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Censoring an Iranian Love Story

by Shahriar Mandanipour

The writer of this book wants to take you into his confidence as he struggles to write under the scrutiny of the censor. Through playful asides he will show you how difficult it is for Dara and Sara to have a relationship, even going to the extremes of meeting in a hospital A and E waiting room just to get the chance to sit together. Experience poignant young love from the pen of a comic satirist.

Extract

Now you know very well that there is nothing I can do to stop the scissors of censorship from cutting off Sara's breasts, calves and waist. I therefore have to write the self-censored sentences in the following manner.
Dara sees his beautiful Sara. He sees the projection of her two crystalline collarbones that curve and end as handles of two crystal goblets. Sara's arms are like icicles against which the moonlight shines as they dangle beside two curved impressions....
No, even I get a chill from this icy illustration. I am tempted to liken the surfacing of Sara's beauties to the cliched surfacing of Ursula Andress from the sea in Dr No, but Mr Petrovich has most likely seen this film.
Translated by Sara Khalili

Parallels

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
 

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