Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sharp as a Cleaver

“She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat.”
– J. Joyce; Dubliners, The Boarding House


After amore than a year, I eventually finished reading James Joyce’s Dubliners. I normally read dozens of book simultaneously and therefore it takes a long time to finish one certain book; plus that I am a slow reader and even much more so when I read in English. In addition to that when it comes to a book that is a collection of short stories such as Dubliners, then it can take for ages to finish it because I can each story without having have to remember what the other stories where about.

However the point I was going to make is that anytime I’ve read one of the Dubliners’ stories, I realized how poor my English is. I am not even reading Finnegans Wake yet!
One more thing: I had a brief look at the Persian translation of Dubliners a year ago and not only doesn’t it contain all the stories, but it is not a good translation anyway, although the translator is said to be one of the “greatest” in Iran. Fuck knows how many shitty translations we have in Iran.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Am I my bank's?

Was just reading this on BBC about some Briton openning an "Islamic current account" and it made me think about our banking system in Denmark. It seems that no one questions the ways banks make money in Denmark. Let say the crazy situation of real estate in Denmark, has a lot to do with banks and their agency maffia that has raised the pricese so high that it is impossible to find a place to live anymore.
And what could it be called but totalitarian when one has no choice: one has to have a bank account in DK. If you don't have a bank account, then you simply don't exist!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

ANAGRAMS (81)

Fists of death
Your eyes cloud
Kisses of words and swords
Desiccated lips of the crowd
Wrapped in their banner
Blood-stained shroud
Blindness gawks
Peace is too loud

Out there in the street, behind my window, a headless child sets fire on pages of an illustrated fairy tale. He howls; I panic. And when I want to scream I realize flames have washed away my mouth.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

My life with Pinochet

I must have been four or five years old. The revolution had resulted in “Islamic Republic of Iran.” Many were pissed off. Slogans were made: “Death upon Pinochet, Iran won’t become Chile.” [مرگ بر پینوشه؛ ایران شیلی نمی شه!] I would repeat it too. I didn’t know who Pinochet was; nor did I know where the Chile was. I knew lots of these slogans and revolutionary songs. I’d learned them at home through my politically inflected family. At the same time I had to learn the opposite slogans and songs in the school. We would recite them every morning before we would go to the classroom.
Later I learned that that Salvador Allende—whose government was overthrown by Pinochet’s coup d'état—was actually Isabel Allende’s uncle. Now I could probabely relate to the whole thing a bit. But still...
However I had never seen Augusto Pinochet picture till today when I read his death news. I have lived with this name, Pinochet, for years. That bloody slogan has been engraved in my memory forever. Yet I had never seen his face. I have always felt that my childhood has been betrayed.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sadegh Hedayat

Just wonder, what is he dreaming of? His shadow? Or ours?

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Dial F for Finland

Finland wasn’t that cold. The town looks more urban than Copenhagen, yet it must be very boring to live in there. I’ve been busy with work most of the time and didn’t do anything else apart from theater and drinking. We mostly worked and drank in the same room. One night when my colleagues and I went to the Moscow Bar—aka Kaurismäki bar—for a change, the bartender asked us to keep quite. Finland is a quite country, resembling death.
I never understood people who travel to see different places just for the sake of it. Now that I have been in Helsinki, I can say that I could live without it. It didn’t add anything to me. Of course I can now say that I’ve been there. But so fucking what?

There is only one thing that is interesting about Helsinki: it is not allowed to feed the birds there. I didn’t see any birds however but I was thinking that when Finish teenagers are mad at their parents, instead of doing drugs or hooliganism, they show their sense of rebellion by feeding birds. That’s original, eh?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Finlandia

I just asked a friend if he had any tip for my tripe to Helsinki. He wrote: "Helsinki? Well, if all the stereotypes are any good, you need to drink vodka and go to saunas. An beware of knives." O'right!
I'm flying to Finland tomorrow and haven't got the slghtest idea what to expect of Finland. It's so good to go to some place where all your information consists of the simple fact that "it's so cold up there!"
Oh yeah, I also know Finlandia. It's the best vodka I know.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Close Encounters of the Danish Kind

Is the Danish Yellow Page trying to compete with Extra Bladet, publishing hookers' contac information or just "fyrværkeri" means something besides what it is defined in straight dictionaries?

[Note for non-Danish speakers: Fyrværkri means firework. The advertise company tried to make a pan with the word that is fyr (gay) + værk (work) + ri (-ry as in brewery) and the text below the picture reads "come to close contact with your clients."]

“There is only one thing that is revolutionary: the bomb.”

"... at a certain level of suffering or injustice no one can do anything for anyone. Pain is solitary." — Albert Camus

I just finished reading Camus’ Les Justes. It’s a great work and very well done in exploring the multi-dimensionality of situations looked through the eyes of different characters. As Camus says himself “I tried to achieve dramatic tension through classical means—that is, the opposition of characters who were equal in strength and reason.”

Reading the play also made me a bit gloomy because I would love to produce this play and since I do not really have the chance to do theater (or at least what I consider theater) it only reminds me of the long list of plays I want to do but I can’t and it makes me sad.

I am going to read Camus’ Caligula again. When I read it for the first time—that is perhaps 15 years ago—I didn’t like it or I didn’t get it. I though it lacked strong dramatic action. Now I am curious to know what I would think of it this time.