Sadegh Hedayat's birthday on 17th was
celebrated by some of the big literary names in a small ceremony at khaneh
honarmandan (the house of the artists) in downtown
At this ceremony, awards were given to the winners of
Sadegh Hedayat's competition which was conducted with the help of Sokhan Web
Site and consisted of three categories: Best short Stories, Best Book Review and
the Best Literary Critics.
The program started with a speech by well known poet
Mr. Manouchehr Atashie. In his speech, Mr. Atashie referred to forms used in
different stories, and emphasized that the roots and basis of Sadegh Hedayat's
is truly Persian in essence and spirit, even if
novels are generally considered to be product of bourgeoisie.He also referred to closeness of the
works of Sadegh Hedayat and Nima (the well known Iranian Modern Poet). He said
that these two were one soul in two bodies.
Next speaker was Dr. Mohammad Sanatie, psychologist
and literary scholar. Dr. Sanatie spoke of Death culture in Sadegh Hedayat's
work.He stated that Death and
suicide have always come along with Sadegh Hedayat, and that as a result many
families forbade their young not to read his books as they thought it may lead
to wrong paths. What I found most interesting about this speech was the
reference to an unkind comment from Sohrab Sephri about Sadegh Hedayat. Dr. Sanatie also asked which nation goes
to the graveyards for a picnic, and stated that it is no wonder that we have
such strong relation with death and went on to say that we have reached a
In the second part of the program, we were
entertained with a musical adaptation of Vagh Vagh Sahab (a story by
Sadegh Hedayat)which was performed by Paezeh Theatrical Group under
guidance of Mr. Serouse Ebrahim-zadeh and with the help of Mohammad
What was so surprising was that the two ladies sang
along with the other gentlemen in the group as part of their performance.It was most intriguing and interesting
rather than good or great, but I am glad to learn that young people are so
active and soon we shall see such great good plays.
Finally, it was Mr. Jahangir Hedayat's turn. He is
the nephew of Sadegh Hedayat and the Chair of Sadegh Hedayat Office in Tehran.
Mr. Hedayat was the engine behind this year and last year ceremonies, the
wonderful Prize Statue and many other activities regarding Sadegh Hedayat,
including couple of wonderful books which came out last year from the
family.He informed us about the
competition categories, and the participants less than half of whom were from
USA and Canada. He also informed the audience of the special award which has
been set up and is to be awarded each year to one person who has worked and
studied Sadegh Hedayat's work. This year the special prize was awarded to Dr.
Homa Katouzian from Iranian Studies Centre at St.
Anthony's College, Oxford, UK, who has
passionately, systematically and continuously read and studied Hedayat's life
and works and has many publications in this regards (please see below for the
full list). The award was received by one of Dr. Katouzian's
Then Mr. Amir-Hassan Cheltan read the jury's
statement on the procedures and standards that were used to select the award
winners. This was followed by reading the winners names in each of the three