IBNA- Poet Maftoun Amini writes that he got in touch with a Nobel Prize jury member years ago who said that they planned to award Ahmad Shamlou, but the eminent Iranian poet died the following year.
In a note sent to IBNA, Yadollah Maftoun Amini writes: “On the subject of contemporary Iranian literature and the Nobel Prize, I personally was interested and persistent. For instance, when I went to Sweden to visit my daughter in 1999, which coincided with the ceremony of the Stig Dagerman Prize for Shamlou, I got acquainted with an immigrant professor among the crowd in a Sweden Village. This anti-Israel professor was a member of the Nobel literature jury with whom I talked about this subject.”
”Dagerman Award is often considered an introduction for the Nobel Prize. As I asked him for a better answer, and he said there are two issues here; one is lack of abilities and the other wishes. In the first case, none of the Iranians residing in Sweden could do a decent translation of Shamlou’s poetry to introduce it to the world. And in the second, according to a survey made of teachers and professors living in Europe and the Iranologists and experts, as well as from UNESCO, we did not get a favorable answer and UNESCO’s answer was particularly astonishing for us.
In general, Iranians living abroad and even poets and literary figures lacked the incentive to do anything in this regard and were probably among his rivals too. This was the view of that Nobel Jury, and unfortunately Shamlou died the following year and the file was closed in the year 2000. Even now, it is unfortunate that the unfavorable trend of 15 years ago and the case of poetry elite continues.
Persian poetry has always been isolated in the world and our stories were not accessible to the Westerners to study. This is while the Polish, Japanese and Africans have got a better position and were granted the award.
I believe our translations of the works of poets are not enough, and we should have a couple of publishers in Europe and America to do this, and give them a good support. Otherwise, we should not expect fame and name.”