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Persian Romantics
Literature of the Second World War generation

From H. Behzadi
November 8, 2001
The Iranian

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 through university.

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:

"Shoharaane Amrikaee, Zanaane Farangi"

"Raqsse Amvaat"

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer H Behzadi


Dokhtar khanom! Movazeb bashid!
Iranian female courtship rules circa 1954

Kotak-kari Dokhtaran baraye Vigen
School girls go crazy for young Vigen

Beh Sare Kachal Mardom Cheh Kar Darid?
Barbers hike their rates, upsetting a bald reporter

Are You Cracking Up?
A Mosaddeq-era magazine clipping


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