Persian bookstores offering “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog” 

April 7, 2023 - 18:14

TEHRAN – “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”, a collection of short prose stories written by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, has been published in Persian by Cheshmeh.

First published by Dent in 1940, the collection has been translated into Persian by Ali Saheb az-Zamani.

The “Young Dog” of the title is of course Thomas himself, and this volume of autobiographical stories by the great modern poet, who died at 39 while on his third lecture tour in the United States, shows his waggish humor at its best, his exuberance and verbal magic in a spectacular display. 

It also shows him as a spinner of tales and a creator of memorable characters. 

There is the grandfather who marches off in his best clothes to be buried in the next town, the sardonic “senior reporter” on a provincial newspaper, servant girls who know how to deal triumphantly with a fast-talking dandy, a twenty-year-old farmer preaching wildly to boys in a deserted barn, a group of respectable worthies who play at literature behind closed blinds, and always the observant and unfazed young Thomas.

All of the stories are autobiographical and all are set in the writer’s native Swansea in South Wales. Written over a number of years, the often comic stories show glimpses of his life, from early childhood up to his teens as a young reporter for the South Wales Daily Post.

Thomas claimed, in a letter to Vernon Watkins, that he had “kept the flippant title for – as the publishers advise – money-making reasons.” 

He claimed also, somewhat dubiously, that the title was not a parody of James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, although the general influence of Joyce’s Dubliners was freely acknowledged. 

In August 1939, Thomas wrote to Watkins: “I've been busy over stories, pot-boiling stories for a book, semi-autobiographical, to be finished by Christmas.”

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of Dylan Thomas collection “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”.


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