say 'well-known'… known as Shakespeare, but by origin he is the very Sheikh Zubair. I expected more of you, Doctor! You're not like the mean non-Arabs, you're an erudite. You should have known this! Sheikh was an Arab by origin, but he was enslaved during the Crusades… Just take a look at Roma'u wa Juli'et and see how close it is to the story of Wameq wa 'Ezra or Layli wa Majnun.

"You know what," says Khashi, "I'm not nationalist nor fanatical, but 'Layli and Majnun' has nothing to do with Arabs. Layli and Majnun is penned by Nezami…"

-           Well, Nezmai was an Arab.

-           Nezami's origin is there in his name, Nezami Ganjavi… And by the way, Arabs have no 'G'! Ganjavi means 'he is from Ganja'

-           You say he was from a qanja1… very good, he was born in a qanja, but where was the qanja? In an Arab's house.

Everybody laughs and keeps saying 'well said! Well said!' Khashi laughs out too but a little while later when he relates the event to the inhabitants of condominium no. 20, he wickedly adds: "Although these Arabs lack the letter 'G', Abdulqani is one of the top ten boneheads of the world; the imbecile even goes ahead of Mullah Nasreldin!"

1 The word 'ganja' also means 'closet' in Persian.

2 The idea is not original though. I stated that he makes much effort in colelcting data, but this has led to lack of originality in ideas or scenes. For instance, the above conversation is based on a claim made by Pan-Arabs and overemphasized by Moammar Ghaddafi.



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