Friday, April 17, 2009

Publishers, go on sleeping

He got tortured in the prisons of the Shah; he got tortured in the prisons of the pious Ayatollahs. He's one of the greatest living Iranian authors.

Read what wikepedia has to tell about Mahmud Doulatabadi.

After all, some of his best works have been translated into German.

And where are, f.e. the English publishers/ translators?


Ah, yes. The biography f.e. of a lady-star who proudly claims she's never read a book promises to sell better, hm?


  1. It galls me that authors like Mahmud do not get translated. I know he won't have a tiny fraction of the sales that a Jade Goody biography would but I wish publishers would take a bit more of a risk

  2. It's not ignorance or cowardice, but a charming combination that is often called market-sense (no relation to common-sense). Can you imagine how an Iranian writer would be received in the UK presently? That is, by the media. It is, I'd imagine, that that makes the publisher recoil.

    I was recently struck by a particular publishing house who seem to make it their 'mission statement' to publish the most blandiose philosophy written by pseuds. Still I suppose someone must be buying this crap, unless it's all just a con to rip-off university libraries and perpetuate the mediocre careers of mediocre academics.

    (sorry, needed to vent)

  3. Jams,
    very probably I'd also not even know his name, had I not had the privilege to have an interview with Mahmud Doulatabadi.
    Still, I am - hm - surprised that there's no English speaking Iranian who'd try to translate his fellow-countryman's prose into English.
    If my Farsi and English were impeccable, I'd try. :)

    couldn't one also say: Ignorance and cowardice are children of market sense? :)
    There's more to learn about Iran by reading Doulatabadi than by quoting 'verbal farts' of Ahmadinejad and certain ayatollahs.

    (venting is part of Omnium; so, no need to say sorry]

  4. If you had an interview with the gentleman, maybe you could tell us more about what he writes. Vikipedia and Google just gave me where he was born. Nothing else. I tried Iranian writers. I only got names, not one book title. Sad...

  5. Well said, Sean. I find it perplexing that anyone would want to read one page of Jade Goody's "thoughts", let alone a whole book by her (and I mean no disrespect to the dead). If Mr Doulatabadi had played Premier League football, there's be no shortage of book deals!

  6. There is a book on Scribd that can be downloaded that was written by Mahmud Doulatabadi.

    It is called 'Crime against humanity - History, Iran and Resistance'.It is very interesting that his other books are not being translated into English.

  7. Sean, thank you for this informative post. This is why blogging is great.... so much wonderful information can be shared quickly... :)

  8. Claudia,
    when having more leisure - and if I don't forget :) - I shall tell a bit more about Mr. Doulatabadi.

    spot on.
    At the same time, thinking of that I've spent reading quite a few years of my life and still did not even hear the names of many (certainly) interesting authors, I feel ought to dispense leniency with the individual publisher.
    Still, amongst all publishers there should be at least one to 'discover' authors like Doulatabadi.

    good find! Thank you.
    I did not read this one, yet, but some of his novels and narrations.

    thank you.
    Hm, as you lived in Vienna you might be able to read him in German? I commend for a beginning 'Die Reise' and afterwards 'Kelidar'.