Saturday, 18 July 2015
18 September 2020
In an interview with the poet ''Ali Abdolrezaei'',

“We brought the industry of doubt in the contemporary literature.”

2012 February 17

Ardavan Roozbeh/Radio Koocheh
ardavan@koochehmail.com
Translated by Avideh Motmaen-Far
When poem comes in, many borders vanish. It seems that another kind of language wants to express our feelings.
There are no limits to what should and should not be said. It seems that the poet represents the creativity of a free spirit who says and writes what he sees.
Perhaps sometimes desired, maybe sometimes custom made, but without any doubt, a major part of poems comes from something bigger than an order and beyond desires.
This is why the poetry has always been a source of conflict and controversy for years. From different point of views and perspectives and sometimes beyond even the poet’s own sense, this is the poem  inherent character. I knew Abdolrezaei. When he published his poems on Facebook, I would read some of them. Some were may be incompatible with my nature, and some seemed very daring to me but he was present in a corner of my mind. Recently, I found out the he has released a new collection of his poetry called “Cumulus”. That was a good opportunity to get to know him better and talk a little bit of poetry and a poet’s today life. Maybe even a little about what we would call our institutionalized oppression today. Whether or not being far away from his audience separates the poet from the real world. The result became the interview that comes ahead.
“Ali Abdolrezaei” is a Persian poet, born in April 1969. He is from Langroud and happens to be also a mechanical engineer. His poem books are titled ”Iron men only oxidize in the rain”, ”Name this book yourself”, ”Paris in Reno”, ”This dear cat”, ”The society”, ”Shynma”, ”I lived in dangerous”, ”Hermaphrodite”, ”More vulgar than the literature”, ”The condom wrapped gift”, ”Living in dangerous (Turkish)”, ”Terror”, and ”Cumulus”.
Ardavan Roozbeh and Ali Abdolrezaei:
Your last publication is “Cumulus” which has been recently released. Where this book has been published and what does it talk about?
“Cumulus” is a religious book that praises love and is very anti-religion, because it denies love without  the beloved. Let me explain the relation of religion in this book. Lexical meaning of religion is ”gold stamped” and the other meaning is ”approach”. So any thought that goes in a ”way” is a religion even if it is against God. Therefore, all ideologists are religious. What Mohammad, the prophet of Islam says in the ninth verse of Saf Surat about the religion means that it is a cult and Shari’ah. Or in the second verse of Surat Zemer, religion means unity and oneness and religion is the heart’s intelligence, reason and conscience and not a science at all. The teachings of the prophets can be called cult. Christianity is not a religion, is a cult. Islam is not a religion, it is a cult. Arabs still does not realize that religion is a Persian word and they do not know what they have done to their Islam by steeling this word from us.  False way of reading the word “Da’na” that is obtained from the Avestan word “Dana”, with “da” as root, also means thinking and understanding. So, religion means to reach the intellect within, through the heart’s intelligence.
Why did this book went to religion? Because this book, Cumulus worships the love and the beloved, the terrestrial love which is rooted in life and stays away from religions. Because the religion says that God is the subject of love and the beloved is closer than your skin. Talk with him and if your are sincere he accepts your love. All religions say that God is very intimate but they use the most official words for prayer or romantic conversations with God.
You should be allowed to say: “Dear God, I do not feel good, make me happy”. In the “The Kind Lord of the world “,  the only thing you do not find is sincerity and closeness. It cannot be a language of  love and transmission of culture of love. Therefore, people feel God far away, and look for him in the skies. The same way, addressing the great supreme leader with such insistence, they think speaking with a being so distant and supreme.
For more than 1,300 years, the Persians or Persian language call God, “Merciful God!” in arab. I do not understand this because this is not an intimate conversation with God. That is why Islam appears to promote love and but distorts it. Constantly strives to create a fictitious love that even death is not the way to achieve the promised and you should only martyr. In fact, Islam is against love, disgusts love, as if you are in love, you do not go to war and kill. Love is the border of Islam and does not allow Islam to get beyond the borders and become worldwide spread religion. Because Islam’s main goal is to expand  in the world and requires many deaths. Rather, religion loves life. Cults denies love and life and say : ”die to live” but to live you just need to live.
Mohammed, Moses, Buddha and Jesus had probably already spread all their love and flowers that used to smell good and now certainly are dry and odorless. Love should be re-spread again and leave hate aside. Hate is a disease and love is the sign of health. Unfortunately these days these two are intertwined and today, people show their love by hate. As I mentioned before, “Cumulus” is a religious book because it worships life. Life is danger itself.
How many books you have released before Cumulus?
This is my twenty first published book in Persian but so far, I have published 33 books in English, German and other languages.
