‘Writing for’ with Authority: Theorizing an Electronic Edition of Shahriar Mandanipour’s Censoring an Iranian Love Story
Censoring an Iranian Love Story (CAILS) by Shahriar Mandanipour (2009) is a novel written for translation. Despite being penned in Farsi, this original text has yet to be published. CAILS simultaneously presents the initial titular love story (bold), pre-emptively censored text before it is ‘submitted’ to the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance (bold with strikethrough), and explanations as to why censoring occurred (roman). Mandanipour’s voice has the authority that comes with writing in a mother tongue, yet in writing for translation he disavows authorial privilege. A non-hierarchical electronic text that enables the reader to shift between the ‘original’, censored, and ‘annotated’ text, as well as these options within the original Farsi, could restore authority to the writer. By theorising such an edition, I explore the possibility of a novelistic form that would enable and empower non-English writers to cross linguistic, social, cultural, political, religious, and censorship boundaries.
authority in fiction, electronic literature, literary theory, palimpsest, Shahriar Mandanipour, translation
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