Editorial news; His eyes of Bozorg 'Alavi

The only novel by Bozorg Alavi "His eyes" for the first time in Italy

The Ponte 33 publishing house in collaboration with the International Association of Mediterranean and Orient Studies ISMEO, publishes the only novel by Bozorg Alavi entitled His Eyes.

Published in 1952 one year after the coup that overthrew Prime Minister Mossadegh, who had nationalized Iranian oil ̶  Cheshmhayash (His Eyes), generally considered a milestone in the development of modern Persian fiction, is the novel with which Bozorg 'Alavi concludes, and consecrates, his all too short literary career. The story revolves around the painting of an unknown woman titled His eyes and the narrator assumes the role of detective in search of a truth to discover: the eyes belong to Farangis, a fascinating and complex woman from an aristocratic family, who in the course of the novel reveals her particular relationship with Makan, the famous artist who painted and key figure of the underground opposition to Reza Shah.

In His eyes 'Alavi proves to be skilled in analyzing the amorous feeling from the female perspective and manages to merge her interests of a psychological nature with those relating to political commitment, also allowing the suffocating climate of the imperial regime to breathe, which has led Iranians to distrust each other of the others.

Born in 1904 into an influential family of merchants from the Tehran bazaar, at the dawn of the constitutional revolution, Bozorg 'Alavi grows in political activism. Graduated from the first Polytechnic of Iran in 1921, he will follow his father and brother to Germany, where he will obtain a diploma in psychology. Encouraged by family members, he will join the group of Iranian intellectuals active in Berlin, who will have a profound influence on his literary and political education. After his father's bankruptcy suicide and his brother's exile in Russia, who will die in a gulag, 'Alavi will have other experiences that will sadly mark his life, including the four-year imprisonment with the group of "The fifty-three", which will radicalize his political positions. In 1941 Bozorg 'Alavi becomes a member of the Iranian Communist Party, in 1946 he organizes, together with other great Iranian intellectuals, the first Congress of Iranian Writers and, after various collections of short stories, publishes his only novel Cheshmhayash (His eyes) in 1952. After an experience as a visiting professor at Humboldt University, in East Germany, he decides to stay away from his country and devote himself to an academic career and the translation into German of Persian fiction and non-fiction works. Except for sporadic visits to Iran after the 1979 Revolution, he continues to live and work in Berlin, where he died in 1997 at the age of 93.


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