Source: Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA
Saturday, April 21, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Symphony of the Dead
A contemporary version of the Cain and Abel story, this novel was greeted with widespread praise when it was first published in Iran in 1989. Set in the northern town of Ardabil in the aftermath of the Second World War, the story begins as Urhan Urkhani, a prominent citizen of the town, sets out to find his brother in a midwinter snowstorm. Over the course of that day-long search, the entire history of the family is revealed in four symphony-like movements. Told through the rotating viewpoints of the family patriarch and each of his four children, the family's misfortunes become the mirror of a paternalistic and oppressive society that pits brother against brother, encourages a father to denounce a son and burn his poems, forces a daughter to remain in an unhappy marriage, and abandons the last child to a mysterious hidden existence.
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"What a repository is my memory! Why does my memory transcend now and then and embrace the whole history? All accompany me in my memory and I am absent from everybody’s memory"
Excerpts from “Year of Turmoil” by Abbas Maroufi
A graduate of Fine Arts from Tehran University with a prodigious artistic talent, Maroufi has been director of Tehran Symphony Orchestra, founder of Tehran-based literary Gardoon magazine, and author of numerous award winning and widely read novels. His “Symphony of the Dead” written in keeping with movements of a musical symphony displays formative impact of his background in music on his writing. Belonging to the post-revolution generation of Iranian writers, his novels focus on individual struggles with social and historical dogma. Translations of Maroufi’s writings into other languages have brought him international readership and praise by winning awards from “Arnold Zweig Foundation” and “Surkamp Publishing House” for German translations of his works. The style of Maroufi’s writings and his commitment to freedom of expression led to his forced migration to Germany where he founded Gardoon Press and Publishing House.
Lecture in Persian
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
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