Art And Culture

Scholars Debate Nima’s Posthumous Collection

Nima YushijNima Yushij

A group of scholars met on July 26 to review and debate ‘Another Hundred Years,’ a recent book containing poems by contemporary Persian and Tabarian poet Nima Yushij, which were unpublished prior to the release of the book.

In the 1990’s the Academy of Persian Language and Literature purchased a collection of documents belonging to Nima (1895-1960) from his son, Sheragim Yushij, currently living in the US. It took three years of research on the manuscripts, digital imaging and topical sorting for the book to be prepared for release.

Literary experts Saeed Rezvani, 49, and Mehdi Olyai-Moqaddam, 36, compiled and edited the book. Rezvani was among the attendants of the debate held at Saraye Ahl-Qalam (House of Literati) in Tehran, affiliated to Book House, Borna News Agency reported.

“For a few years, Nima’s manuscripts remained unused at the Academy of Persian Language and Literature. They were disorganized and prone to ruin. Finally, in late spring of 2014, the decision to review the manuscripts was finalized, when me and my colleague Olyai Moqaddam started working on them,” Rezvani said at the meeting.

The 108 poems included in the book were created between 1922 and 1957. In addition, most of the manuscripts are stories and plays, as well as Nima’s reflections on art and literature, memoirs and notes on everyday life. They are about war, poverty, tyranny, love and nature.

“There were over 10,000 documents at our disposal. All were precariously old and may lose readability if handled more than once. We took digital images first and referred to the images afterwards,” Rezvani said.

Editor, essayist and researcher in Persian language and literature Masoud Jafari, 51, was another participant in the meeting. Referring to those questioning the authenticity of the contents, he said, “people, who have read about the life and personality of Nima, are well aware that he was constantly jotting down poems. He had written too many works to be able to edit them all. He used to say that he had gunnies of poems. It’s interesting to know that the academy purchased the documents actually in a gunny.”

Literary critic and journalist Kamyar Abedi, 49, was also present at the meeting. “Some of the poems belong to the romanticist atmosphere prevalent in the 1930’s and 40’s. Others have moral content and there also are poems with characteristics of realistic or socialistic literature.”

The book shows how Nima distanced from the traditional norms of poetry and eventually became a narrative-oriented poet, Abedi said.

In a solitary struggle, Nima Yushij freed Persian poetry from the shackles of rhyme and rhythm. He inspired many prominent Iranian poets including Ahamd Shamlou, Mehdi Akhavan Saless, Forough Farrokhzad, Siavash Kasraee, Mohammad Reza Shefiee Kadkani and Manouchehr Atashi among others.

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