Member of the Spanish Iranology Foundation States

The Tehran Book Fair Provides International Audiences with an Opportunity to Discover the Depth of Iran's Literary Productions

2024-05-18 15:24

Joaquín Velázquez Muñoz remarked that the Tehran Book Fair, by showcasing a wide range of books written by various authors as well as classic works of Persian literature, allows both national and international audiences to explore and understand the depth and diversity of Iran's literary productions.

Joaquín Velázquez Muñoz, a Spanish author and member of the Iranology Foundation, in an interview with the news team of the 35th Tehran International Book Fair, noted that although he could not attend the fair, he said: “I am very interested in participating, but unfortunately, I live in Spain, and it is truly impossible for me to be present in Iran and at the Tehran Book Fair. Nevertheless, I will closely follow the news related to this event. If I had the opportunity to attend, I would certainly look for books that expand my knowledge about the history of Iran. I am always keen to discover new works and perspectives that enrich my understanding of Iran's history and culture."

He added: "In my opinion, the Tehran Book Fair is an important cultural event that significantly contributes to the introduction and dissemination of contemporary Iranian culture. This event brings together authors, publishers, academics, and cultural figures. It also provides a valuable platform for cultural exchange and the promotion of literary diversity, attracting enthusiasts not only from Iran but from all over the world."

He described the Tehran Book Fair as a unique window into Iran's rich literary and cultural tradition, adding: "This exhibition, by presenting a wide range of books written by various authors and also the classic works of Persian literature, allows national and international audiences to discover and understand the depth and diversity of Iran's literary productions. Additionally, this event acts as a vital space for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. By attracting visitors and publishers from around the world, the Tehran Book Fair fosters the exchange of ideas and perspectives among different cultures, thereby promoting tolerance, understanding, and mutual respect."

The Spanish author continued: "Thus, the Tehran Book Fair is much more than a literary event. It is a cultural engine that promotes contemporary Iranian culture on a national and international level, encourages intercultural dialogue, and promotes the development of the publishing industry in the country."

Regarding the coverage of the Tehran Book Fair in Spanish media, he stated: "The truth is that this exhibition does not receive much attention. Generally, in Spain, beyond the usual reports on political issues, there is not much news about Iran. However, I believe this is a general trend and not specific to Iran. In fact, I do not recall hearing news about similar exhibitions in neighboring countries like Portugal or France. Maybe in some specialized magazines, but if they exist, I am unaware of them. If someone wants to follow this event from Spain, they would probably need to refer to Iranian information sources such as the embassy or the cultural council."

In another part of his speech, the member of the Iranology Foundation added: "In Spain, we have what is called the 'Book Fair' (Feria del Libro). This event is notable for the variety of activities related to literature and the promotion of reading. Publishers, bookstores, and numerous authors participate, making it a central meeting point for the book world in the country. The fair usually features a wide range of exhibitors, from major publishers to small independent bookstores, allowing visitors to discover a broad diversity of literary works. Various cultural activities are also held, including book presentations, roundtables, conferences, workshops, author signings, and activities for children. These activities provide visitors with the opportunity to interact with authors, participate in literary discussions, and discover new works, while giving authors the chance to present their books and connect directly with their readers."

He continued: "The purpose of holding this fair is also to promote the habit of reading among people, especially the younger generation, as unfortunately, the habit of reading is declining among the newer generations. This is why activities and spaces dedicated to children's and youth literature and the promotion of reading are organized. Specific thematic spaces are also usually created, such as children's literature, history, art, comics, literature in different languages, and so on. The book fair in Spain is usually held during the spring or summer, typically between April and June, although the exact date may vary depending on the city. For example, in my city, Madrid, the book fair is traditionally held in Retiro Park in May. The Barcelona Book Fair, perhaps the most well-known, also takes place between April and June, but its date varies each year."

Regarding the position of Iranian literature in the Spanish publishing industry, he said: "Well, it can be considered relatively modest compared to other countries. While it is true that some Spaniards have shown interest in Iranian literature and culture, the number of books translated from Persian into Spanish is limited compared to other languages and cultures, both contemporary and ancient authors. In fact, there are very few specialists; those who know classical Persian or even, like in my case, who devote themselves to it."

Joaquín Velázquez Muñoz concluded by noting that Persian language education in Spain is relatively limited, stating: "It is mainly concentrated in a few universities that offer Oriental studies or foreign language programs. Finding Persian language classes for those interested in learning the language in Spain is a challenge. Often, Persian lessons are part of philology or Oriental studies programs and are therefore only available at some universities or specialized study centers. There is no specific Iranian studies or Persian language program, and the teaching of classical or ancient Persian is uniform. There are no studies related to the history of Iran, neither for ancient nor later periods."


The thirty-fifth period of the Tehran International Book Fair with the slogan "We Read, We Build" takes place in Imam Khomeini Mosalla from May 8 till May 18, and also online in .

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