counter create hit Savushun: A Novel About Modern Iran - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Savushun: A Novel About Modern Iran

Availability: Ready to download

Savushun chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. It is set in Shiraz, a town which evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, the great poets, the shrines, Sufis, and nomadic tribes within a historical web of the interests, privilege and influence of foreign powers; corruption, incompetence and arrogance Savushun chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. It is set in Shiraz, a town which evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, the great poets, the shrines, Sufis, and nomadic tribes within a historical web of the interests, privilege and influence of foreign powers; corruption, incompetence and arrogance of persons in authority; the paternalistic landowner-peasant relationship; tribalism; and the fear of famine. The story is seen through the eyes of Zari, a young wife and mother, who copes with her idealistic and uncompromising husband while struggling with her desire for traditional family life and her need for individual identity. Daneshvar's style is both sensitive and imaginative, while following cultural themes and metaphors. Within basic Iranian paradigms, the characters play out the roles inherent in their personalities. While Savushun is a unique piece of literature that transcends the boundaries of the historical community in which it was written, it is also the best single work for understanding modern Iran. Although written prior to the Islamic Revolution, it brilliantly portrays the social and historical forces that gave pre-revolutionary Iran its characteristic hopelessness and emerging desperation so inadequately understood by outsiders.


Compare

Savushun chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. It is set in Shiraz, a town which evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, the great poets, the shrines, Sufis, and nomadic tribes within a historical web of the interests, privilege and influence of foreign powers; corruption, incompetence and arrogance Savushun chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. It is set in Shiraz, a town which evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, the great poets, the shrines, Sufis, and nomadic tribes within a historical web of the interests, privilege and influence of foreign powers; corruption, incompetence and arrogance of persons in authority; the paternalistic landowner-peasant relationship; tribalism; and the fear of famine. The story is seen through the eyes of Zari, a young wife and mother, who copes with her idealistic and uncompromising husband while struggling with her desire for traditional family life and her need for individual identity. Daneshvar's style is both sensitive and imaginative, while following cultural themes and metaphors. Within basic Iranian paradigms, the characters play out the roles inherent in their personalities. While Savushun is a unique piece of literature that transcends the boundaries of the historical community in which it was written, it is also the best single work for understanding modern Iran. Although written prior to the Islamic Revolution, it brilliantly portrays the social and historical forces that gave pre-revolutionary Iran its characteristic hopelessness and emerging desperation so inadequately understood by outsiders.

