Hedayat


For weeks I have been planning this trip. Today I finally make up my mind, so I would not miss it before Iran. It’s twenty minutes from here by bike. Kantstraße 76, Hedayat Bookshop, named after the Persian Kafka. The door is closed, I have to wave through the window to the owner speaking on the phone inside, to let me in. A rich selection of Iranian books, both in Persian and in German. “In the Saless bookstore of Tehran they recommended that I come and look around.” “Oh yes, we are in constant contact. So this is the bookstore, there, to the right, our publisher, Gardoon Verlag. And here we have courses twice a week.” “A language course?” Oh no. A writing course, for Persians. A new generation of writers is being formed here in Berlin, some of their books are also published by us.” Thirty years ago, Abbas Maroufi was sentenced to twenty lashes in Iran, he left the country then, and settled permanently in Berlin. Many of his books are on display, including four in German. “Which on do you love most?” “Peykar-e Farhad, “Farhad’s mirror”, in German Die dunkle Seite. You know this famous writing of Hedayat, where the protagonist tells about how he tries to reach a woman. In this, the woman tells the same story from her viewpoint. But the readers love most the Symphonie der Toten. This is a Persian Cain and Abel story, in four symphonic movements, with an ouverture.” “I’ll take both. I’m curious about them.” I also add Nasser Kanani’s Traditionelle persische Kunstmusik, also edited by them. The cashier generously rounds down, and even gives me one more book. “This is a gift, my latest book. نامهای عاشقانه, Namehâye eshghâne, “Love letters”, all in verse, you see. The poems set in normal letters are the letters of the woman, those in bold of the man.” “Kheyli mamnum, khoda hâfez, thank you very much, God bless you.” Khâkhesh mikonam, don’t mention it, the honor is mine.” As he accompanies me to the door, he cries out: “What luck! Professor Kanani is just coming in.” Such a meeting is not unusual in the fifty-thousand-strong Persian quarter of Berlin. The professor turns around. “This gentleman is interested in Persian music. He has just bought your book.” “Really?” The professor looks touched and somewhat incredulously at me. “Are you really interested in Persian classical music?” He reaches out his hand. “Viel Spaß.