Sunday, July 5, 2020

James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing

James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing

“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”

" If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you’re not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real."


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Bill Moyers: A Poet a Day

During these trying days of social distancing, self-isolating and quarantines, days rife with fear and anxiety, my colleagues and I thought you might like some company. So each day we will be introducing you to poets we have met over the years. The only contagion they will expose you to is a measure of joy, reflection and meditation brought on by “the best words in the best order.”
Bill Moyers
In this video, poet and playwright Claudia Rankine reads César Vallejo’s poem, “Untitled.” Although Vallejo published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century. Rankine’s new play, “Help,” was in previews at New York City’s The Shed earlier in March when the pandemic forced all theaters to shut down.
By César Vallejo
For several days, I have felt an exuberant, political need
to love, to kiss affection on its two cheeks,
and I have felt from afar a demonstrative
desire, another desire to love, willingly or by force,
whoever hates me, whoever rips up his paper, a little boy,
the woman who cries for the man who was crying,
the king of wine, the slave of water,
whoever hid in his wrath,
whoever sweats, whoever passes, whoever shakes his person in my soul.
And I want, therefore, to adjust
the braid of whoever talks to me; the hair of the soldier;
the light of the great one; the greatness of the little one.
I want to iron directly
a handkerchief for whoever is unable to cry
and, when I am sad or happiness hurts me,
to mend the children and the geniuses.
I want to help the good one become a little bit bad
and I badly need to be seated
on the right hand of the left-handed, and to respond to the mute,
trying to be useful to him
as I can, and also I want very much
to wash the lame man’s foot,
and to help the nearby one-eyed man sleep.
Ah love, this one my own, this one the world’s,
interhuman and parochial, maturely aged!
It comes perfectly timed,
from the foundation, from the public groin,
and, coming from afar, makes me wantto kiss
the singer’s muffler,
and whoever suffers to kiss him on his frying pan,
the deaf man on his cranial murmur;
whoever gives me what I forgot in my breast,
on his Dante, on his Chaplin, on his shoulders.
I want, finally,
when I’m at the celebrated edge of violence
or my heart full of chest, I would like
to help whoever smiles laugh,
to put a little bird right on the evil man’s cape,
to take care of the sick, annoying them,
to buy from the vendor
to help the killer kill, a terrible thing
and I would like to be kind to myself
in everything.
From "The Complete Posthumous Poetry of César Vallejo," Jose Rubia Barcia (Translator), Clayton Eshleman (Translator), 1978, University of California Press.
Learn more about Claudia Rankine at…/a-poet-a-day-claudia-rankine-cesar…
Find more pandemic poetry:

What Really Happens When You Donate Your Clothes and Why It’s Bad

 On consumerism....

“We don’t value our clothing anymore,” Jenkins declares. “Fast fashion has helped us build up a more intense addiction to buying clothing and, at the same time, it’s helped us really elevate the throwaway culture.”

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Romanian Philosopher Emil Cioran on the Courage to Disillusion Yourself

 Romanian Philosopher Emil Cioran on the Courage to Disillusion Yourself
Read more in BrainPicking

“The man who unmasks his fictions renounces his own resources and, in a sense, himself. Consequently, he will accept other fictions which will deny him, since they will not have cropped up from his own depths.”

“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster,” James Baldwin wrote in a staggeringly prescient piece from 1953.



Loud laughers in the hands of Fate—
My people.
Ladies' maids,
Nurses of babies,
Loaders of ships,
Number writers,
Comedians in vaudeville
And band-men in circuses—
Dream-singers all,—
My people.
Story-tellers all,—
My people.
God! What dancers!
God! What singers!
Singers and dancers
Dancers and laughers.
Yes, laughers . . . laughers . . . laughers—
Loud-mouthed laughers in the hands

My People

 My People
By James Langston Hughes

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

Friday, June 19, 2020

روزنگاری های دیاسپورا

روزنگاری های دیاسپورا شماره ۳۰۸

یک قصه دیگر نوشتم بنام “نسترن”
یکشنبه ۱۷ ماه جون ۱۹۹۰ – آیواسیتی

بخش نخست
اسمم نسترن است. بیست و شش ساله ام. تهران به دنیا آمده ام و تنها دختر پدر و مادرم هستم.

شماره 309 روزنگاری های دیاسپورا

ادامه قصه “نسترن”

 بخش دوم

The ‘Untranslatable’ Emotions ...

