Popular involvement in wars provides perfect inspiration for writers: Ahmad Dehqan   

November 22, 2019 - 18:15

TEHRAN – Ahmad Dehqan, as one of the few Iranian writers who fought in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, has said that people’s involvement in wars provides a multitude of perfect subjects for writing.

Speaking during a review of his bestselling books, “A Vital Killing” and “Bearing 270 Degrees”, at the Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East - ISMEO in Rome on Wednesday, he said, “All of Iran participated in the defense and liberation of the southwestern Iranian city of Khorramshahr.”

“Such a popular involvement in a war allows writers to draw inspiration from the events; whether in Iran or abroad, writers never close their eyes easily to such events,” he added.

Michele Marelli, the Italian translator of “Bearing 270 Degrees” (“Viaggio in direzione 270°”) that was published in Italy by Mimesis and Jouvence in 2018, and Faezeh Mardani and Maurizio Silvio Pistoso, professors of Persian language and literature at the University of Bologna also attended the review session.

“It’s great that we have Ahmad Dehqan here, because it is important that Italian people read something from Iranian literature, and it very good whatever we choose to read from Persian literature to be in Persian or have been translated directly from the original editions,” Pistoso said in his brief speech.

“Unfortunately, most of the works we have read from Persian literature have been translated from the English or French editions of the books,” he lamented.

“The story of ‘Bearing 270 Degrees’ recounts an important period of contemporary Iranian history and the Iran-Iraq war that should be read by students and all people,” noted Pistoso who praised Marelli for his fine translation of the book.

Mardani also compared Dehqan with Primo Michele Levi, an Italian Holocaust survivor and writer, and added, “Dehqan used his experiences in the war to write ‘Bearing 270 Degrees’ as well as what Primo Levi did about ‘If This Is a Man’.”

“It’s great that we have Dehqan here as a survivor of the war,” she said.

In his short speech, Marelli elaborated on Dehqan’s style of writing and also said that he is translating “A Vital Killing”.   

The review was organized in collaboration with Candle and Fog, the London-based Iranian-British publishing house, which has published some of Dehqan’s books in English, including “A Vital Killing”.

Photo: Writer Ahmad Dehqan attends an interview with MNA on March 3, 2019. (Mehr/Majid Haqdoost) 


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