Press Release by Farhang Foundation
English Translation by Professors Janet Afary (UCSB) and John Perry (University of Chicago)
For the first time ever, Charand-o Parand (Stuff and Nonsense), a classic of Modern Persian literature and political satire, is now available in English. Translated by two distinguished scholars of Persian language and history, Janet Afary and John R. Perry, this volume makes Dehkhoda's entertaining political observations accessible to scholars of Iranian history, as well as all English readers interested in great literature.
The iconic work by Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda was originally pieced together to create Charand-o Parand by way of thirty-five newspaper columns for the socially democratic Tehran newspaper Sur-e Esrafil, to take on serious political and social issues of the times. Dehkhoda's use of the language of daily conversation helped bridge the immense intellectual divide between the grassroots urban community and the progressive constitutionalists. He used old Persian proverbs and saying with new political meaning, making them hugely popular even among the illiterate, the newspaper being passed on from hand to hand and read aloud in the teahouses.
"Charand-o Parand is a valuable primary source for scholars of Iran and the Middle East during the first decade of the 20th century. One that had been inaccessible to most up until now. It provides great information on issues and attitudes toward religion and the state, gender relations, labor and peasant concerns, liberalism and social democracy. The work is also valuable as an early work of political satire in early 20th-century social movements of the region." explains Haleh Emrani, Chair of Farhang Foundation's Iranian Studies Council at USC.
Professor Afary of UCSB, and Professor Perry of the University of Chicago, through their introduction and extensive annotations to this English translation, help locate Dehkhoda's milieu, identify his targets and relate his language and style to Persian history, literature, politics and the movement for religious reform.
About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz, Shabe-Yalda, Mehregan, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit Farhang.org
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