30 review for Savushun: A Novel About Modern Iran

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    سووشون = Suvashun = A Persian Requiem, Simin Daneshvar A Persian Requiem is a 1969 Persian novel by Iranian female writer Simin Daneshvar. It is the first novel in Persian written by a female author. Daneshvar uses folklore and myth in Savušun. Linguistically, savušun is a corruption of Siyâvašun, which refers to the traditional mourning for Siyâvaš, a hero in the Šâhnâme. The story is about the life of a landowning family in Shiraz faced to the occupation of Iran during World War II. Savušun has سووشون = Suvashun = A Persian Requiem, Simin Daneshvar A Persian Requiem is a 1969 Persian novel by Iranian female writer Simin Daneshvar. It is the first novel in Persian written by a female author. Daneshvar uses folklore and myth in Savušun. Linguistically, savušun is a corruption of Siyâvašun, which refers to the traditional mourning for Siyâvaš, a hero in the Šâhnâme. The story is about the life of a landowning family in Shiraz faced to the occupation of Iran during World War II. Savušun has sold over five hundred thousand copies in Iran. Savušun is "groundbreaking" and highly acclaimed work in contemporary Persian literature, with both literary and popular success within and outside Iran. The novel has been translated to English and 16 other languages. When writing about the novel's importance, critic Kaveh Bissari describing an exact translation by Ghanoonparvar in 1990 and the version A Persian Requiem by Roxane Zand in 1991. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: نخستین بار در سال 1968میلادی، خوانش بار دوم در ماه جولای سال 1970میلادی عنوان: سووشون؛ نویسنده: سیمین دانشور؛ تهران، خوارزمی، 1348؛ در 307ص؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1349؛ چهارم 1351؛ پنجم 1352؛ ششم 1353؛ هفتم 1355؛ هشتم 1356؛ نهم 1357؛ دهم 1360؛ یازدهم 1363؛ دوازدهم 1368؛ سیزدهم 1371؛ چهاردهم 1377؛ پانزدهم 1380؛ شابک 9644870050؛ شانزدهم 1388؛ شابک 9789644870057؛ هفدهم 1390؛ نوزدهم 1392؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایرانی - سده 20م سووشون نخستین رمان فارسی است، که به قلم یک بانوی نویسنده ی «ایرانی» نگاشته شده‌ است؛ داستان «سووشون» در شهر «شیراز» و در سالهای پایانی جنگ جهانی دوم رخ می‌دهد، و فضای اجتماعی سال‌های 1320هجری خورشیدی تا سال 1325هجری خورشیدی را ترسیم می‌کند؛ نویسنده در این رمان زندگی فئودالی در زمان اشغال «ایران»، از سوی «انگلیسی‌»ها را، به نگارش درآورده‌ است؛ یکی از ویژگی‌های «سووشون» ساختار ساده، و بیان روان آن است، و در متن آن از واژه‌ های عامیانه ی «شیرازی»، استفاده شده‌، کتاب نخستین بار درسال 1348هجری خورشیدی منتشر شد، و تا سال 1393هجری خورشیدی به چاپ نوزدهم رسید؛ این کتاب را در سالهای پیش از سال 1350هجری خورشیدی، دوبار خوانده ام، ولی عنوانش هماره، همان «سوگ سیاووشان» را بیادم میآورد، هرچه کوشش کردم، بار دیگر نیز کتاب را بخوانم؛ نتوانستم؛ شاید برای بیرنگتر شدن باورهای آن روزگاران، در این از پا فتاده و بجا مانده، در میدان جنگهای ایدئولوژیکی، و یا تبدیل شدن موضوع، به رخدادی تاریخی، اما غیرواقعی باشد؛ کتاب که از خواندنش در آن روزها مدهوش شدم، هر آنگاه که از کنارش بگذرم، چشمکی میپراند؛ یاد باد آن روزگاران را، که جوانی چه مبارک سحری بود، و چه فرخنده شبی؛ باید بیفزایم که چند ماه پیش در سال 1400هجری خورشیدی که برق رفته بود گل بچیند کتاب «سووشون» آن روانشادمان دم دستم بود، و دوباره خواندمش و بر حیرتم از توان نگارنده افزوده شد تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 04/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    سووشون = Suvashun = A Persian Requiem, Simin Daneshvar Savušun (also spelled Savushun‎) is a 1969 Persian novel by Iranian female writer Simin Daneshvar. It is the first novel in Persian written by a female author. The story is about the life of a landowning family in Shiraz, faced to the occupation of Iran, during World War II. Savušun has sold over five hundred thousand copies in Iran. Savušun is "groundbreaking" and highly acclaimed work in contemporary Persian literature, with both literary سووشون = Suvashun = A Persian Requiem, Simin Daneshvar Savušun (also spelled Savushun‎) is a 1969 Persian novel by Iranian female writer Simin Daneshvar. It is the first novel in Persian written by a female author. The story is about the life of a landowning family in Shiraz, faced to the occupation of Iran, during World War II. Savušun has sold over five hundred thousand copies in Iran. Savušun is "groundbreaking" and highly acclaimed work in contemporary Persian literature, with both literary and popular success within and outside Iran. The novel has been translated to English and 16 other languages. When writing about the novel's importance, critic Kaveh Bissari describing an exact translation by Ghanoonparvar in 1990 and the version A Persian Requiem by Roxane Zand in 1991. Daneshvar uses folklore and myth in Savušun. Linguistically, savušun is a corruption of Siyâvašun, which refers to the traditional mourning for Siyâvaš, a hero in the Šâhnâme. