Art And Culture

Nagy’s Satirical Compendium in Persian

Nagy’s Satirical Compendium in PersianNagy’s Satirical Compendium in Persian

A 1921 satirical compendium by Hungarian novelist and short story writer Lajos Nagy (1883-1954), originally titled ‘Keptelen Termeszetrajz’ (literally ‘unnatural nature’) is now available in Persian.

The Persian edition in 107 pages is titled ‘Janevar Nameh’ (Book of Creatures). It is the work of Kamal Zaheri, 70, a translator of Hungarian works who collaborated with Cheshmeh Publication in Tehran to release the book, Mehr News Agency reported.

The book is a parody of ways in which things are categorized by people. The volume contains anthropomorphic traits for all sorts of animals, including snake, elephant, eagle and ant among others.

It also describes the economic classes in Hungary during Nagy’s times such as millionaires and landowners.

In translating the book, Zaheri faced challenges in retaining Hungarian metaphors and connotations. There are terms that appear seamlessly in the original text, but once translated, they lose accuracy. The book’s title, for instance, is a pun and has no equivalent translation, but literally would be something like ‘absurd natural history’ or ‘unnatural nature’.

Zaheri has made several creative changes in the Persian text to convey the humor and playfulness of the original text.

Lajos Nagy is known as a writer of ironical hyperrealism and minute observation. He offers insight into a grim world of the exploited, humiliated and the destitute. He was the illegitimate son of a peasant servant girl, and this fact had a significant effect on his life and works.

The defiance and bitterness that characterizes his writings can in some ways be related to early childhood stigmatization, according to Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature.

From the very beginning of his career, Nagy was an angry writer. His artistic temperament found its finest expression in a rigorously plain, even abrupt style of writing.


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