The Circle of Literature Lovers

Every Thursday eight guests came to Cheheltan‘s parents‘ house to talk about literature. The subject was mainly classical Persian literature, Rumi, Hafis, Saadi, Ferdowsi and others.

For years these meetings continued and opened a space for language, poetry and interpretation, and concerned the great themes of life and spirit. They connected the participants, but also entangled them with each other because the state power also reigned in their circle. Since the sixties the Shah reigns with his repressive apparatus and the secret service SAVAK, until the Islamic revolution of 1979 replaced the regime with the power of the Mullahs.

In his dense and detailed narrative Amir Hassan Cheheltan returns to this circle of literature lovers, their conversations about poetry, the role of his parents, the impulses for his own reading and the effect of literature. Literature is older, wiser, more comical, more subversive and sexually far more revealing than the official moral doctrine and social constraints would tolerate.