Art And Culture

Juvenile Norse Myths Translated for First Time

Juvenile Norse Myths Translated for First TimeJuvenile Norse Myths Translated for First Time

The mythical book ‘Icefall’ by Matthew J. Kirby is the first book of Norse mythology to be translated into Farsi by Mahboobeh Najafkhani.

“Icefall is a stunning coming-of-age story of several parallel storylines that slowly builds in suspense while weaving in elements of Norse mythology that reminds you of the Vikings in the medieval period,” Najafkhani told Mehr News Agency.

Explaining her choice of a book with a cold and bleak atmosphere that is dissimilar to her previous translations of juvenile satires, Najafkhani said being a role model to the audience “is a translator’s most valuable mission and the book creates the best opportunity to do so.”

The story enjoys excellent literary techniques and characters and “it would be a pity to miss the chance to make such an edifying work of art available to impressionable teenagers,” she said.

Najafkhani said the process of translation was difficult and time-consuming as there are no sources regarding Scandinavian mythology compared to that of Greek, Roman, or Egyptian even though western literature was noticeably influenced by Norse legends.

  Classroom Book

‘Icefall’ is a well-crafted tale of self-acceptance and courage that would make excellent material for a book report or classroom read-aloud, Najafkhani said and rued that mythology from other parts of the world is not given due attention in the national school curriculum.

“Such subjects must be offered to students just like in western educational systems for those who want to academically pursue mythology in literature.” She said she was inspired by renowned Iranian mythologists Jalal Sattari and Abbas Mokhber who have translated many informative books on mythology and translation.

‘Icefall’ has collected numerous literary prizes including Edgar Award for best juvenile mystery and American Library Association Award for best fiction for young adults in 2012, as well as Judy Lopez Memorial Award. It has also been a nominee for Agatha Award and was ranked among the 100 Books for Reading and Sharing, by the New York Public Library.