Farzaneh Doosti

Writer, Translator, Researcher

Farzaneh Doosti
پارسی English

Frenzied Verse #1

Category: Frenzied Verses / Date: 2016-11-28

 Like a wrong paper in the printer's tray, a page already written-on among all-white innocents, he was complicated, pallimpsestous, unreadable - too much absorbed in the old text that did not let in to a new read...

A Day with Godard the Grand

Category: Of Six Directions / Date: 2016-05-24

Celebrating my first day off university chores with Godard the Grand's experimental film, "Goodbye to Language".

The key to understanding this purple patch of images and quotes is perhaps revealed through one character's early reference to Jacques Ellul, author of Humiliation of the Word, although the film makes explicit, lengthy references to another essay of him, titled "Victoire d'Hitler" (1945). The film's signification may expand  given that Ellul's notion of apocalypse is concretized by failure/humiliation of Word/Christ should be read in the Christian context. The rest is an experimental investigation of Ideas and Metaphors on beauty, perception, and failure of language.

Category: Clanky Quotes / Date: 2015-12-11


Chairman Mao's summation of his strategy of guerilla warfare: 'Enemy advances, we retreat; enemy halts, we harass; enemy tires, we attack; enemy retreats, we pursue'

Simply replace the 'enemy' with 'love' and you have learned about the quintessence of today's relationships.

Massimo Leone's Advices to Semioticians

Category: Clanky Quotes / Date: 2014-04-25

 From Massimo Leone's article "The Semiotics of Innovation", University of Turin, 2014 (downloadable here)

  1. You shall study semiotics; choosing a good university course with a good
    teacher; reading books, articles, essays; going back to the classics, avoiding
    compendiums, readers, and also most online materials: they are not good (for
    the moment);
  2. You shall practice semiotics; initially through purposeless analysis; through
    interpretation for the sake of interpretation; annoy your friends with semiotics;
  3. You shall befriend other semioticians; meeting them regularly not only on the
    web, but also in congresses, symposia, colloquia; remember to celebrate semiofestivities;
  4. You shall not turn semiotics into a rhetoric; semiotics’ purpose is to help other
    people to understand meaning, not to convince them that you understand it
    better than them;
  5. You shall not turn semiotics into magic; semiotics is a discipline, one should be disciplined in learning and in practicing it;
  6. You shall not turn semiotics into religion; semiotics is only one out of amultitude of options; respect other disciplines and ask respect from them;
  7. You shall not turn semiotics into science; let’s face it: semiotics is part of thehumanities; thank god meaning will never be ruled by the laws of necessity;
  8. You shall not turn semiotics into mystery; if nobody understands you but othersemioticians, you are a failure;
  9. You shall not turn semiotics into bar conversation; if everybody appreciates you except other semioticians, you are a failure too;
  10. You shall not be worried that your mother doesn’t understand what you do; most people who do new things have skeptical mothers.


April Frenzy

Category: Of Six Directions / Date: 2014-04-17

April's spring breeze, vibrancy in the air, exciting books on the shelf, and promising new projects just waiting for action.


Asymptote's April 2014 issue has just been released with interesting reading materials, from a soothing lecture by Herta Muller that appears in many languages, thanks to Asymptote Editors, works of fiction from German, Thai, Chinese and Spanish, to poetry and drama from around the globe. Still hoping to see more Persian literature in translation in literary mgazines.


The Parsagon Project's movement is satisfactory as it has trodden a long way within a few months from a little tatler to a website with unique voice and concerns. In the April issue of The Parsagon Review, you can take a look at "Just Say Nothing: a carnival of voices" a review of a book by Afghan writer Mohammad-Hussein Mohammadi which takes a glimpse on narrative voices in these stories dominated by the effect of war and violence on the lives of Afghan people.


Asymptote summer issue released

Category: Of Six Directions / Date: 2013-07-16


The summer issue of Asymptote - a journal of world literature in translation - is released ans is now available here (as the first issue I am contributing in as editor-at-large.

You will read in the July issue's editorial:

Every translation is a conversation, each translator in dialogue with the original author, each language speaking to another. Asymptote's Summer issue is full of such conversations, perhaps most notably our exclusive interview with best-selling author turned translator David Mitchell, who together with his wife, K.A. Yoshida, translated a memoir of autism by the 13-year-old Naoki Higashida. We also got to speak to Tan Twan Eng, the first Malaysian Man Asian Literary Prize-winner, and avant-gardist Can Xue, whom Susan Sontag singled out as the one Chinese writer worthy of the Nobel Prize. Ottilie Mulzet finds her conversation partners translating Hungarian masters László Krasznahorkai and Szilárd Borbély. Q&As with playwrights Maria Cassi and Chantal Bilodeau, meanwhile, shine their light on this issue's Special Feature: Self-Translation in Drama; or, when a translator is faced with her worst enemy: herself!

Have fun.

On reading the White Tiger

Category: Persian Panorama: Books / Date: 2013-06-07

I picked Aravind Adiga's "White Tiger" simply because it was a prize winner - Man-Booker 2008 - and since the title seemed promising - Blake's "Tiger Tiger Burning Bright" has been a lantern to show the right direction in my life. Well, it was fun and funny I should confess, and I am aware that one important criterion for awarding this prize to any work is being 'entertaining'.

But what more? Is India - my beloved land of parrots and and wild colors and superb architecture - in total mess? I first thought it might be the writer's mere imagination of old days. But the realistic atmosphere of the novel and especially the modern context failed me. My second thought was OK, here is a land of total mess, decadence and open shit-holes. But is that all we should find in modern India?


Category: Clanky Quotes / Date: 2013-04-13

 Don't you try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not. You best be making sure they doing right by you.

Fences, August Wilson

The gift of life

Category: Clanky Quotes / Date: 2013-03-15

"When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you have to think of your art, whether it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgement of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself. And I think the world tends to forget that this is the ultimate significance of the body of work each artist produces. It is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life."

From an interview with Stanley Kunitz, American poet,

12th Golshiri Literary Awards Wrap Up

Category: Of Six Directions / Date: 2013-02-23

Finally the 12th renowned non-governmental Golshiri Literary Awards came to a conclusion.

According to ILNA , the concluding ceremony of the 12th Hooshang Golshiri Literary Awards was held yesterday (Friday, Feb 22, 2013) at the personal house of Bahman Farmanara with the presence of Simin Behbahani, Javad Mojabi, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Ali-Ashraf Darvishian, Zia Movahed, Babak Ahmadi, and Farzaneh Taheri.