Art And Culture

‘My Uncle Napoleon’ Published in Beirut

The Arabic edition of ‘My Uncle Napoleon’The Arabic edition of ‘My Uncle Napoleon’

‘My Uncle Napoleon,’ the popular novel by Iranian author Iraj Pezeshkzad, 88, has been translated into Arabic and published in Beirut.

Iranian translator, writer and journalist Ahmad Heydari Majd has translated the novel, ILNA reported.

Heydari Majd’s translation titled ‘Khali al-Aziz Naboleon’ in Arabic, was announced the best 2016 Arabic translation by the independent media platform of Raseef22 (, headquartered in Beirut.

He started the translation work in 2010 and after meticulous review and revision delivered it this year to the publisher, Dar-Almada, in Beirut.

In 1996, the English translation of the novel was undertaken by British poet and translator Dick Davis, 71, and it was published by US-based Mage Publishers. The English version evoked the richness of the original text and is faithful to it without being literal.

‘My Uncle Napoleon’ is the story of a delusional man who fantasizes that he is Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution (1789-1799),  and becomes obsessed with a British plot to destroy him. It gripped the Iranian imagination to such an extent that since its publication in 1973 it has sold millions of copies and has also been made into a popular TV series in Iran.

In a speech at the University of California at Los Angeles, Pezeshkzad traced the origins of Uncle Napoleon’s character to his own childhood. When listening to grown-ups, he was baffled by the way they indiscriminately labeled most politicians “British lackeys”.

The novel is rooted in an important Iranian literary tradition, one that traces its roots to 700 years ago to the satiric poetry of Obeyd Zakani (1300-1371). Since the beginning of the 20th century some of the best Iranian writers and poets have used satire and farce to articulate the dilemmas of modern Iranian society, among them Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951), Ali Akbar Dehkhoda (1879-1956) and Iraj Mirza (1874-1926).


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints