The Storyteller's Canvas

This article addresses an important, usually neglected, aspect of the work of Simin Behbahani, namely her prose and fictional, mostly autobiographical writings, which should be indispensable to an understanding of her poetry. Behbahani herself writes that although her poetry is about her life and the lives of the people and that the language of her poetry is the language of the people, there are things that she wants to say for which the delicate nature and language of poetry is not the proper vehicle; hence, she delegates the task to prose. With an examination of a number of her prose writings, including An Mard, Mard-e Hamraham [That Man, My Companion], Ba Qalb-e Khod Cheh Kharidam [What I Bought with My Heart], and Kelid-o Khanjar [Key and Dagger], the article explores the poet as a storyteller and the link between her poetry and fictional prose, especially in terms of her life story.

M. R. Ghanoonparvar
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