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Pleasure or pain, is it?

‘Pleasure or pain, is it?’

Dublin James Joyce Journal, An Essay – By Akram Pedramnia
Issue Number 10, 2017
James Joyce Research Centre at University College Dublin

After my Persian translation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night was reviewed by the censorship office in the Iranian Ministry of Cultural and Islamic Guidance, I received a letter which listed several words and sentences that had to be removed from the novel. In Iran, the deployment of controversial themes, topics, or phrases in literature often culminates in, at best, a request for such alterations. Resistance to censorship results in the banning or seizure of the provocative work. In the quotation above, the censorship office took issue with the act of a woman exposing and revealing her ‘step-ins’, a discrete and dated term for a pair of women’s underwear. The sexual symbolism of the passage was considered to be too erotic for publication. After reviewing the censorship requests, I replaced ‘her pink step-ins’ with ‘her pink skirt-lining’. Here, the structure of the translation does not alter the original text too much; however, the meaning of the interaction between the two lovers is nearly lost. This is an example of a failed translation due to the impact of censorship. As a translator, I have learned to employ several strategies to bypass the censor.


Translating Ulysses For Iran

Personal Essay – By Akram Pedramnia, Pen Transmission,
The Online Magazine of English PEN, December 27, 2019

The Iranian novel must fight on two fronts. The first attempts to control its narrative through a system of censorship: the Iranian government has firm control of the information published within the country. This control of the ideas that enter the consciousness of the Iranian people and has implications broadly for Persian literature, and implications specifically for my current project: the translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses into the Persian language.

Systematic censorship means that the many and varied narratives of Persian literature is eclipsed by the singular narrative of the dominating group. For readers in Iran and internationally, the result is an inaccurate representation of Persian literature, and a false account of Iranian lives and their social experiences. With time, state censorship has stifled the creativity of many Persian writers.

a forbidden story makes its way into iran

A forbidden story makes its way into Iran

Article/ Interview
January 5, 2019
Peter O’Brien, The Globe and Mail

In an interview with Peter O’Brien, The Persian-language translator of Nabokov’s notorious text says she has made a carrer of resisting systems of censorship


How to fool Iranian censors

Article/ Interview
July 04, 2019
Angela Schader, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Her translations are distributed as pirated copies or on the Internet without earning a penny – but that doesn’t bother Akram Pedramnia. It even makes them happy. Because thanks to it, Iranian readers can read “Lolita” or “Tender is the night”.

Impact of Ulysses

Characters in Lolita 

July 28, 2020
Radio Zamaneh

Nabokov explained that he liked “to lure the reader this way and that and then tickle him behind the ear just to see him whirl around.” Brian Boyd

Ulysses Book Review

June 27, 2020
BBC Persian

Ulysses Book Review from BBC Persian along with a few words from Akram Pedramnia

Ulysess on Literature Ireland

Happy #Bloomsday to Literature Ireland

June 16, 2020
Literature Ireland

Image from Nogaam, publisher of the Persian edition of Ulysses, in London at the 2019 Tehran Book Fair Uncensored. Iranian-Canadian novelist and translator Akram Pedramnia translated the novel into Persian.

Ulysses Persian Translation

Reading Ulysses in Persian

June 13, 2020
Bloomsday Macedonia

Ulysses translator, Akram Pedramnia, project in @Bloomsday Macedonia FB Page

Akram Pedramnia on her desk

The Reproduction of the Social Order in Literature

May 31, 2019
Radio Zamaneh

This essay is a discussion on maintaining the domination, oppression and inequality of the marginalized groups of societies by the reproduction of the social order in literature through appropriation, ideological reproduction and cultural stereotypes.

Virginia Wolf

A Letter to Virginia Woolf

March 7, 2020
@akram_pedramnia on Instagram

Akram Pedramnia on her desk

Ulysses: From James Joyce to Akram Pedramnia

Article By Somaye Sheikhzade
Spring 2020
Barg e Honar

A Review on Akram Pedramnia’s translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses into Persian By Dr. Somye Sheikhzade University Prof. and Contemporary Literature Researcher

Lolita; From writing to translating in Persian and publishing in Afghanistan 

By Naser Ghiasi (Auther and Translator)

July 2014, BBC – Persian


Akram Pedramnia: When a work is published, it will definitely find its way to the hands of its interested readers.

Akram Pedramnia on her desk

Who is the man in the Macintosh?

Article By Akram Pedramnia

October 2019
*”Picture: courtesy of LitHub”

At the beginning of Ulysses, James Joyce wrote so much mystery in this work that intellectuals have to research and study for centuries to find out what it means. 

The “Written-Astounded” of Khazar


Article By Alireza Seifoddini

September 2022

Kafka is one of the few writers whose works can easily be started from the year of his birth. Kafka’s written works and his life have an exclusive proximity that we would encounter a written world when examining each of them.