Interesting article:

"Have you ever felt a little mbuki-mvuki – the irresistible urge to “shuck off your clothes as you dance”? Perhaps a little kilig – the jittery fluttering feeling as you talk to someone you fancy? How about uitwaaien – which encapsulates the revitalising effects of taking a walk in the wind? 

These words – taken from Bantu, Tagalog, and Dutch – have no direct English equivalent, but they represent very precise emotional experiences that are neglected in our language. And if Tim Lomas at the University of East London has his way, they might soon become much more familiar."

Monday, June 15, 2020

13th, a great Documentary

Watch this great Documentary!

"13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States;"[3] it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery throughout the United States and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.
DuVernay contends that slavery has been perpetuated since the end of the American Civil War through criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing; suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings and Jim Crow; politicians declaring a war on drugs that weighs more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial complex, discussing how much money is being made by corporations from such incarcerations."

Saturday, June 13, 2020

ترس، ابهام، بی باکی و همزاد پنداری در دوران کرونا

ترس، ابهام، بی باکی و همزاد پنداری در دوران کرونا

نگاهی به یک فیلم کوتاه که ناگهان ناپدید شده است!

Why African-Americans Loathe 'Uncle Tom'

 Why African-Americans Loathe 'Uncle Tom'

Folklorist Patricia Turner discusses "Uncle Tom" — the lead character in the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe — as part of NPR's In Character series. The series examines the fictional characters who have defined American life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

روزنگاری های دیاسپورا Memories in Diaspora # 307

    # 307  روزنگاری های دیاسپورا
 Memories in Diaspora # 307
عزت گوشه گیر

یک تصویر – یک شعر کوتاه

وقتی که کفش هایم دهان باز می کنند
می دانم که واژه های دلم
و استخوان هایم
از درون دارند می ترکند

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Review of My Name is Inanna in Affect: Acuity

َA Review of My Name is Inanna in Affect: Acuity

November 29, 2008 

She was arrested, pushed to the ground, humiliated and taken into custody for attending an anti-war rally? Did she do anything wrong? Nothing. Was she given a phone call? No.
Sitting in silence, Goushegir’s audience listened intently as she read from her one-act play, “My Name is Inanna,”  a story not uncommon to middle-eastern people living in the United States. This is one of many stories, Iranian exile, playright, Ezzat Goushegir was born to tell.
Captive, her audience sits on stools, at the bar, even cross-legged on the floor of the KGB Bar in Noho last night, silently watching Goushegir reveal how a courageous Iranian woman’s sense of self is challenged by American social standards and rules, in a prison and  in a beauty store. The mask that her character Inanna wears in the beauty store and in the questioning room is the same, doing what she is told and trying not to cause trouble. These scenes bring to mind the questions: how has Inanna’s life changed in America?  Does she truly have more freedom here? The irony of a woman exiled from post-revolutionary Iran only to be arrested at an anti-war demonstration is felt heavily in a room full of 1960’s activists, intellectuals and fellow Iranian exiles. Goushegir goes on to account for the fears that might infect someone’s mind as the clock ticks by and she waits and waits for the police officer to return.
When asked during the question and answer session, Goushegir admitted that the play was based on a compilation of stories from many Iranian people and their experiences and perceptions as a foreigner living in the United States. She said that most Iranians living in America fear being imprisoned at one point in their lives.
Censorship is also a point of concern for both authors. Rachlin, author of Persian Girls and the opening reader, discussed the difficulty of getting her work read in Iran. She says that censorship of anything immoral is strong right now. Both writers agreed that during the Shah’s rule, there was also censorship but it was more about not discussing anything negative about the government or how the country was run. Rachlin said that made it impossible to share even the most basic realistic details of life in Iran such as the cockroaches scurrying down the alley. Due to censorship and other inequities in Iran, both authors touch on protests in America during the 1960s. One man commented that the Iranian students he knew in NYC opened his eyes to the situation in Iran and difficulties people were facing there.
If you happen to be in Chicago and Goushegir is reading “My Name is Inanna”, be sure to see her performance. It will leave you speechless. There are no upcoming readings scheduled yet. Rachlin

Goushir is a playwright, short story writer, theatre critic and poet. Her published work includes: The Woman, the ROOM, and Love and … And suddenly the panther cried: WOMAN, collections of short stories in Farsi; “The Sulking Sunflower”, Stylus, Medea was born in Fallujah, Exile in America, Now Smile, Crawdad, English translations of short stories for literary journals, Migration in the Sun, a book of poetry, and  Metamorphosis and Maryam’s Pregnancy, Two plays, a book of plays. She has won a Richard Maibaum award and a Norman Felton award for her plays. Goushegir is currently a Creative Writing and Iranian Studies professor at DePaul University in Chicago. She recently read “My Name is Inanna” at Women and Theatre Program (WTP) Conference, Confronting the Silence: Building Bridges of Engagement, in July 30, 2008 at El Centro Su Teatro in Denver-Colorado. She also actively contributes to literary journals. 

