Writer discusses Afghan stories written in Persian

July 31, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Mohammad-Hossein Mohammadi’s ""Afghanistan Story Writing Encyclopedia” was reviewed at the Mehr News Agency’s (MNA) office by the critics Ali Dehbashi, and Mohammad-Sadeq Dehqan.

The Afghan writer Mohammadi participated in the session and gave some details about his book.
He said that authors in Afghanistan have been engaged in contemporary story writing in the Persian language for more than 80 years, and that during this time the art has experienced many upheavals.
“The idea of writing this book dates back to 1996. It was at this time that I first considered compiling an encyclopedia of Afghanistan’s story writing. So I decided to collect books from Afghan writers and began to read them all. Subsequently, I thought about publishing an all-inclusive encyclopedia,” he added.
He went on to say, “As I have mentioned in the preface, I faced many problems in collecting the stories. Sometimes the writers themselves did not have their own books and I had to obtain them from salesmen or second-hand book shops.
“Most of the stories had been destroyed or even burnt. After I had finished collecting them, I discovered that many researchers who wanted to study story writing in Afghanistan had no source and this prompted me to compile the encyclopedia.”
Mohammadi went on to describe how he had met writer and critic Ali Dehbashi in 2002. He emphasized that it was Dehbashi who had encouraged him to prepare the book for publication.
He also explained why he has written the book in Persian, saying, “In the Afghanistan constitution, Pushtu is the country’s first language and Persian the second language, however the number of people who speak Persian is much greater than those who speak Pushtu. The majority of authors write in Persian, and there have been very few books written in Pushtu in recent years. At the present time Afghanistan has no renowned writers that speak Pushtu and write in that language.
In his work Mohammadi has listed all Afghan authors who have written novels or more than ten short stories. However, he has not given details of the writers’ backgrounds nor has he included critical analysis of their works.
The encyclopedia is divided into four sections -- The Afghan Story Writer’s Dictionary, A Description of the Novel and Novella in Afghanistan, A Bibliography of Afghanistan’s Short Stories, and A Calendar of Afghanistan’s Fiction.
Born in 1976 in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, Mohammadi has been in Iran since 1982. He has won many Iranian literary awards for his stories and is now the editor in chief of the monthly “Taravat”, which is a periodical for Afghan children and young adults published in Tehran