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1968میلادی و در ماه جولای سال 1970میلادی عنوان: سووشون؛ نویسنده: سیمین دانشور؛ تهران، خوارزمی، 1348؛ در 307ص؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1349؛ چهارم 1351؛ پنجم 1352؛ ششم 1353؛ هفتم 1355؛ هشتم 1356؛ نهم 1357؛ دهم 1360؛ یازدهم 1363؛ دوازدهم 1368؛ سیزدهم 1371؛ چهاردهم 1377؛ پانزدهم 1380؛ شابک9644870050؛ شانزدهم 1388؛ شابک 9789644870057؛ هفدهم 1390؛ نوزدهم 1392؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایران - سده ی 20م سووشون نخستین رمان فارسی، که به قلم یک بانوی نویسنده ی «ایرانی» نگاشته شده‌ است؛ داستان «سووشون» در شهر «شیراز» و در سالهای پایانی جنگ جهانی دوم رخ می‌دهد، و فضای اجتماعی سال‌های 1320هجری خورشیدی تا سال 1325هجری خورشیدی را، ترسیم می‌کند؛ نویسنده در این رمان زندگی فئودالی در زمان اشغال «ایران» از سوی «انگلیسی‌»ها را، به نگارش درآورده‌ اند؛ یکی از ویژگی‌های «سووشون» ساختار ساده، و بیان روان آن است، و در متن آن از واژه‌ های عامیانه ی «شیرازی» استفاده شده‌، کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1348هجری خورشیدی منتشر شد، و تا سال 1393هجری خورشیدی به چاپ نوزدهم رسید؛ کتاب را در سالهای پیش از سال 1350هجری خورشیدی دوبار خوانده ام؛ اینروزها تا عنوان کتاب را ببینم، «سوگ سیاووشان» به یادم میآید؛ هرچه کوشش کردم بار دیگر نیز کتاب را بخوانم، نتوانستم؛ شاید بخاطر بیرنگتر شدن باورهای آن روزگاران، در این از پا فتاده، و بجا مانده از میدان جنگهای ایدئولوژیکی، و یا تبدیل شدن موضوع، به رخدادی تاریخی، اما غیرواقعی باشد؛ کتاب که از خواندنش در آن روزها مدهوش شدم، تا از کنارش میگذرم، چشمکی میپراند؛ یاد باد آن روزها را، که چه مبارک سحری بود، و چه فرخنده شبی؛ بار دیگر کتاب را در سال 1399هجری خورشیدی، خواندم، و همان احساس پیشین با واژه های شیرین عسل شیرازی در جانم زنده شد تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 19/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 17/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Most books I have read set in Iran tend to be about the revolutions of the 1970s to the present. This book is set during World War II, during British occupation, and the Brits are not exactly allies. (Iran was previously allied to Italy and Germany, so they are being occupied to keep control of the area.) Zari is a young wife of a well-off revolutionary in Shiraz. The story is through her eyes, where she is often controlled by older women in society, managed by male relatives, and patronized by h Most books I have read set in Iran tend to be about the revolutions of the 1970s to the present. This book is set during World War II, during British occupation, and the Brits are not exactly allies. (Iran was previously allied to Italy and Germany, so they are being occupied to keep control of the area.) Zari is a young wife of a well-off revolutionary in Shiraz. The story is through her eyes, where she is often controlled by older women in society, managed by male relatives, and patronized by her (still loving) husband. There is the usual conflict between tradition and change in all areas of life, aggravated by the presence of the English. It feels like the end of Persia, the beginning of Iran, and just the beginning of what will turn into a tumultuous century. The author often lets her characters give mini sermons, or to wax eloquently about topics she wants to give a voice to (or it's an easy way to tell a story.) Some chapters are devoted to the story from one character, which was a nice break in the novel. Here's an example from our main character: "If only the world were run by women, Zari mused, women who have given birth and cherish that which they've created. Women who value patience, forbearance, the daily grind; who know what it is to do nothing for oneself... Perhaps men risked everything in order to feel as if they have created something, because in reality they are unable to create life. If the world were run by women, Zari wondered, would there be any wars? And if one loses the blessings one has, what then?" And then the doctor near the end (the "lesson" of the book, I'd say): "In this world, everything is in one's own hands. Madness, fear, even love. A human being can if he so desires, move moutnains, dry up the waters, create havoc everywhere. A human life is a chronicle. It can be any kind of chronicle - a sweet one, a bitter one, an ugly one... or a heroic one. The human body is fragile, but no force in this world can equal man's spiritual power. As long as he has a strong will and some awareness."

  4. 4 out of 5

    dianne (off seeking immunity)

    The title is a tradition, pre-Islamic, that represents hope, despite everything. The Shi’a tradition’s passion of Hoseyn, the Prophet’s (PBUH) grandson, and the tragedy of Karbala, and transformation into salvation, into idealism is an example of Savushun. Imagine a culture 2500+ years old. Maybe it takes thousands of years to create a Hafez. To collect the memories and the wisdom; to maintain the Savushun and rhythms; to respect the place of ritual, and see the magic that ritual brings to the e The title is a tradition, pre-Islamic, that represents hope, despite everything. The Shi’a tradition’s passion of Hoseyn, the Prophet’s (PBUH) grandson, and the tragedy of Karbala, and transformation into salvation, into idealism is an example of Savushun. Imagine a culture 2500+ years old. Maybe it takes thousands of years to create a Hafez. To collect the memories and the wisdom; to maintain the Savushun and rhythms; to respect the place of ritual, and see the magic that ritual brings to the eyes of children; to value romance in every scent, every breeze, every color, every cool, refreshing drink. So as i read this i think - maybe - if Hafez had written a novel, as a woman, when Daneshvar was creating this - maybe this is what he would have written. This is the story of a woman, Zari, living in “the city of flowers and nightingales” Shiraz, Iran during WWII, during the British occupation. She married a radical and loving land-owning man and has 3 children. Yusof is radical because he believes (as his very different brother Khan Kaka complains): “...he quotes you in Arabic, “The harvest belongs to the one who cultivates the land, even if the land is usurped.” And so does not want -at any price - to sell his crops to the British army - but to save them for the tenant farmers to eat. There are so many important threads within this book. One is about how women who become mothers are forced, so often, to sacrifice themselves, to play a role, to stifle their anger. We are gifted with her insight, as well as her honest, loving, yet critical eye. Another thread is Zari’s commitment to visiting the mental hospital weekly with fresh fruits and flowers; with newspapers for one patient. Learning, as anyone who has worked with the “insane” learns, how often they see most clearly of all. These anecdotes weave in and out of her story coloring it and shading it flawlessly. And then there is the British occupation - which had been in place since Zari’s forever, but was now about to cause massive starvation as everything was being diverted to the Occupier. The wealthy class, by and large, accepted this (and large payments) and we see all the machinations of greed by what Zari calls “the Passion Play villains”. We also learn of Zari’s rebellion. As a scholarship (poor) student in a Catholic school, taught by an Indian teacher, Zari excelled in English. Once when an English lady benefactress was to visit the school, Zari was chosen to kiss her hand and recite the (don’t-tie-me-up-too-loose) poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. (never breathe a word about your loss...) But when the time came Zari took the lady’s hand, and rather than give it an obsequious kiss, she shook it. And proudly recited Milton’s poem “The Blindness of Samson” (Blind among enemies, O worse than chains...) An excellent choice, methinks. There is a small boy named Kolu that Yusof brings home to be adopted as a son, because his father has died. Unfortunately, Kolu becomes ill and has to be hospitalized where he is heavily proselytized to by a Catholic priest, confusing this poor Shiite child. After recovery Kolu ponders: “What kind of shepherd is he anyway to let his lamb get lost and go sit in the sky? If he is telling the truth, let him come down and take me. If he takes me, I’ll give him my daddy’s pipe that I hid under the bed rolls. But if he doesn’t, may Abolfazl al-Abbas strike me dead, if I get hold of him I’ll land a rock right between his eyes with my slingshot.” He took three copper crucifixes from a pocket…. Late in the book, the revered elderly physician who has watched Zari at the mental hospital, visits her after the unthinkable occurs and reassures her that her only disease is potentially malignant, definitely infectious, and sometimes hereditary - Fear. He tells those around her to “just leave her alone” But he murmurs to her: “Try patience, oh heart, for God will not abandon Such a dear gem in the hands of a demon.” Zari knew the doctor was a member of the Hafeziyun group that held vigils and read poetry by the tomb of Hafez every Thursday night. Yes, they drink wine, too, and even sprinkle libations over his tomb. And they play music, too. …. “Let us do something, otherwise we shall be ashamed On the day that our souls depart for the other world.” The grave of Hafez is always crowded by mourners, laying perfect roses, lovers sneaking kisses in corners, garnering inspiration from this immortal poet. Elderly stand silent, reverent, sometimes weeping as though he'd died yesterday instead of 630 years ago. The idea of a group of medical doctors gathering once a week to vigil, read poetry, play music and drink at Hafez’s tomb - how much better would we be, if that had been part of our training & practice? Iran is unique among places as it has filled the same borders with its sui generis culture and language for millennia. Cyrus the Great was the Persian /Iranian leader of the first empire that included large areas of different cultures and languages. He was the author of the famous Cylinder; the first peace treaty which recognized the rights of the women and children left by the losing warriors. Iran created Persepolis; it is the home that nourished Rumi and has always valued poets more than kings. A country - for all of its faults (i was not crazy about the headscarf) that is not hypocritical about welcoming the stranger. I have traveled slowly & widely in at least 60 countries, been both content and confused in my dépaysement, but i've never been so moved by a country as I have been by Iran. There were times in this book when I had to stop reading because I just needed to cry. Maybe because of all the toxins the USA has attempted to falsely stamp upon Iran, when we were there, the truth: the kindness, the beauty, the sense of continuity with the ancient, the appreciation for the amazing, miraculous, for Allah, perhaps - was overwhelmingly palpable. What was the best was Not for sale. The complex flavors, the smell of a fresh flower floating in rose water, something transient. A poem. Has value. Did I mention valuing things that are Not For Sale? Please join us for tea. All of these are naturally folded into Zari's life. Learning some about the cruel imperialist history of the UK and the USA in Iran. Shame. Kermit Roosevelt bringing down Mosaddegh. Trump pulling out of a nuclear deal that was working, and placing more sanctions that only hurt the vulnerable. And the lies and manipulations that have created the hard line, but still sane government of today’s Iran, that the USA and the UK brought to life. And this brilliant novel is set Just Between. Britain is still Empire-ish, but it is slippery and OMG it is WWII and it is not going well. Iran is in British control and, of course all of its resources should go to feed the British troops! (See Famines… remember Bengal 1943?). But some think...No, this food should feed those who grew it, as Allah has said. A decade later Mosaddegh thought Iranians should own part of Iran's oil. Britain didn't like that either. Savushun. It is useless, dianne. Almost 3000 years of poetry, love, grand stories beyond metaphor, enough. Buy a rug already! Peace in Iran. Inshallah.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Inderjit Sanghera

    Not sure if it was the translation, but just couldn't get into it. Not sure if it was the translation, but just couldn't get into it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sally-W

    Memorable lines: Zari closed her eyes, feeling as if all her life-forces had been drained and spent, like a squeezed fruit. It was as though a snake had slithered down her throat and coiled itself around her heart, with its head erect, ready to strike, and she knew that for the rest of her life this snake would stay coiled right there around her heart, so whenever she remembered her husband it could sink its fangs into her bosom. In this world, everything is in one's own hands. Madness, fear, even Memorable lines: Zari closed her eyes, feeling as if all her life-forces had been drained and spent, like a squeezed fruit. It was as though a snake had slithered down her throat and coiled itself around her heart, with its head erect, ready to strike, and she knew that for the rest of her life this snake would stay coiled right there around her heart, so whenever she remembered her husband it could sink its fangs into her bosom. In this world, everything is in one's own hands. Madness, fear, even love. A human being can if he so desires, move mountains, dry up the waters, create havoc everywhere. A human life is a chronicle. It can be any kind of chronicle€ - a sweet one, a bitter one, an ugly one or a heroic one. The human body is fragile, but no force in this world can equal man's spiritual power. As long as he has a strong will and some awareness.€

