Literature of the Second World War generation
From H. Behzadi
November 8, 2001
The literature of the Second World War generation in Iran was very much
influenced by romanticism, taking inspiration from the French.
My stepfather, Ezzatollah Kheradmand, similar to a lot of young men of
his generation struggled during those difficult years. He did not have enough
funds to pay for his higher education and as a result could study the subject
he preferred for his degree. He had to choose his next best subject in order
to leave the afteroons free so he could work as a teacher and support himself.
Nearly all classes in Iranian universities was in French so he taught
himself French. This was nothing unusual in those times; Ali Dashti, the
famous Iranian writer who was of an earlier generation had done the same
in his youth. My stepfather became sufficiently proficient to augment his
income by translating French literature.
He also worked as a journalist and a writer. Because of a solid traditional
Iranian education in Persian and Arabic he was well versed in Persian. I
remember him recounting how he had to attend a maktab in the town of Arak.
As a result he had learnt the Quran, Hafez and Massnavi by heart.
When the first modern school opened in Arak, he and his brothers switched
schools. They later came to Tehran for their secondary education attending
the famous Dar al-Fonoun College. Their father refused to support his sons
any further as in his view he had done enough. They all paid their own way
He wrote a series of literary pieces mainly for Kasra newspaper
in which were later collected in a book called Namehaaye Doost-e-Man
(Letters To My Friend) published in 1949. Designed for a newspaper column,
each piece is short in length and based on observations of life in Iran.
There were some satirical pieces but the majority tended to be philosophical.
Two pieces are provided here, the first "Shoharaane Amrikaee, Zanaane
Farangi" ("American Husbands and European Wives") is a satirical
piece on marriage to Westerners and the second is a romantic piece called
"Raqsse Amvaat" ("Dance Macabre"). See here:
Amrikaee, Zanaane Farangi"