REPRESENTATION OF THE ISLAMIC IRAN IN TWO MODERN PERSIAN NOVELS: MARKETING AND ANTI-MARKETING
Analysis of the international book market has proved that modern Persian literature is not as popular and appreciated worldwide as it deserves to be.
This phenomenon, its possible reasons and circumstances are actively investigated by representatives of diverse fields in Iran and the Western states.
The aim of the given paper is to undertake a contrastive study of two modern Iranian novels and, based on this comparison, find out the role of translation centers and agencies financed by Iranian State grants projects in the promotion of Persian literature worldwide.
Research has proved that, in conditions of the existing political regime, the activities of the Iranian translation-publishing agencies are doomed for failure. It is almost impossible for the West to accept and encourage the literature which is allowed by official Iran. Another reason is that Iran’s offficial institutions will never translate the literary products acceptable for the West.
Taking into account the great demand of Western readers, “The Enlightment of the Greengage Tree” by emigrant writer Shokoofeh Azar, the novel which was unacceptable for Iranian authorities, was naturally included in the shortlist of Asian Booker Prize. It seems, the writer followed a certain scheme by providing a list of issues expected from a writer who has emigrated from a totalitarian oriental State and who wants to find a decent place among the Western literary circles.
Ebrahim Hasanbeigi’s novel “Church Bells Start Ringing“ has been included in the list of publications to be financed by the Iranian Translation Agency. This novel is an advertising banner of the Islamic Revolution, hence, it is totally uninteresting for the Western world.
Contrastive analysis of the two above-mentioned novels has explained why the translation projects financed by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance are uninteresting for the international book market.
Naturally, it is impossible to argue that the only reason for the neglect of modern Persian literature on the international market is the ideology of the translation agencies. Yet, the latter can surely be considered as one of the major factors leading to the neglect of modern Persian literature in the West.
Keywords: Islamic Iran, two modern Iranian novels, marketing and anti-marketing.