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News ID: 90
Iran » Iran
Publish Date: 9:59 - 19 February 2013
Interview with Atousa Shamlou
Atousa Shamlou believes that if Iranian classical literature and heroes are narrated well enough, characters such as Rustam could outdo Harry Potter.

A writer of children's literature, Shamlou said in an interview with ISNA in the sidelines of the 16th International Storytelling Festival in Tabriz that the reason for the boom in the recreation of old literary texts is that children are acquainted with the literature. "It is necessary to acquaint them with past literary works,” she said. "Another issue is that these texts are difficult for children and should be rewritten for them in a more simple language. Authors rewrite so that children turn to the original work when grown up. The necessity is felt and children must know the past Iran.”

Atousa Shamlou who was elected top writer in the Rewritten Work's section of the festival added that "I believe that besides financial motivations, there are cultural concerns as well, and there is rather the issue that children get to know classical texts. Currently I am working on a play with children on the Seven Stages of Rustam. I try to approach children's language in it.”

Answering a question on the competitive atmosphere among literary works as written, rewritten, and translation, Shamlou said "One reason why translated works are read more is their good advertisement. But there is not much advertising on children's fiction. In the West they make movies based on young-adult fiction such as Harry Potter, Shrek, etc., something which is not carried out on Iranian children and young-adult fiction. When they see the movie, people go for the book.”

Regarding the belief that despite Western ones, Iranian writers don't develop interesting stories, she said "I don't think that is the case. Iranian writers on the contrary develop their stories very well and in an interesting fashion.”

"I believe that children are not acquainted with Iranian characters and heroes,” she added, "for example, while working on the Seven Stages of Rustam, I have realized that children little by little relate to the character of Rustam and it has become interesting to them.”

"If Rustam is known well, he would excel Harry Potter, he could. But it takes good introduction. Of course I believe that while Harry Potter does his own job we should do ours. We must not think Harry Potter a rival to us; and that we must run to overtake him. No. of we focus on our own job and show children old works and excel at what we do, the like of Harry Potter will remain in the background,” Shamlou asserted.

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