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jostein

    Family chronicle which gives great insight into WWII Iran. The story revolves around Zari and her family in Shiraz, but the main story is interspersed with smaller stories, all regarding the same family. I was a bit unsure where the story was going at first, and struggled a bit with the first half, but the second half was very memorable. There are a lot of topics in this novel, but they are all seen through the eyes of Zari, and through her you get a clear view of women's situation is this societ Family chronicle which gives great insight into WWII Iran. The story revolves around Zari and her family in Shiraz, but the main story is interspersed with smaller stories, all regarding the same family. I was a bit unsure where the story was going at first, and struggled a bit with the first half, but the second half was very memorable. There are a lot of topics in this novel, but they are all seen through the eyes of Zari, and through her you get a clear view of women's situation is this society at the time. The book also deals with the occupation of Iran by the Allies/british and shows how some struggle for indepence while others struggle for just a safe life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Orkid

    A masterpiece of Iran's twentieth century novel. Simin Daneshvar is regarded -rightly so- as the Mother of Novel in Iran; Suvashoun touches on delicate matters of gender politics, Iran's quasi-colonial contemporary history, literature, love, pain and the birth of intellectual thought and nationalism. Definitely among my top five novels. For non-Persian speakers, the book is translated into some 17 languages to this date. A masterpiece of Iran's twentieth century novel. Simin Daneshvar is regarded -rightly so- as the Mother of Novel in Iran; Suvashoun touches on delicate matters of gender politics, Iran's quasi-colonial contemporary history, literature, love, pain and the birth of intellectual thought and nationalism. Definitely among my top five novels. For non-Persian speakers, the book is translated into some 17 languages to this date.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anahita

    i felt pitty to everything i had or i proud of that i felt we are always like thiss... i felt pitty to all people that they understand and they can think and i have this feeling tilll now with me... it was the one of book that made me change my think and my way to living... i love it

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shokufeh شکوفه Kavani کاوانی

    This is one of the most important books of Iranian modern literature, the first one written by a woman , Mrs. Simin Daneshvar...a wonderful read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shokufeh شکوفه Kavani کاوانی

    Why heaven is so short period ? When and why did evil come into our lives ? .....That is the love story of Soovashoon or Persian Requlim.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bahar

    Some parts of this book will stay with you for as long as you live....

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    3.5/5 Obviously, they built the hospital for the day they would need it themselves. This book is truly a mixed bag, and I'll have to fiddle with the star rating a tad more before I'm truly satisfied. On the one hand, the work is a supremely necessary record that sheds mainstream light on a section of time and place that serves as a comprehensible origin point of events occurring today, laying out the history so concisely that the usual hemming and hawing Euro/Neo-Euro powers do when confronted 3.5/5 Obviously, they built the hospital for the day they would need it themselves. This book is truly a mixed bag, and I'll have to fiddle with the star rating a tad more before I'm truly satisfied. On the one hand, the work is a supremely necessary record that sheds mainstream light on a section of time and place that serves as a comprehensible origin point of events occurring today, laying out the history so concisely that the usual hemming and hawing Euro/Neo-Euro powers do when confronted with conflict of their own making beyond their borders. On the other hand, much as I like the constant framing of this book as some breed of Orientalist gateway that acts purely to facilitated the "Western" gaze, the preceding cast of characters and succeeding glossary of terms was very welcome. There's also the matter of a few spots of antiblackness and other overemphasis of ethnic otherness (not applying to the white people, of course) whose narrative value didn't in anyway justify their existence. Translation, translation, translation, but unless one without knowledge of Ancient Greek and Hebrew and Latin wishes to give up on the Bible, it is best to understand that Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were its faculties of transliterate communication. I'm glad I read The Wandering Falcon, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and what I believe was either The Discovery of India or River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya. The first work provided an incipient historical background to WWII in what is now known, in a destructively simplistic context, as Iran and Iraq, while the latter gave me bits and pieces of the celebration and/or passion play processions that informed the aftermath of martyrdoms, whether religious or political or both. The fact that the this work only came together for me in the last quarter can be easily chalked up to my own lack of experience with engaging with such narrative matters, as encountering works that touch upon disproportionate renderings of the same outpouring of tragedy under oppression doesn't make for an intimate knowledge of the Prophet Mohammad's family tree or the Persian encounters with Caliphates and Mongols. Despite this, certain passages, especially the allegories textually contextualized as stories for children, as well as the kinship between a Persian woman under new English occupation and an Irishman under old. I dislike relying too much on pathos for my overall evaluation, but as the glossary didn't provide page numbers for the explicated phrases, my already compromised understanding wasn't as aided as it could have been. I will not, however, make the mistake of refusing to commit to a judgement due to a lack of comprehension. If every reader as as honest about such with any book, regardless of whether it was a 'Savashun' or a 'Ulysses', the literary landscape, would be a far less stodgy plane to roam in. It's very silly to call this a 'modern' novel of Iran, seeing as how nearly six decades have passed, but looking at the state of Iranian literature in the mainstream as well as on my own shelves, the times haven't caught up enough to completely justify disregarding this portion of the title. While I can't say I was totally lost while reading this, I could have had a much better grounding than what I haphazardly remembered from Daughter of Persia and other relevant titles. Whether I have sufficient incentive and/or resources and/or time, though, there's the rub. Despite this, the work is, as I said, informatively necessary, and even had its moments of beauty. I won't be excusing the uglier bits, but they're no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Do not weep, sister. In your home, a tree shall grow, and others in your city, and many more throughout your country. And the wind shall carry the message from tree to tree and the trees shall ask the wind, 'Did you see the dawn on your way?'

