The latest cultural headlines in the media.
Ferdowsi Foundation to produce film on Shahnameh

Tehran Times: Iran’s Ferdowsi Foundation will be launching the production of a movie on Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.

A great researcher has conducted the research work and a veteran screenwriter is currently working on the script, secretary general of the foundation Yasser Movahhedfar told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.

The names of the researcher and the screenwriter were not released in the news.

One of the older narrations of Shahnameh is due to be featured in a modern format of today, he said.

Movahhedfar said that the project took five years to complete and the plans are to film the project in Iran and several European countries. “We hope the project will attract international attention.”

The Ferdowsi Foundation is an organization run by the public and we hope other organizations support this project financially, he concluded.


Book city to hold meeting on Iran-Italy cultural affinities

Tehran Times: The Cultural Center of Tehran’s Book City will hold a meeting on cultural relations between Iran and Italy on December 30.

The meeting entitled “Iran and Italy: Open Doors, an Intercultural Voyage” will be attended by several Iranian and Italian scholars.

Italian cultural attaché to Tehran Carlo Cereti, Italian professor Anna Maria Motacchi, Iranian translators Antonia Shoraka and Haleh Nazemi are some of scholars and officials who are attending the meeting.

The center is located on 3rd Ave, Bokharest St., off Shahid Beheshti Ave.


Caught! 'Catch-22' Now an E-Book

Iran News: The clauses have been cleared, the contract signed. "Catch-22" is an e-book.

The late Joseph Heller's million-selling send-up of war and military bureaucracy, one of the notable missing links in the digital library, has been released electronically by Simon & Schuster, the novel's original publisher. As with many books that came out before the Internet, e-rights had been in dispute, with the digital publisher Oped Road Integrated Media announcing in 2009 that it would handle the electronic version.

"Catch-22" first came out in 1961 and Simon & Schuster plans a special 50th anniversary edition in hardcover and paperback next year, featuring an introduction by Christopher Buckley and reprints of essays by Norman Mailer, Anthony Burgess and others.

"We were in regular talks with Joseph Heller's literary agency regarding e-book rights for over a year," Jonathan Karp, publisher of Simon & Schuster's flagship imprint, said Wednesday.

"With the 50th anniversary of `Catch-22' approaching, and with e-books becoming an increasingly significant percentage of overall sales, we both realized the benefits of coming to terms sooner rather than later, and happily we did."

The Heller estate's literary agent, Amanda Urban, declined comment. Open Road spokesman Josh Raffel said that the publisher had received approval last year to announce it would publish the e-edition of "Catch-22" and "dutifully did so. End of story."

"Open Road's catalog consists of hundreds of titles since that first announcement and we are moving on," Raffel said.

Authors and agents have disagreed with traditional publishers over the fair rate for e-royalties. Open Road and other start-ups have offered 50 percent or more, far higher than the 25 percent that had been the standard industry offer. Open Road publishes the digital versions of much of William Styron's work and of such Pat Conroy books as "The Great Santini" and "The Prince of Tides."

But in recent months, agents and publishers say the sides have moved closer.

Over the summer, the Wylie Agency, which represents the estates for "Lolita," "Invisible Man" and many other classics, started an e-publishing arm and announced it would sell the books through Wylie pulled back after Random House Inc., the original publisher of most of the works being offered by Wylie, said it would halt all new business with the agency. The e-editions of "Lolita," "Invisible Man" and other titles represented by Wylie now are published by Random House and available through all major e-book sellers.


‘Imam Ali and Heritage’ Congress Held

Iran Daily: A congress on Imam Ali (AS), the first Shiite Imam, was held at Tehran University’s Allameh Amini Hall on Saturday.

According to Fars News Agency, the confab titled ‘Imam Ali (AS) and Heritage’ was attended by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini.

Several books dealing with Imam Ali’s personality and his sayings were unveiled during the event.

