An uncategorizable body of work, Amir Parsa’s literary oeuvre – written in English, French and Persian – constitutes a radical polyphonic enterprise that puts into question national, cultural and aesthetic attachments and discourses while fashioning new genres, forms and even species of literary artifacts. Listed below are the eleven published books (including Kobolierrot, Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus, Feu L’encre – Fable, Divan, Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition, Erre and the multilingual L’opéra minora), the two eselos, (Fragmen and Ifs & Co.), and the ongoing open epic (Open Epic, as rendered by the Elastic Circus of the Revolution) Portions and medleys from this work have been read and debated in galleries and museums, in streets and on rooftops, in broad daylight and in hiding, and at various festivals and curated venues, including the Queens Museum of Art, the Janos Gat Gallery, the Rio Gallery, the Engendered Festival and the Uncomun Festival in New York, and at the Printemps des Poètes, the Sorbonne and the Conciergerie in Paris. Most recently, a seven hour performative reading and writing scriptage took place in Paris during the “Paris en toutes lettres” festival while simultaneous events occurred within the “Artstroll Festival” in uptown Manhattan, prompting the critic Marc Albert Levin to dub Parsa a literary pioneer and the critic Jean Luc Favre to call Parsa’s work among the most important of the twenty-first century. He was included in the anthology of new French and Francophone poets (Ed. Huguet 2004).
Born in Tehran in 1968 and educated throughout his life in French international schools, Amir Parsa spent his childhood in Iran and immigrated to the U.S. when he was ten. Out of his multifarious experiences and his scholarly research, he has embarked on an enterprise that radically challenges our perception of the world as well as various fields of knowledge. Writing in English, French and Persian, he exposes the essence of cultural and linguistic ruptures, of wandering and divided selves, of fragments and totalities.
Each of his books interweaves various literary genres to create new ones, employs various registers of textuality and explores possibilities unique to each language. Characters are porters of multiple consciousnesses, fragmented beings attempting to apprehend the world. Universes are meticulously created, only to be dismantled or destroyed soon thereafter. Labyrinthine stories emerge through a variety of styles and tones, impacting the reader at emotional, psychological and intellectual levels, ultimately unraveling the very essence of aesthetic engagement.
While retaining their autonomy and their own typology, the various works are inscribed within a process that, overall, puts into question the concepts of a mother tongue, of national, cultural and literary attachments and belonging, and the very possibility of translations. The simultaneous publication of Mr. Parsa’s early works also unsettles the idea of a “first work”. Rather, the accent is placed on the critical operations merging within the project as a whole, and on the philosophical and political ramifications of the author’s vision.
It is a new and challenging body of work, at once dense and jubilatory, full of humor, erudition and sensibility. One where an initiating and innovative language, an unexplored field, is opened at the risk of literature itself, creating new forms, and a new poetic. Amir Parsa’s early output constitutes, in short, a radically new literary enterprise and a radically new artistic itinerary.