Rachlin, a novelist and short story writer, is well-known for her memoir, Persian Girls and four novels, Jumping Over the Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger and The Heart’s Desire. Rachlin is a winner of the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Her work has been published in Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Farsi, Arabic. Rachlin currently teaches at the New School University and Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y. She also is an Associate Fellow at Yale.

Aside: As I’m so close to the center of a major metropolitan hub for writers and intellectuals, my plan is to try to attend a reading or lecture a week so I can share news on great new authors and people to watch in politics, business, art, etc. to my friends and former colleagues throughout the world.

 Comment from Joel Simpson: Thank you for this sensitive review of Ezzat Goushegir and Rachid Nachlin’s readings last month. It’s very gratifying to know that their respective messages were received and deeply appreciated.

Posted in Books, Cross-Cultural Relations, War/Conflict, World Politics | Comments Off on Award-Winning Iranian Authors Read in Noho, NYC

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

نگاهی به فیلم رادیو اکتیو "A Review on "Radio Active

نگاهی به فیلم رادیو اکتیو
 عزت گوشه گیر
 A Review on Radio Active by Marjane Satrapi

دل هر ذره که بشکافی/آفتابیش در میان بینی

مرجانه ساتراپی به خاطر کتابهای درخشان تصویری اش همچون پرسپولیس، گلدوزی ها و خورش آلو با مرغ  در دنیا شهرت بسیار دارد. وی همچنین از سال  2007 با ساختن  فیلم کارتونی پرسپولیس بر اساس اولین نوول گرافیکی اش با بازی صدایی کاترین دونو و کیارا ماسترویانی به فیلمسازی روی آورده است. و در ژانر های گوناگون، فیلم هایی را کارگردانی کرده است همچون گنگسترهای هوتا  Gang of the Jotas ، صداها The Voices ، خورش آلو با مرغ،  و رادیو اکتیو Radioactive.

Read more

Monday, June 1, 2020

Robert Sapolsky: We’re uniquely violent and compassionate

Robert Sapolsky: We’re uniquely violent and compassionate 
Humans are on the one hand capable of mass genocide, and on the other hand, great self-sacrifice. Why are we capable of such extremes?

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Friday, May 29, 2020

یک نقد بر کتاب "آن زن بی آنکه بخواهد گفت خداحافظ"

 یک نقد بر کتاب "آن زن بی آنکه بخواهد گفت خداحافظ" از  مهران بقایی
"عزت السادات گوشه گیر نویسنده و کنشگر اجتماعی همشهری ما مقیم آمریکاست . ایشان فرزند زنده یاد دکتر سیدموسی گوشه گیر نخستین پزشک تحصیل کرده ی دزفول در دهه ی سی خورشیدی و از فعالین سیاسی آن دهه است. خانم گوشه گیر در دهه ی شصت به آمریکا مهاجرت و سالهاست در زمینه ی حقوق زنان فعالیت اجتماعی و در حوزه ی ادبیات، داستان کوتاه و نمایشنامه می نویسند . مقالات متعددی از ایشان در نقد و تحلیل آثار مهم زنان نویسنده ی ایرانی در نشریات کشور و سایت های تخصصی متتشر شده است و نمایشنامه هایشان در صحنه های تاتر خوش درخشیده اند. به تازگی مجموعه ای از داستان های کوتاه ایشان از طرف انتشارات مِهری در لندن منتشر شده است با نام " آن زن بی آنکه بخواهد گفت خداحافظ و دختری به نام بی بی بوتول دزفولی" این مجموعه شامل بیست و پنج داستان است که چهارده تای آن زیر عنوان (آن زن بی آنکه ...) و یازده تای دیگر زیر عنوان دوم (دختری به نام بی بی بی بوتول دزفولی) گرد هم آمده اند . زن در همه ی این داستان ها محور ماجرا است در بخش اول زن در دوران معاصر و در بخش دوم زن در زمانی دورتر و در جغرافیای شهر دزفول روایت می شود . دغدغه های اجتماعی نویسنده درباره ی وضعیت زنان و دختران در جامعه ی ایرانی از گذشته تا امروز فضای کلی کتاب را در بر می گیرد . نگاه دقیق و کنجکاو نویسنده ، استفاده از تمام ظرفیت های زبانی و اقلیمی ، استفاده از تکنیک های روز داستان نویسی، بهره گیری از واژگان بومی ، استفاده از طنزی ملایم ،  نگاه روانشناسانه و توجه به رخداد های اجتماعی و تاثیر آنها بر تلقی و نگاه عمومی به زنان و دختران از جمله ویژگی های این مجموعه داستان است . انتشارات مهری با رضایت نویسندگان، این اثر و نیز کتابهای دیگری را از نویسندگان ایرانی و غیر ایرانی به دلیل شرایط کنونی جهان برای فارسی زبانان به رایگان روی وب سایت خود قرار داده است."
 مهران بقایی