These included ‘Alinameh’ (Book on Ali), a versified Persian translation of ‘Imam Ali’s Last Will’, and a copy of ‘Nahj ul-Balagheh’.
Hosseini referred to ‘Alinameh’ as the oldest Shiite anthology on the Imam, and said, “It was recited by a Muslim named Rabi’ in 482 AH”

The collection, featuring 11,000 verses, is significant in terms of content and antiquity, particularly because it has meticulously covered Imam Ali’s battles after the advent of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, he said.

“However, the book is highly influenced by ‘Shahnameh’ (Grand Book), a masterpiece by renowned Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi. The way it depicts war scenes resembles Ferdowsi’s style.”

The Persian translation of ‘Imam Ali’s Last Will to Imam Hassan’ by Seyyed Hassan Ghaznavi features 101 rhymes. Handwritten copies of the book are available in the country, though the book has not been in the limelight so far.

‘Nahj ul-Balagheh’ (peak of eloquence) is the book of adage and maxims by Imam Ali (AS). The one unveiled at the congress dates back to the 5th century AH.


Ferdowsi Foundation Plans ‘Shahnameh’ Movie

Iran Daily: Iran’s Ferdowsi Foundation plans to produce a film on ‘Shahnameh’ (Grand Book), a magnum opus by renowned Persian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi.

Announcing this, the foundation’s head, Yasser Movahhedfar told ISNA that a prominent Persian literary figure has done the research work for this.

“It took five years to complete, and shooting will soon begin in Iran and some European states,” he said.

The film will be produced according to international standards and aims to introduce ‘Shahnameh’ in the best way possible.
Movahhedfar also called on cultural officials and public organizations for cooperation on the project.

Ferdowsi (935–1020) is a highly revered Persian poet and one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature.

After Ferdowsi’s ‘Shahnameh’, a number of other literary works similar in nature have surfaced over the centuries. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Shahnameh, but none of them could achieve the same degree of popularity as Ferdowsi’s masterpiece.


Novel on Sacred Defense to Be Reprinted

Iran Daily: Iranian author Davoud Ghaffarzadegan’s ‘Fortune Told in Blood’ will be reprinted for the 7th time.

Released by Soureh Mehr Publications, the book deals with the aftermath of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, known as the ‘Sacred Defense’ among Iranians.

The successful novel has also been published in the US and Turkey, Mehr News Agency said. Mohammad Reza Qanounparvar, a professor of Persian language at the University of Texas, has rendered the book into English.

‘Fortune Told in Blood’ tells the story of a soldier and his commanding officer who have been tasked with identifying corpses in a war zone named ‘Hour’.

The book does not directly deal with the war; however it relies on humane aspects of it by portraying the tragic moments.

Ghaffarzadegan’s other books include ‘Jacob’s Night’ and ‘Those Who Throw Stone in the Azure Cave’.


Iran exhibits Khayyam-inspired works

Presstv: Iran's Golestan Palace has mounted an exhibition of calligraphy works inspired by poems of Persian poet Omar Khayyam in ten different languages.

The event, which will run until December 3, 2010 in Tehran, displays 53 works by Iranian artist Mojtaba Karami, CHTN reported.

The works present poems by the Persian polymath along with their translations in German, Spanish, English, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, French, Arabic, Georgian and Esperanto.

The artworks present a combination of Persian calligraphy, illumination, painting, Western calligraphy and Hilyah, which is a 'word picture' in which sentences and phrases are written in the form of birds or animals.

Karami said combining different artistic styles is a good way to “introduce Islamic culture and Persian literature to the world.”

The acclaimed calligrapher also thanked foreign embassies in Iran for providing the exhibition with translations of Khayyam's poems in different languages.

Khayyam was a Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer who was popularized in the West through the translation of his magnum opus Rubaiyat.

The book is a collection of quatrains (four-line poems) by the 11th-century Persian poet, which was internationally introduced through a 101-verse semi-narrative translation by British poet Edward Fitzgerald in 1859.
Story Code : 88940
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