  14. 4 out of 5

    Somayeh Yarali

    I am very sorry that there is not more than 5 stars. I would like to give 10 stars to this novel. That was fantastic. It was so close to current situation in Iran. I just remembered the Laleh Sahabi's father in the last pages of the book. Thanks Simin, you are great. I am very sorry that there is not more than 5 stars. I would like to give 10 stars to this novel. That was fantastic. It was so close to current situation in Iran. I just remembered the Laleh Sahabi's father in the last pages of the book. Thanks Simin, you are great.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Reihaneh Bahrami

    I read it again...and enjoyed it more than first time. I think I could read it again and again and even enjoy more each time...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hanieh

    A great novel. From the half of the book, I couldn't put it down. From the book: In this world everything is in one's own hands. Madness, fear, even love. A great novel. From the half of the book, I couldn't put it down. From the book: In this world everything is in one's own hands. Madness, fear, even love.

  17. 5 out of 5

    hadyeh | هَدیه

    after reading this book once in its original farsi and now, for the second time, in its slightly clunky english translation, i’m flooded again with the feeling it originally evoked in my heart, the feeling that first pushed this masterpiece to the top of my list of favorites— the first time i read savushun i was struck by this strange sense of missing it like i would a loved one anytime i wasn’t reading. i would be doing something completely different and be filled by a rush of longing for danesh after reading this book once in its original farsi and now, for the second time, in its slightly clunky english translation, i’m flooded again with the feeling it originally evoked in my heart, the feeling that first pushed this masterpiece to the top of my list of favorites— the first time i read savushun i was struck by this strange sense of missing it like i would a loved one anytime i wasn’t reading. i would be doing something completely different and be filled by a rush of longing for daneshvar’s main character, zari, and her delicate moral evolution, the blossoming of her courage and the completion of her womanhood— “oh, how we end up lying to our children!” laments zari at the very dawn of her awakening. daneshvar, lacy and exacting, tenderly documents the self-transcendence of an iranian woman, mother, wife, seeker, citizen. we watch zari’s values, her notions of calm, of propriety, of the limits of her own home and her own self become transformed by the violence of circumstance and the example of her husband yusuf, who stands firm against the wwii-era violences of foreign invaders in his native shiraz. through a painful and deeply personal series of escalating losses, our zari—a product of imperial british schooling, pushed toward timidness by her society, by her training, by her immense love and fears for her loved ones and home and self—comes finally, dramatically, to lose fear itself. savushun not only masterfully depicts the moral courage and innermost transformations of zari, but serves as an incredibly valuable historical, literary, and philosophical document. here we see daneshvar hint at her own life and losses, at her relationship with and loss perhaps of her own yusuf (her late husband was the writer jalal aal-e-ahmad), and at the political turmoil of her own time. of note, contained both within this work (the novel dips in and out of its characters’ personal histories often in the form of nested narratives), and within the course of its plot are traces of daneshvar’s religious and personal philosophy as well. we learn about her (re-)readings of free will, destiny, moral responsibility, and political consciousness. most importantly, we learn about these in the loving and tender contexts of girlhood, womanhood, motherhood in the spheres of home and society, familiarly ravaged by war, foreign oppressors, and the manifold braveries and cowardices that shape the fate (a word daneshvar does not use lightly) of a woman, a family, a city, and a nation.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Even though this novel was originally published in l969 (translated in l990) and is about events in Iran in World War II, it still has a contemporary feel about it. Men wage war, but women are just as involved, emotionally if not physically, and pay as high a price. This is an Iran emerging from tribalism and torn between foreign warring factions, the British and the Germans. Food and medicine are in short supply and people are suffering The center of this book is Zari, a young mother in her 20 Even though this novel was originally published in l969 (translated in l990) and is about events in Iran in World War II, it still has a contemporary feel about it. Men wage war, but women are just as involved, emotionally if not physically, and pay as high a price. This is an Iran emerging from tribalism and torn between foreign warring factions, the British and the Germans. Food and medicine are in short supply and people are suffering The center of this book is Zari, a young mother in her 20's with three children, and a fourth on the way, who is married to Yusof, a tribal leader. He is fiercely independent and refuses to sell his crops to the allied invaders. He clashes with his brother, Khan Kabla, who is busy ingratiating himself with government officials to get a bureaucratic position. These officials are corrupt and often shift sides between the foreigners, to Yusof's disgust She lives in a village in the south of Iran and is surrounded by family and in-laws. Her chief concern is her children, and she comments that we "raise them with lies and deception.," of which she is as guilty as anyone. An example of her duplicity, of which she is ashamed, is that her son's horse is confiscated by a higher ranking official. The son is gone, but when he returns he will be furious. She's afraid that he will do something rash, so she tells him that the horse suddenly died of an illness. Eventually the lie is found out. Life here is a daily balancing act of being true to one's ideals and doing what is necessary to survive. Swirling around her are relatives and in-laws who offer no consistent norms of behavior. As part of a vow she has made in thanks for a favor she thinks Allah has bestowed on her, she visits a local home for the insane. She reflects despairingly that "if we could save them from this disease, perhaps God would make them recover altogether. But what's the use? Should they become sane, they would just be beginning their misfortune. " Their families are used to life without them, and no longer have the patience nor the room for them. Death is a constant threat in this society - from disease, war, starvation - but when individuals die, life goes on without them. Zara suffers the loss of her husband, killed in a violent altercation, and bitterly laments, "I wanted to raise my children with love in a peaceful environment, but now I will raise them in hatred and put a gun in their hands." The title? It is a word for a kind of mourning, and what will come of it is an open question. Zari is told by McMahon, an Irish poet who is in Iran with the British forces, "Do not weep sister. In your home, a tree shall grow, and many more throughout your country. And the wind shall carry the message from tree to tree and the trees shall ask the wind, Did you see the dawn on your way?" Perhaps eventually from this strife will come peace.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mariam Arafat