Many people believe that when a poet or a writer leaves his homeland and loses connections with the people in the streets, he cannot have a new idea and therefore keep saying the same things over and over. What is your perspective as a poet in this case?
This is totally true but these days, does not apply anymore because the streets have changed and have become virtual. When the poet is in exile, it was true twenty years ago that he is far from the street talks but the Internet and online discussions, and articles now fill this space and this is no longer true.
Another thing is true that you lose linguistic features in exile but other new features you get to be  familiar with is the latter language, which is another world and if a poet or a writer is creative, to establish a dialogue between guest and host language creates a whole different world and increases the  the world’s text. Therefore, at this time I disagree with this idea, because the greatest writers and thinkers of the past twenty years were in exile, such as “Milan Kundera”.
Does the audience inside Iran connect with your literature?
The connection with the audience is not the same because there is a huge force trying to eliminate independent voices. You are almost the only Radio who welcomed me. I live outside Iran for the past eleven years, none of my books have been published in Iran, and no magazines have ever mentioned my name. Even foreign publications that are helped by foreign governments to fight against censorship, so those in exile can speak, promote the same atmosphere and advertises the names of the publications that the Islamic Republic of Iran do and even it seems there is a double censorship.
If you mean internal circulation of the industry of writing, yes, I have not been very successful because my work has not been published for the past eleven years but downloads of my books on the Internet shows that I am among the four poets with large audiences.
The book, “I lived in the most dangerous” on the site “Ketabnak” has been the most successful book of that site. More than 40 thousand copies have been downloaded so that because the center of the site was in Iran, they eliminated all my books from that online library.
When we talk about censorship in Iran and abroad, we are faced with two perspectives. You mentioned censorship outside Iran and it is natural that some people do not want to hear anything about it inside, but why does this happen? Given that we all want a free and prosperous Iran, why do you think that in the realm of literature, culture and even social interactions we are conflicted and we do not accept each other?
This is an interesting question. I do not know whether you can publish my book because many other  televisions could not.
Weather we want it or not, we live in a cultural systems which is rooted in censorship. In Iran, we had only one political party that influenced our culture and it was the communist party ”Toudeh”. And one of their negative outlooks was the culture of removal. We had ”Jalal Al Ahmad” that if he even sneezed somewhere, he would be related to a thousand things. We have the industry of doubt and slander. The exact same industry the newspaper ”Kayhan” is using now, the communist party used in the monarchic era.
In this era, anyone doing anything new, is doubted. I left Iran when Mr. Khatami was president. Exactly when some of reformists, actual leaders of the green movement were in power, and I was eliminated by these people because I wanted to live and speak independently and could not stand that some words from Persian language been taken away or not used.
Some reformist officials, Green movement, and many of these radios and extremist Muslims who have religious ideology and slogans, despite being opposed to Khamenei, follow the same system of removal.
I gave an important interview that I sent for Radio Zamaneh but they did not publish it although the same interview was on the internet in less than a year. The Magazine, “Day” or “Jadid onLine” who have made a video of me, are media who are borrowing money from British Government.
They believe that if they broadcast my voice to Iran, it will be filtered and they will lose their audiences. I do not accept these reasons because I believe that they have a second removal system. I think that there is someone behind the wheels who do not like me and order the removal.
For example, Mr. Massoud Behnoud made a film about ”Ibrahim Golestan”, and I criticized it because  it showed Ebrahim Golestan as a political personality. I found that the worth of Ebrahim Golestan is in his independence. The fact that he devoted his life in that period to art and poetry and a poet such as Forough came out from his tact. After I criticized this film, I saw a whole bunch of press, televisions and BBC radio remove the work when they see my name. So the censorship that Mr. Khamenei imposes in Iran is not very different from the censorship outside.
If Shamloo was a modern poet, he would have considered life terrestrial, although the idea he offered was the same as Holy Mother Mary. ”Vartan” the martyr he created is the same as ”Hossein” the martyr in Karbala desert. We see people from one perspective, we do not combine the ”close ups” and ”longshots”.
My problem is also even with a part of the classical intellectuals. Because they even censor words and ideas. Even if this regime changes, considering our foundations, the next regime will continue to censor, because we have not been taught to hear anything different. The only thing we have learned is labeling and making stigma. The system is essentially the same system the Islamic Republic uses. Anyone labels anybody else, I tell them you are like the Islamic Republic because stigma causes people to stop moving and being active.
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