Words with Book of the Season winners
Olumi: Myths missing in our writers’ epistemology
25 Jun 2012 13:21
Mohammad-Ali Olumi, who has won the 20th Book of the Season Award for his novel ‘Paribad’, insists on the necessity to obtain a particular view of local and mythological culture.
IBNA: Olumi is the winner of the 20th Book of the Season Award for his novel “Paribad”. He tells IBNA of his obsession with local culture.
Reacting to the question whether he intended to create ‘Paribad’ under the inspiration of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he said: “Definitely it was intentional. One Hundred Years of Solitude is based on Latin American and Indian culture, whereas in this novel you can find the writer’s focus on the nomad culture and in fact, you can conclude that there is not much difference between their culture and our nomads’.”
He added: “Our people have always been founders of culture and all ancient Iranian rituals showed religious and mystic tendencies. These rituals have affected world cultures and once been the religious culture of our ancestors.”
He continued: “Obviously the use of forms of art and fiction and such elements and archetypes can add to the richness and originality of Iranian culture and save Iranians from westoxication and alienation from the cultural self. An important part of this culture can be elicited from the folklore as they play a key role in preserving national culture.”
“In Paribad I had mythological functions in my epistemological view of the world. Once I was a pupil of Master Abolqassem Anjavi Shirazi and there I became interested in gathering stories, rituals and customs of the people. I realized that culture is a way of expressing ancient wisdom and is not just for fun.”
Finally Olumi emphasized that nowadays we communicate with mythological cultures of the world only through translations, and why Iranians should not insert public culture in the fictional space and mingle them with newer forms. Pale presence of myths and folklore in the epistemological outlook of Iranian writers and my personal interests in these subjects motivated me to write down Paribad, he added.
Paribad is published in 544 pages by Amout Publications. The novel is about a city that suddenly disappears in one night: “I have never seen a storyteller who knows everything about the story of Paribad. There was a city named Paribad that disappeared on night or taken away by storm or perhaps quite the contrary, it was brought by storm. Some say the inhabitants were demons. In the stories, it is located somewhere about Izadkhast around Yazd, and in some other narratives, it is near Jabbar Barez, in a distance between Bam and Narmashir. The Zaboli people believe that it is located near the Burnt City.
The concluding ceremony of the 20th Book of the Season Award was held on Tuesday evening (June 19) in Sanandaj.