    This book is a testament to the claim that Persian culture is timelessly poetic and spiritual. Through a deeply symbolic storyline, this book offers a very rare glimpse of the inner workings of Iran during WW2. Politics, gender politics, philosophy, religion, idealism, power and corruption are all themes that have been masterfully integrated in this moving classic. Highly recommended for lovers of Iranian culture and those who still haven't had the chance to grasp the beauty of it! This book is a testament to the claim that Persian culture is timelessly poetic and spiritual. Through a deeply symbolic storyline, this book offers a very rare glimpse of the inner workings of Iran during WW2. Politics, gender politics, philosophy, religion, idealism, power and corruption are all themes that have been masterfully integrated in this moving classic. Highly recommended for lovers of Iranian culture and those who still haven't had the chance to grasp the beauty of it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Saffa

    Intresting just for someone who is familiar with "Bakhtiary-Eal" cultures, "Ashourra", and Bakhtiaries tradition... Intresting just for someone who is familiar with "Bakhtiary-Eal" cultures, "Ashourra", and Bakhtiaries tradition...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Farzaneh

    I hope to read it for second time, Now I listen he to the audio version of this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Atefeh Dtr

    This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It shows the struggles of a woman perfectly. The way she tries to do her best in the wrost situations. There so much to say but this was the most important part of it in my view.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ardene

    Translation ©1991, original ©1969 Savushun Translation published by George Braziller, Inc. I found A Persian Requiem a fascinating glimpse of life in occupied Iran during World War II. Told primarily from the view of Zari, it tells the story of what occurs when her husband, Yusef, continues his resistance to selling his crops to the British army for the third year in a row, trying to keep back enough for the peasants who work the land to eat. Yusef’s brother, Abol-Ghassem Kahn, takes a more pragma Translation ©1991, original ©1969 Savushun Translation published by George Braziller, Inc. I found A Persian Requiem a fascinating glimpse of life in occupied Iran during World War II. Told primarily from the view of Zari, it tells the story of what occurs when her husband, Yusef, continues his resistance to selling his crops to the British army for the third year in a row, trying to keep back enough for the peasants who work the land to eat. Yusef’s brother, Abol-Ghassem Kahn, takes a more pragmatic view, hoping that in cooperating with the British he may earn a place in the governing classes (and a chance to increase his wealth), while protecting his family at the same time. The situation is further complicated by the request two friends of Yusef from a nomadic tribe make for him to sell them food for their people. In my reading, Zari understands and agrees with her husband’s argument that Persia should be governed by Persians, but I think she has a clearer sight than Yusef of the consequences of not cooperating. She yearns for the safety of her household over and above what might be morally/ethically “right,” as might many of us in a situation where choosing a larger good may inflict suffering in the immediate future on those close to us. The story has added depth for those who have some familiarity with the story of Seyavash/Siyavash in Ferdowsi’s epic poem, the Shanameh, and I’m sure this contributed to its being a bestseller in Iran. I did find that many of the secondary characters in the story seemed rather one-sided. However, the family – Zari, her husband, brother-in-law & sister-in law and her son Khosrow - and the conflicts Zari finds herself facing were depicted well. Information about the author gleaned from Wikepdia and online obituaries. Simin Daneshvar was born in 1921 in Shiraz, and was educated at a bilingual school. She started college at the University of Tehran in 1938 and was in college during the occupation of Iran by the Allied forces during World War II, which is when her novel Suvashan/Persian Requiem is set. In 1941 her father died, and she began supporting herself by writing & translating for Radio Tehran and local newspapers. In 1948 her first collection of short stories was published. She completed her PhD in 1949, and in 1950 married another Iranian writer, Jalal Al-e Ahmad. In 1952 she went to Stanford University in the USA on a Fullbright scholarship and studied with author Wallace Stegner. When she returned to Iran she joined the faculty of the University of Tehran. In 1968 Daneshvr became the chair of the Iranian writers union. Her novel Suvashan was published in 1969, the same year her husband died. It is the first novel by a woman published in Iran. Suvashan refers to an ancient mourning ritual. In addition to teaching and writing, Daneshvar also translated works from English. She resigned from the University of Tehran in 1979. She died in 2012.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Sewall