نشانی سایت(با فیلتر شکن) :
با تشکر از ایشان

روزنگاری های دیاسپورا/ Memories in Diaspora # 305 & 306

پنجشنبه ۱۴ ماه جون ۱۹۹۰ آیواسیتی
تصمیم گرفتم یک قصه بنویسم. و امروز اولین پیش نویس را تمام کردم. قصه ای بنام “الیزابت”. که هنوز یک طرح است و باید روی آن کار کنم تا کامل شود… 

روزنگاری های دیاسپورا 
 Memories in Diaspora # 306
Last part of my short story: "Elizabeth"
شماره ۳۰۶
ادامه قصه “الیزابت”
پنجشنبه ۱۴ ماه جون ۱۹۹۰ – آیواسیتی
الیزابت گفت: البته…فقط برا یه لیوان آب…
فوٌاد با خنده گفت: هنوز نیومده داری بیرونم می کنی؟


My short story written in 1990


"الیزابت" تنها آمده بود. بدون "تام".
آپارتمان "نسترن" بزرگ بود. به راحتی گنجایش بیست نفر جوان پر شور بیست و چند ساله را در خود داشت که می خواستند شبی را مست کنند و برقصند و ملال را یکجوری از توی دلشان بریزند بیرون. یک پارتی حسابی با کلی مشروب و پیتزا و غذاهای ایرانی و عربی و مکزیکی....

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Albert Camus’s Beautiful Letter of Gratitude to His Childhood Teacher

Albert Camus’s Beautiful Letter of Gratitude to His Childhood Teacher After Winning the Nobel Prize:

When Camus was less than a year old, his father was killed on the battlefield of WWI. He and his older brother were raised by their illiterate, nearly deaf mother and a despotic grandmother, with hardly any prospects for a bright future. In a testament to what happens when education lives up to its highest potential to ennoble the human spirit, a teacher named Louis Germaine saw in young Albert something special and undertook the task of conjuring cohesion and purpose out of the boy — the task of any great mentor. Under his teacher’s wing, Camus came to transcend the dismal cards he had been dealt and began blossoming into his future genius.

19 November 1957
Dear Monsieur Germain,
I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened. I don’t make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me the opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.
Albert Camus

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A 15 YEAR OLD BOY'S perspective on global pandemic

My interview with a 15 year old, Kian, demonstrating his perspective on global pandemic. It’s Published in Shahrgon, a weekly magazine in Vancouver, Canada.
نوجوانی، قرنطینه و انزوا در دوران چیرگی ویروس کرونا گفت و گویی با کیان، نو جوان پانزده ساله
بیست و چند سال پیش مارتین اسلین منقد و شناساگر تئاترابزورد را در دانشگاه آیوا ملاقات کردم. وی در ورک شاپی گمگشتگی و گسستگی روحی نوجوانان غربی را مورد واکاوی قرار داد و تأثیر گذاری این پدیده نو را در عصر دیجیتال، در نمایشنامه های جدیدی که به این موضوعات پیرامونی می پرداخت، تشریح کرد. موضوعاتی همچون انزوا، از خودبیگانگی، سرگشتگی، بی هویتی، بی برنامگی، پناه بری به سکس، مواد مخدر و خشونت، خودآزاری و دیگر آزاری…

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Jean's Masks

“جین و ماسک هایش”

قصه های آفرینندگان گمنام در زمانه ویروس کرونا

شکوفایی چگونه پدیدار می شود؟
در تنگناست که آدم قصه گو می شود. که می بافد و می تند. در تنهایی و انزواست که آدم رویا می آفریند. که آوازه خوان می شود. که عاشق می شود. و رویای عشق است که آدم را شکوفا می کند.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Teenagers in the Time of Coronavirus

