Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Caravan of Islam

Caravan of Islam
Sadegh Hedayat work published for first time
Bahram Choobineh has e-published "Kaarevaan e Eslaam" (Caravan of Islam) -- a work of Sadegh Hedaayat never before published. Read introduction by Choobineh. DOWNLOAD ENTIRE BOOK here
Current censorship
His work is coming under increasing attack in Europe from political Islamists, and many of his novels (Haji Aqa in particular) are no longer stocked in some French bookshops and libraries. The novels The Blind Owl and Haji Aqa were banned from the 18th Tehran International Book Fair in 2005. The Blind Owl contains a great deal of Buddhist and Hindu imagery. In Haji Aqa his characters explore the lack of meritocracy in Iran:
In order for the people to be kept in line, they must be kept hungry, needy, illiterate, and superstitious. If the grocer's child becomes literate, he not only will criticise my speech, but he will also utter words that neither you nor I will understand.... What would happen if the forage-seller's child turns out intelligent and capable—and mine, the son of a Haji, turns out lazy and foolish?

In November 2006, republication of Hedayat's work in uncensored form was banned in Iran, as part of a sweeping purge. However, surveillance of book-stalls is limited and it is apparently still possible to purchase the originals second-hand. The official website is also still online. Some material discussing the issue of censorship include:

Official Website of Sadeq Hedayat (in Persian)
Note: Many of Sadeq Hedayat's full texts can be legally downloaded from here: Mat'n-e Kāmel-e Dāstān-hā.
Photo Gallery of the Official Website of Sadeq Hedayat (highly recommended)
A Tribute to Sadeq Hedayat
Sadeq Hedayat's Life by Iraj Bashiri
Sadeq Hedayat's Corner, further articles and English translations by Iraj Bashiri
Persian Language & Literature — Sadeq Hedayat
Hedayat Page (in French)

Intellectual Movements in Iran
Persian literature
Persian philosophy
List of Iranian Intellectuals

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