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There There!

“There There”, a beautifully written novel and incredible storytelling by Tommy Orange. I sometimes read e-samples before buying a book. This one’s caught my attention immediately and read it to the end. I got off the plane and almost went to Dussmann shortly before midnight to buy the book. Luckily they had an open Sunday the next day. I look forward to reading more by @thommyorange.

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Japanese cat writing

I love cats, but am not crazy about them and certainly not a cat vs dog person. I like cats a reasonable amount. A while ago, however, I stumbled upon Junichiro Tanizaki’s cat story, read it out of curiosity and absolutely loved it. Months later, I caught myself remembering it as a B&W film, so lucid and expressive is its language and storytelling.

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Honeymoon in Tehran

I receive a number of search hits from people who look for my name in connection with Azadeh Moaveni and her book Honeymoon in Tehran.  I also receive occasional questions. While it is true that my name is mentioned in that book, I wish to distance myself from Azadeh Moaveni and her book Honeymoon in Tehran. Those who know me more closely know that I never read that book with the exception of two paragraphs in the pre-publication phase.

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Year 2016 in numbers

Bibliographia Iranica started in May 2015. Although I had received positive feedback about my bibliographic posts on my own blog, it was unclear how well a dedicated bibliographic website for Iranian Studies would be received. I am glad to say that the academic as well as the general reception of our collective effort here at Bibliographia Iranica has been very positive and encouraging. And we know that our user base continues to grow. And so, before the new year advances too far and becomes old news, we should review the statistics for the past year.

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A safe haven for Syrians

30 people within Cambridge, and another 40 in the surrounding areas have pledged to house refugees. This is just within the last few days and to just one organisation. Another 5,495 have volunteered within the UK to help once the refugees arrive. Please help to increase these numbers. Pledge your support here:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uk_refugees_volunteer_thank_you_3/

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“Thinking of going to Calais?”

If you are planning to go to Calais as a volunteer, please read this piece by Alison Playford.

Thinking of going to Calais? I’ve just got back and would like to share some thoughts with you.

It appears that a large wave of European citizens are in the process of taking ‘aid’ to Calais and other areas in Europe where migrants and refugees are camped or travelling.

People in the UK and across Europe who are distressed to see pictures of drowned children want to help. I am glad to see this response, but would like to add a few points to the debate, as I think that we are in danger of perpetuating the problem by framing the situation through the political lens of those who created it.

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Panini, Sanskrit and software development

BBC Radio 4 is currently exploring aspects of Indian history based on biographies of 50 important Indian historical figures: Incarnations: India in 50 Lives. Yesterday’s programme happened to be on the Indian grammarian Panini, whose grammar—according to this programme—played a pivotal role in making Sanskrit the lingua franca of South Asia for more than a millennium.

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A new bibliographic blog!

As was planned, I have now moved this blog to a new location at Bibliographia Iranica. While purpose and scope remain largely the same, the new blog will be maintained by Sajad Amiri, Shervin Farridnejad, Yazdan Safaee and myself (Arash Zeini). I hope that we will be able to post more frequently on the new blog. On Facebook, the posts will be available on a dedicated page called Bibliographia Iranica. A Twitter account and Google+ page are forthcoming. Please do send us information about events and publications that you would like to see on the blog.

Thank you very much to all friends and colleagues who liked the idea of this bibliographic blog, encouraging me to widen its scope. And many thanks to Sajad, Shervin and Yazdan for agreeing to collaborate on the new site.

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Getting to know Sogdian: Major epigraphy

Adam Benkato’s much anticipated second part of his excellent introduction to Sogdian is now online. In this part he talks about Sogdian epigraphy.

Read the second part of the introduction here.

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Getting to know Sogdian

When I started this bibliographic blog my main goal was to keep things simple, hoping that a modest and well-defined goal would allow me to update the site on a regular basis. I am very excited that with the help of my SOAS colleague and friend, Adam Benkato, we now take a first step towards hosting original content. Adam has written a very useful introduction to Sogdian, of which I post the first part today. The goal of this and hopefully forthcoming introductions is to offer brief and somewhat informal overviews. We hope that scholars from neighbouring disciplines and non-specialists will find them useful.

Read the first part of the introduction here.