January 14 is marked by the demise of a prolific translator many of whose translations are still unrivaled and stay on the pinnacles of Persian prose: Mohammad Ghazi.
He was born in Mahabad on Mordad 12, 1292 (August 3, 1913) to Mirza Abdul khaliq Ghazi. “My Father had first a son, called Mohammad, who died; he then had a daughter who diedو too. He was interested in the name ‘Mohammad’ and therefore he called me Mohammad Thani (Mohammad the second).”
In the early 1940s, Ghazi took the first step in translation by translating Victor Hugo’s Claude Gueux (کلود ولگرد) but then quit translation for a decade. In 1950, by translating Anatole France ‘s L’Île des pingouins (جزیره پنگوئن ها) he established his style in translation that became known by its simplicity and eloquence. Najaf Daryabandari referred to him in Ettela’at Newspaper as “a translator who saved Anatole France.”
In 1958 Ghazi won the Best Translator Award of the year that was granted by Tehran University for his accomplished translation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
He translated incessantly for 50 years resulting in the translation of 68 books into Persian, mostly from French.
Mohammad Ghazi passed away on January 14, 1998 having suffered from laryngeal cancer, and was buried in his hometown Mahabad.