The latest issue of World Literature Today featured an interview with a translator called M Emadi, conducted by Persis Karim.
A few hours later, WLT’s blog received strong comments from critics; the comments have since been censored by WLT, perhaps in order to preserve their reputation and firefight the impending scandal.
The Executive Editor of Iran Open Publishing Group, the renowned International Iranian Independent Publishing House of Exiled Authors (an Imprint of Wisehouse), communicates his deep skepticism of the interview and its publication in the representative environment of a respectable journal such as WLT.
In a message to Persis Karim and WLT, the Executive Editor of IOPG, former Chief Editor of the Iranian Section of Poetry International Festival/Web Rotterdam, and founder of the Iranian Burnt Books Foundation, comments, “Despite his limited works in Spanish, which I know well, it would be far more than “absurd” to believe that M Emadi is a representative, or even semi-representative, Iranian poet (not to say that he can’t write one or two nice poems). The fake is perfect, so we believe serious readers will be able to accurately interpret this interview with WLT.” Even his dramatisation of his contact with the Iranian poet Shamlou, bragging about a ‘personal, intimate relationship’ with the poet, has been repeatedly and publicly questioned, and rejected by family members of Shamlou as unreasonable; in addition, serious law suits have been brought against his claims for electronic copyrights. The rumours about his dubious character are just too vast and too deep; thus it would be wise to skip this interview and moreover to doubt the honesty and knowledge of Persis Karim regarding the state of modern poetry in Iran. We are sure the criticism of this interview will form a scandal of its own within the Iranian literature community. This is a good example of how good editors, good translators, and good journals can become trapped by fake personalities.