Monday, February 25, 2013

2 Iranian Novels Published In Israel


Cultural Translations


My Uncle Napoleon: The book cover of the English-language version of Iranian writer 
Iraj Pezeshkzad's 1973 novel; Trans: Dick Davis.


Aarticle, by Samuel Thrope, in The Christian Science Monitor says that two Iranian novels have been translated into Hebrew and published in Israel.
When the Hebrew manuscript of the Persian novel "My Uncle Napoleon" crossed Jonathan Nadav's desk at Xargol Books, the small but highly regarded Israeli publishing house, the editor was skeptical. His doubts lay not with the modern Iranian classic, or the translation by then unknown translator Orly Noy – Iraj Pezeshkzad's 1973 novel is a captivating satire of Iran under the Shah, and Noy is, in Nadav's words, "simply a gifted translator."
The editor worried about readers' reactions. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and paints the Islamic Republic as a second Nazi Germany, "all most Israelis know about Iranians is that they have mustaches and nuclear bombs," Ms. Noy later said.But Xargol decided to take on the manuscript, and Mr. Nadav's bet paid off. "My Uncle Napoleon," first published last summer, was one of the publishing house’s most successful books in 2012, and is already in its second edition.
Noy's translation of Iranian writer Mahmoud Dowlatabadi's "The Colonel " was published that same week by Am Oved, a leading Israeli publisher and partner of Xargol, and received rave reviews. The two are the first Persian novels ever to appear in Hebrew, and they have opened a window for Israeli readers to the rich culture of contemporary Iran at a time when little other than fear and aggression are shared between the two countries.
This is welcome news, and shows that art and literature can act as an entry point into another nation's cultural life. There is more to life than war and hostility and the politics surrounding it. I wonder if any of the political elites plan to read the novels; it might do them some good.

You can read the rest of the article at [The Monitor]