22 article(s) translated from Persian

Between Two Worlds: An Interview with Goli Taraghi

Nahid Mozaffari spoke with Goli Taraghi on the telephone in October 2013. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation. Nahid Mozaffari:  Ms. Taraghi, you are one of the very few Iranian…...

The Poet, His Cut-Off Head in His Hand, Went Singing Songs and Ghazals: Literature in Iran

Iran’s literature is wounded, but it still has blood, and in its blood lies a secret. This literature has not borne the injuries of censorship only in the past thirty-odd years. In fact, it was censored…...

Like a Body Turned Inside Out

It must be a strange place, or perhaps a strange situation; a cliff, ten to fifteen meters high, shaped in such a way that whoever sees it will say, “It’s so steep!” Meaning it is impossible…...

Green Sour Orange

Announcements of all kinds, from notices of death to ads for used household goods or floral design lessons at the lowest prices, have an assigned place in our neighborhood: on the wall outside the police…...

Rahman’s Story

It is true. I found this story in an Iraqi trench that was full of empty canteens, and a year later I translated it into Persian with the help of a friend who, further to his wishes, I will not name. The…...

Forty-Eight Steps

I come home and I don’t let on that I’m late. I come home and like a good mother I prepare dinner, set the table, feed them, wash the dishes, put the children to bed, and sit on the sofa with…...

The Pink Cloud

On the cold morning of December 24, 1981, all I wanted to do was watch the cloud that had turned pink at sunrise. We were walking in formation up a hill and I was looking at the sky when suddenly a shower…...

from “I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit . . . Figs”

Poker—like a god emerging from the fog, fragment by fragment—appears in the doorway. There is a glint in his eyes, mischievous and small. A glint produced by optic nerves, innocent and pure…...

Bastard

Look! Look at what they’re doing! It’s as if they have turned into hyenas. They circle it, they growl and claw at it, but they have no guts. They’re still afraid. They cannot believe…...

Someone is Calling “Leili”

I open my eyes. A narrow sliver of sun is shining on the wall, forming a diagonal line that bends at the corner and breaks. It’s a pale light. I can’t tell if it’s morning or early evening.…...

Escape

She had still not taken off her right shoe when she saw it on the doormat. A long white thread. She ran the tip of her shoe over it a few times. The thread twisted and coiled like a scrawny worm and again…...

Lamb

Ghulam Ali traded in grains and spices. He carried produce of the very best quality. Not everyone could afford it. Unlike other merchants in Golpayegan who traded on barter, or offered credit, Ghulam Ali…...

The Mirror

You ring the bell once again. This time the door opens a crack. In the glare of a lightbulb hanging in front of the door, wide eyes stare out from behind a pair of lenses set in brown frames. The large…...

Connection

The black of my irises, those simple, reclusive Sufis of mine swooned in the song-spell of his eyes. I sensed him billow all around me, radiating towards infinity to the other side of life like fire’s…...

From “23”

The airplane has landed. White smoke-loaded smile: what a cargo of sorrow. A silent rain surrounds the airport. A tattered wet wind chases black pigeons. White smoke-loaded smile: what a cargo of sorrow.…...

Sunshine in the Closet

They’ve come! Glasses                flee down the hatch Girls                into the tiny flowers of their scarves…...

Illuminations

A cloudless sky, no breath of wind, I sit beside the courtyard pool. The slow stirrings of the goldfish, the radiance and I, the earth and water--- Life…...

Water

Let's not muddy the water. Imagine that close by a dove is drinking from it, or in a distant grove a finch is washing its wings in it, or in some village…...

Address

"Where is the friend's house?" asked the horseman just at dawn. The Heavens paused. A wayfarer took the bright branch from his lips, conferred it on the darkness of the sands, pointed…...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to the…...

Love’s Turn

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: Nawbat-i asheqi (Love's Turn), a 1990 film by Makhmalbaf, provoked an intense public debate about movie morality, specifically women's control of their own sexuality. Screened…...

Our Story

"Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," Said then the lost Archangel, this the seat That we must change for Heaven? this mournful gloom For the celestial light? Be it so, since He Who now is sovran…...