28 Oct

Kalat Claimed

  • Title: Kalat Claimed 
  • Writer: Bahram Bayzayi
  • Translator: Manouchehr Anvar 
  • Series: Contemporary Iranian Drama
  • Publisher: Roshangaran
  • Release Date: 1984 (Persian); 2016 (English)
  • ISBN: 978-964-194-117-0

 

 

AY BANU: [Attending to the wound] 
         Your snowy treck
         Then
         Saved Kalat from famine
         But paved the path to my misery.
         Well
         What will you do for me now?

YAMAT: What would you have me to?

AY BANU: Some suggest I plunge in tears
         Wrap myself in black
         Wail and howl.
         Others, siding with prudence
         Urge me to take to flight.
         But there's a third way
         Which is my way
         The way of a wounded woman:
         To rise in arms
         Take the oppressor by surprise
         And do worse to him
         Than he did to his rival. (Pp. 100-101)

 

In the history of modern Iranian literature, Bahram Bayzai (b. 1938) is a towering figure who has single-handedly untertaken a wide range of activities from playwriting to directing, screenwriting, and research, to name only a few. His Kalat Claimed (فتح‌نامه‌ی کلات) was originally composed in 1982 as a play in Bayzai’s uniquely archaistic style of dramatization. An account of two generals’ dispute over the claim of a region named Kalat in time of Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia, the play enjoys Bayzai’s emblematic idealization of feminine spirit. It was first published by Damavand Books in 1984, and then reprinted by Roshangaran. In November 2016, Manouchehr Anvar’s endeavor to translate the text finally fructified after two decades, and the English version was released in 227 pages by Roshangaran, the exclusive publisher of Bayzai’s oeuvres. Although the play was never staged in Iran, fingers are now crossed for an English premiere of the piece in the U.S. where he has been living for years.

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Farzaneh Doosti

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