Teenagers in the Time of Coronavirus

Being physically and socially isolated through the coronavirus crisis is not easy for anyone. The bitterness of isolation has affected teen lives and young adults more than any other age groups. Communication with friends and family, connection with peers, and physical activities are essential for children, teens, and young adults. It is through social activities that they will develop healthy body, emotional intelligence and strong personality.
While starting and keeping close friendships is critical in the process of growing up, it is also important to develop social and emotional growth. These skills provide them the abilities to be prepared for more challenges in their future tasks.  
It is crucial to young adults to learn through social life the skills to cooperate, solve conflicts, and understand each other’s needs. It is also important to learn about themselves; their uniqueness, their ability to give and be given, to have fun and make others laugh. 

Most of the teens now are spending a considerable amount of time on TikTok, Instagram, FaceTime, video Games, watching films, YouTube with memes for hours with enormous fascination and obsession. A new phenomenon called youth Culture has brought a concept in which teenagers design a subculture with certain norms, interests, behaviors, vocabularies, clothes, fashions and beliefs that differ from the culture of older generations. The new teenage culture in digital age is someway foreign to those born before the millennium.  Film series such as Normal People, Sex Education, Everything's Gonna Be Okay and many more, are recently bringing the phenomenon to light, by analyzing and studying this particular culture through their eyes. 

Having this in mind, focusing on how different age groups deal with isolation in the time of Coronavirus quarantine, I interviewed a brilliant fifteen-year-old “Kian”. A teenage boy of so many different talents. “Kian” is indeed an extraordinary individual, reflective and profound since his childhood. I have always admired his imagination, creativity, poetic perspective and intelligence.  I must admit that I have been in awe of his achievements all these years as a writer, photographer, actor, dancer and music lover. But this current two months during the quarantine is an exception. He wrote two graphic novels, three screenplays and took large number of photos since March 15.

“Kian” wakes up every morning, fixes his breakfast, helps his parents, participates in zoom classes, faceTime’s with his friends and then works on his scripts as he acts out each character he creates. Great in writing dialogue, significant in sci-fi genre, he forms a theme with conflict in situation and characters, with interesting humorous atmosphere and colorful language.  

Title: From the collection of: Worm's Eye

Here is my interview with him:

Q- How would you like to introduce yourself to those who do not know you?
Kian: I hope I can be one of those people that can help find someone a new place in this world.

Q- How old are you? What are your interests in life?
Kian:  I am 15 years old. I would someday like to become a filmmaker or a photographer.

Q- How do you describe yourself  living in the time of corona quarantine as a teenage boy? How do you describe the situation?
Kian:  I have mixed feelings during the quarantine. I feel lonely since I cannot have physical contact with my friends. Most of the time, they are not available to FaceTime. I also feel like I get a lot of stuff done considering there is a lot of time to spend in quarantine.

Q- How was your first reaction about the deadly virus and the global lockdown?
Kian: At first, I thought that was the time when the world would finally end. But when I heard the doctors were doing everything they can, I found that there was hope that things can get better one step at a time.

Q- How do you see the effect of the pandemic on human’s life? Any predictions about the future effects?
Kian:  I think people will be more cautious around the environment by washing our hands more often and limiting physical contact.

Q- Describe how your life has changed through the experience of isolation?
Kian:  It’s been more quiet now that it’s just me and my family. I have to take care of myself and my family more often by doing chores such as washing the dishes, taking out the trash, doing me and my family’s laundry, etc.

Q- What do you do with your time?
Kian:  I like to play video games, but I’m dedicated to writing stories.

Q- Describe the positive and negative sides of this situation.
Kian:  The good thing is that I can spend all the time you’d like. But the con is I can’t spend time with people other than your family physically.

Q- Did the lockdown/isolation change your perspective of life, of yourself and of those you know?
Kian:  Yes. It has made me more aware of people and everything surrounding us that has a purpose to be in this world.

Q- what are your dreams about tomorrow?
Kian:  I dream that tomorrow, my daily goal(s) can be achieved.

Q- Do you remember your dreams at night? Any interesting dreams you have had recently?
Kian:  I remember most of my dreams and get inspiration from that dream and apply it to my stories.

Q- You write screenplays and you do photography. Talk about your experiences. How do you make a distinction between the two artistic genres/mediums? I would like you to elaborate on the form of writing for film/tv ( Sci- fi) and creating poetic moments in photography ?
Kian: Photography helps me deal with stress. I like to take different angles or filters to get my mind off of other things. Writing helps me feel active and creative.