Saturday, July 14, 2012

Her Eyes According to His Eyes in My Eyes

Bozorg Alavi
The book "Her Eyes" by Bozorg Alavi is not the most famous book in Persian contemporary literature, but is a notable book according to critics. It's also been translated into English but still, not as famous as books like "The Symphony of the Dead". I read Her Eyes at the age of 17, the last year in high school, when everyone was making herself ready for the university entrance exam, called Concour in Iran, from a French word which means "competition" (If you're Iranian you probably hate this word, which is very understandable). 

Not to get away from the main point, my problem at that time was and still now is that this book really wasn't as great as I expected. I feel it's been a bit over-rated. In better words, if somebody had erased the author's name from the cover and had given me the book and told me to read it, I'd have thought the story is just a shallow love story written by those amateur young wanna-be writers. This makes me a bit guilty to feel like this about a book which is considered the finest novel of a writer who was also politically active and spent some of his life in exile in Germany. And was also Sadegh Hedayat's pal.

I still remember the day I finished this book. It was days before Persian New Year and the classes weren't taken seriously by both the students and the teachers and you had plenty of time to do in the mellow atmosphere. I was sitting at my bench silently, and closed the book and put it on the desk with the big picture of Bozorg Alavi on the cover gaping somewhere in to the air. The girl who sat in front of me turned back and saw me finished the book asked how it was, with a bit of smile. She was a bit strange and I couldn't understand her or like her. I don't know which one was more annoying, the girl's nasty smile or the disappointment after finishing the book. Whatsoever, I replied "It was nonsense".

Now after some years, I'm thinking maybe I read the book too rapidly. Maybe I didn't look for the deeper meaning of the sentence, maybe I was under the influence of liking western literature more. But I think this isn't totally true, because at that time I also read works by Sadegh Hedayat, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh and enjoyed their work very much. However, I think I'd give this book another shot and read it one more time, as I said about Suvashoon before.

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