About me
I am PhD in Iranian Languages at Uppsala University and translator of Persian literary works into Swedish. My main research interests are Iranian cultural history and classical Persian literature. In 2002 I received my doctoral degree in Iranian Languages from Uppsala University. My most recent publication is an introduction to spoken and written Persian Persiska för nybörjare (Persian for Beginners) that practices everyday language functions and provides exercises based on essential grammar structures. This innovative book is aimed for all learners of Persian and can be used both independently and alongside my Modern persisk grammatik (Modern Persian Grammar). The grammar is the first one of its kind in any Scandinavian language and covers morphology, syntax and colloquial pronunciation as well as specific sections on regional and stylistic variations. A second revised edition of Modern persisk grammatik will be published in Spring 2013.

 

My fascination for Persian literature began after my encounter with Jalal al-din Rumi, the greatest  Sufi poet of the Persian language. His inspiration resulted in a translation of selected poems with an introduction to his life and thought. This book, entitled Vassflöjtens sång (Song of the Reed), was published in 2001. Rumi guided me further to another Persian poet of mystical love, Fakhr al-din Araqi. I have rendered Araqi's prose work Lama'at (Flashes) into Swedish. This work is a masterpiece of Sufi contemplation and is still used today as a spiritual manual.  The greatest of all Persian poets, as far as lyrical verse is concerned, is Shams al-din Hafiz of Shiraz. Hafiz is a giant of Persian culture and his prestige among Persians can be compared to that of Shakespeare in England or Homeros in Greece.  At the same time, he is one of the most difficult authors to translate due to the ambiguity of his verses. My translation of his poems therefore include a rich introduction to his life, symbolic language and mystical thought. I have also published a translation of the Persian classic Chahar Maqala (Four Discourses) by the twelth century prose writer and poet Nizami Aruzi of Samarqand. This work includes some charming anecdotes on Persian poets and scholars such as Rudagi, Khayyam, Firdausi and Avicenna.  The translation has been published by Bokförlaget Atlantis andhas received excellent reviews in the Swedish press.

 

Beside literature, music is an art that I take pleasure in very much. I like popular Persian folk music and also popular music of the 70s (such as Viguen, Marjan and Pouran), Portuguese Fado and early Spanish music. Among my favorite singers are Amelia Rodriguez, Maria Callas and Darya Dadvar as well as various compositions by Jordi Savall. I also enjoy traditional Persian and Turkish music that is intimately connected with poetry and the spoken word. Some compositions are created entirely on improvisation and sometimes derived from a poem by the classical masters.

 

My wife Mana Aghaee also has a great interest in poetical art and write poetry in Persian. Her most recent collection has been very well received by critics inside and outside Iran. It was she that opened my eyes to the musical beauty of classical Persian prosody which she was taught by her late father.

 

My guiding principle in life is the famous saying of the Persian philosopher and poet Zoroaster: “Good thought, Good speech and Good deed”. His fascinating philosophy has inspired a range of individuals in the East and the West, from Plato and Heraclitus  to Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Strauss. His hymns known as the Gathas is at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism . Today many scholars point to the similarities between Zoroaster's philosophy and the ideas of the Dutch Jewish philosopher Spinoza.

 

Finally, I have a great interest in photography, nature photography as well as portrait. All pictures, most of them from my travels, that you can see here has been taken by myself.

Den som uppvaktar rosen må känna till dess törne

Sa'di (1200-talet)