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My Uncle Napoleon

Iraj Pezeshkzad

Iraj Pezeshkzad (Persian: ایرج پزشکزاد, Iraj Pezeškzâd; 29 January 1927 – 12 January 2022) was an Iranian writer and author of the famous Persian novel Dā’i Jān Napoleon (Dear Uncle Napoleon, translated as My Uncle Napoleon) published in the early 1970s.

My Uncle Napoleaon

I tried to review all my information about love. Unfortunately, it was not broad [enough]. Although I was over 13 years of age, I had never seen anyone in love in my entire life. Romantic books and biographies of lovers were seldom published at that time. Still, they wouldn’t allow us to read all kinds of love stories. Parents and relatives, especially Daee Jon, had forbidden us, the children, to leave the house without a chaperon, let alone speak to someone of the opposite sex. We were afraid to even get close to the children who played in the street.

The radio had just been invented. With a 2-3 hour daily program it couldn’t offer any helpful information. In my quest to learn about love, I first came upon Layla and Majnoun, which we have heard many times. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t know how Majnoun had fallen in love with Layla. They only said, Majnoun fell in love with Layla.

It might have been best if I didn’t bring Layla and Majnoun into this research. The fact that Layla and Daee Jon’s daughter had the same first name likely affected my subsequent deductions. But I had no choice. The lovers of my last resort were Layla and Majnoun. Other than that, I didn’t know much about Shirin and Farhad and the way they fell in love. I also found a romantic story among the footnotes of a newspaper. But the story in that issue had already started and I hadn’t read the first few issues, just learned it from a classmate of mine. So I didn’t know how the story had begun.

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