    Treasure of a book, IMHO it belongs on the same shelf with War and Peace (I'm an academic and a student of the novel). I've read it twice, and for sure will read it again before taking leave of the shady groves and urban jungles of this world. Simin Daneshvar knows both, and the business of Savushun is to juxtapose and, insofar as is possible, reconcile the two: the vibrancy and life of the country and the evils and deadness of the city. She's an exquisite writer, vastly more observant of nature Treasure of a book, IMHO it belongs on the same shelf with War and Peace (I'm an academic and a student of the novel). I've read it twice, and for sure will read it again before taking leave of the shady groves and urban jungles of this world. Simin Daneshvar knows both, and the business of Savushun is to juxtapose and, insofar as is possible, reconcile the two: the vibrancy and life of the country and the evils and deadness of the city. She's an exquisite writer, vastly more observant of nature and human nature than a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald and, unlike these driven neurotics, completely sane and humane, and profoundly in touch with a rich Persian culture that goes back centuries before Islam. The Ghanoonparvar translation from the Farsi strikes me as magnificent, clear as spring water, flowing like a stream from one sentence to the next. In this mini-review I won't discuss the slowly building, eventually gripping plot of this book or its sparkling, salt-of-the-earth characters except to say that Savushun is story of love in many aspects - of nature, of husband and wife, of family, of nation and of humanity itself in its confrontation with the evils of modern life during the early years of WW II. In the background and sometimes foreground, Germans, Brits and Soviets and an Iranian government of sold-out politicians are at each other's throats vying for influence and control. Savushun is a story about the outcome of that struggle. Here I won't discuss that outcome. I'll say only that Savushun is equally a story of place. Set on a large country estate on the outskirts of Shiraz, the poetic and artistic capital of Iran (I almost said Persia), it immersed into the lives of the kinds of people I dream of knowing (and have often been fortunate to know) and left me, at the end, saddened that I would not soon relive the sights, sounds and (especially) smells of daily life on this large working farm. Just a word about the book's title, which fully evokes the book's subsuming dimension, one that colors, permeates and underlies everything in it, showing Savushun in essence to be as much a novel about ancient Iran as a novel about modern Iran. Brian Spooner's splendid introduction to Savushun - its final paragraph -does it full justice. It's at https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/view...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marieke

    I felt lost at the beginning of the story, unable to feel anchored by a character and unsure of what exactly was going on. But the characters sorted themselves out and the story unfolded nicely with multiple points of tension. However, I was never quite able to shake the feeling of being unsure of what exactly was going on. One of the storylines was built on intrigue, but I was never quite able to figure out the exact nature. It's possible my obtuseness was in the way, but it's also possible tha I felt lost at the beginning of the story, unable to feel anchored by a character and unsure of what exactly was going on. But the characters sorted themselves out and the story unfolded nicely with multiple points of tension. However, I was never quite able to shake the feeling of being unsure of what exactly was going on. One of the storylines was built on intrigue, but I was never quite able to figure out the exact nature. It's possible my obtuseness was in the way, but it's also possible that an Iranian reader or someone very familiar with the history of Iran during the Second World War would have had no trouble appreciating the plotting and consequences. This book is worth a second read for me; hopefully someday I will actually do that.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Much like when I read Flann O'Brien, I can't help but think that I lost something by not being part of the cultural audience that Daneshvar was writing for. There are compelling moments, and compelling characters, but I can't quite grasp the whole arc that she's putting together. While I have no doubt that for many Iranian readers, this is an indisputable classic, I didn't get much out of it, and I lack the tools to say whether it was a good or a bad book. Much like when I read Flann O'Brien, I can't help but think that I lost something by not being part of the cultural audience that Daneshvar was writing for. There are compelling moments, and compelling characters, but I can't quite grasp the whole arc that she's putting together. While I have no doubt that for many Iranian readers, this is an indisputable classic, I didn't get much out of it, and I lack the tools to say whether it was a good or a bad book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Such a historical_drama book integrated into deep levels of cultural and soul. Honestly i think books are just a way more than words and papers, they carry bunches of writer and society’s vibes they carry tears and laughters , people’s mood and every single things which was exciting now and then. This is that kind of books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    I really enjoyed this book. It was hard for me to finish because I wanted it to continue on forever! Unfortunately, I didn't find the glossary until AFTER I finished the book, so some of the titles went over my head. I really enjoyed this book. It was hard for me to finish because I wanted it to continue on forever! Unfortunately, I didn't find the glossary until AFTER I finished the book, so some of the titles went over my head.

  29. 5 out of 5

    simin

    a love so deep u cant reach it so soft nothing can touch it but so real u think u may experience it one day

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Probably an excellent read in Persian but fatally hampered by a lacklustre English translation.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.