Book Review

Lasting Contrivance

Interview with Dr. Hossein Khatibi

By Matin-Sadat Eslahi
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Lasting Contrivance is an interview with Dr. Hossein Khatibi about benefiting from the oral history research method. Dr. Khatibi is a professor of Persian Language and Literature, a contemporary writer and a poet. He was a member and vice-speaker of the National Consultative Assembly for four periods. This book describes the evolution of Persian language and literature education in universities, the activities of the Red Lion and Sun Society inside and outside the country, and the political events in the National Consultative Assembly in the 21st to 24th periods.

Hossein Khatibi Nouri was born on July 22, 1916 in Tehran and passed away on September 22, 2001 in Tehran. His father, Haj Sheikh Mohammad Ali Nouri, was the vice-principal and teacher of Maravi School in Tehran for many years, and managed the affairs of the school, students, and endowments. Khatibi Nouri completed his primary education in Soraya School, and the first program of his secondary education in the Aghdasiyeh School. Then he studied literature at Dar ul-Funun school and received his diploma. In 1934, he admitted in the field of Literature at Tehran University, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Persian Language and Literaturee and Philosophy. In 1937, when the Ph.D program in Persian Language and Literature was offered by Tehran University, he was the first students of Ph.D program in Persian Language and Literature field, along with Mohammad Moin and Zabihullah Safa and Parviz Natal Khanlari. He completed his courses in 1939. The first research on stylistics in Persian poetry and prose was done by Hossein Khatibi after Malek osh-Sho'arā Bahār. During Dr. Mossadegh's government, he was the director general of the prime minister's office. In 1963, during the 21st to 24th period of the National Consultative Assembly, he was a member and the first vice-speaker of the assembly. In 1949, Hossein Khatibi Nouri became the managing director of the Red Lion and Sun Society.

Lasting Contrivance (an oral history interview with Dr. Hossein Khatibi), written by Peimneh Salehi in 276 pages, was published by the National Library and Archives of Iran in 2021. The design on the cover is a photo of the narrator, and the editor was Ms. Arzoo Tajali. This book begins with the author's introduction about the research background.

The first chapter is about his family and education; the second chapter covers the library of the law school and Dehkhoda’s dictionary; the third chapter deals with the background of the Red Cross and the Red Lion and Sun Society; the fourth chapter is about the hospitals and centers of the Red Lion and Sun Society; and the fifth chapter describes the Imperial Organization of Social Services and the National Consultative Assembly. At the end of the book, in the appendix, the scientific and research activities of Dr. Khatibi were mentioned; and his books and articles have been arranged in alphabetical order of title. Dr. Hossein Khatibi passed away before the publication of his book and his wife, Ms. Ezzat Kashani, agreed to publish it. The contents of this book include: The history of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran; The features of Tehran during the period of Reza Shah; An explanation about the ‘Contemporary Literary Elites’ course offered by Tehran University; The referring to the process of activities of institutions such as Academy of Iran; The Institute of Preaching and Sermon; The official Gazette, The history of International Committee and Union of the Red Cross; Introduction to Red Lion and Sun Society and the first actions in this society; The endowments of some donors; An explanation about the active parties in the 21st to 24th parliaments; and How the capitulation bill in the parliament was approved and the margins around it.

In compiling and preparing the memories of Dr. Hossein Khatibi, the following points have been observed: The order and historical sequence of the narrator's activities have been considered in chaptering; The whole interview was used and nothing has been omitted; Similar material in terms of content, which was occasionally recorded in multiple sessions, has been included in one chapter; The expressions inside brackets have been added by the editor to help better understand the content. The expressions in angle brackets are explanations given by the interviewee. The text of book has been documented and illustrated. To learn more about the people, places, events, books, articles, research projects and historical events mentioned in the interview, certain explanations were given in the footnote. The references used by the editor were listed in alphabetical order in the ‘References’ at the end of the book. The editor's method in citations in the introduction, chapters of the book, and preparation of the References, is based on the APA system. The word "Sakma" under the documents in the chapter of Selected Photos and Documents, is the Persian abbreviation of the National Library and Archives of Iran.



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