Art And Culture

‘Democracy or DemoCrazy’ in Russian and German

‘Democracy or DemoCrazy’ in Russian and German
‘Democracy or DemoCrazy’ in Russian and German

Following the good sales of the English version of Seyyed Mehdi Shojaei’s political satire, ‘Democracy or DemoCrazy’, German and Russian translations of the book are underway.

Translated by the American Iranologist Caroline Croskery, the novel was published in early 2014 by the London-based Iranian publisher Candle and Fog Publishing House and showcased at the 27th Tehran International Book fair.

According to the publisher, during the last two months after it was displayed at Frankfurt International Book Fair in early October, about 500 copies of the book have been sold in Europe and America.

“Compared with the poor sale of other Iranian works outside the country, this is a considerable number,” Tasnim news agency quoted the director of the publication Afshin Shahnehtabar as saying.

He believes that there are very few books which have tried to tell a satirical story on the issue of democracy and clearly describe what goes on behind the scene. America and Europe claim to be the cradle of democracy; however, it would be interesting for the global audience to realize how dictatorial such countries think and act in spite of their pleasant mask of democracy.

The language of the book has been artfully transferred in English version and the translator has done her best to keep the ironical and satirical aspects of the text in her final work.


On translating the book, Croskery had earlier said that “its theme and satirical tone make the book interesting for American readers.”

She had also noted that despite the large population of Iranians in the U.S., Persian literature has not been widely introduced in the country.

Candle and Fog Publishing House has undertaken the translation of the 184-page book into German and is to unveil it in Frankfurt Book Fair 2015.

Iran cultural attaché office in Moscow is also involved in translating the novel in Russian, to make it ready for next year’s Moscow Book Fair, in which Iran is a special guest.

By writing ‘Democracy or DemoCrazy’, Shojaei criticizes democracy in a novel, which is not bound to a particular time frame. The book is a narration told by a historical researcher about a nowhere land in an ancient time, in which according to the king’s testimony, each one of his 25 sons succeeds to the throne for a period of two years. However the order of their succession is according to the people’s vote not their age!

The original Persian version of the book was released in 2008 in Iran.