This too shall pass!


Kazem Mazinani

The events of the contemporary history of Iran, especially in the last 20 years, have been so deep and widespread that has changed its ecosystem. Nowadays, the Iranian novelist, while living right over active geological faults, experiences strange pre-quakes and atiershocks in the society as well. He understands the risks of climate change and the destruction of his country’s ecosystem quite well. He observes how his country’s talents migrate to Western societies, as he witnesses the inrush of security threats to the country. Killing of men in the hands of Salafist groups, conversion of women to deaf and dumb maids, the destruction of the most ancient traces of human history in the region, changes of the Iranian way of life and the destruction of the family which has always linked the Iranian people with this unkind territory, the economic and cultural ravages and the challenges of the country’s political system with the dominant worldwide economic and technological system, are some of these quakes. It is safe to say that the Iranian novelist has never faced such a quantity of subjects and contents .Not a day, not even an hour, passes for an Iranian author without presenting novel and unprecedented events and adventures. Iranian writer always finds his subject of hunting everywhere and all the time, from his own home to the street and even the most remote villages. Not long ago, many Iranian writers considered loyalty to reality as their original mission and tried to change it. They joined radical Marxist or fundamentalist groups to create and capture their subjects. But nowadays, changes occur so fast as if everything is happening in a dream. Iranian novelist, unlike his predecessors, is now familiar with different styles and techniques of literary expression in today’s world. He knows well that the duty of a talented author involves creating local spaces and the portrayal of Iranian life. But there exists some other problems in Iran including obstacles on the way of publishing books. The novelist is faced with the government’s strict rules of publishing books and copyright law infringements and also, he is faced with a wall higher than the Great Wall of China which is his local Persian language. Therefore, if he creates the perfect example of a story, it will not find its way into international publishing markets and abroad. The best stories published in Iran, even the best-sellers, are not welcomed by a huge statistical ratio of the population. This situation is very unfortunate for Iranian writers, even for the most successful ones. In such circumstances, the author has to do his work creatively and without fear in the worst economic and living conditions. He has to negotiate the censorship barrier like acrobats and magicians before the publication of the book to hand it to the highest number of his audience and feel welcomed too, but from this point on, the situation gets more tragic since the author feels unable to fly and his work cannot pass over the border. While he knows that the world is eager to listen to his words. Unfortunately, despite extensive media coverage, the world does not have a true understanding of Iran and because of this; few tourists dare to come to this country. And this is the cruelest fate that an Iranian successful writer suffers. But despite all these unpleasant problems, Iranian author hopes that one day the Iranian literature will surprise the world as Iranian cinema medium did so. Because, he knows that the culture of this country has gone through the most horrible times. He knows instinctively that in these circumstances there is no choice but to be optimistic. Therefore, the Iranian writer optimistically ponders a Persian proverb: This too shall pass!

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