I am from Iran. I entered the New World when I was young, a vague long time ago. My wishful dreams are springing anew as if I was a boy again. I long for a magic storm called love to overwhelm discontents and false impressions, stamp out greed, fear, and shame. I refuse to be bribed with heaven or frightened with hell.
Where is Home?
My two feet are rooted.
One foot in the East,
One foot in the West.
One in art,
One in science.
One in a fading past,
One in a shrinking future.
I fancy to bridge the separations.
Dark and light thoughts,
Happy life and happy death.
For the Curious Soul
Below, find facts about my person, intentions, actions, scholarship, and literature. I hope the information will ignite your curiosity toward my efforts. You are welcome to make inquiries or comment about them or discuss your own work via email at email@example.com. You may also find more information about me and my novels on Amazon.
Now, a third person narration of my academic work. Parvin is widely known as a polymath due to his publication in a variety of fields. He has published articles in mathematics, engineering, history, the economics of knowledge, health, education, environment, gender exploitation, political unrest and the socioeconomics of crime, the political economy of the Middle East, religious studies, and chess. He is self-taught in several fields. He was awarded the President’s Fellowship at Columbia University in New York City where he received his Ph.D. in Economics. His undergraduate degree was in Electrical Engineering. He later became a professor and taught for many years at several universities, including Columbia. (See Google and other search engines for more.)
Parvin has lectured worldwide and been interviewed on public and commercial radio and television, including an interview with Barbara Walters on NBC. He has been a founder and/or president of several international organizations including the International Society for Iranian Studies. He has served on the editorial board of various journals and has received academic and community service awards.
Parvin has published five novels, poetry, and some short stories. His last novel, Out of the Gray: A Concerto for Neurons and Synapses, was translated into Russian and published by Strata Publishing company in St. Petersburg. Out of the Gray is a dramatic story about consciousness, conscience, memory, and the biochemistry of love, happiness, and sexuality. It opens new windows for the reader and heightens her or his consciousness.
Manoucher began reading newspapers and books before he was four and has never stopped reading since, even with tired eyes. He has coined many new English words despite his Persian accent! When he cannot find an adequate word for a notion, thought or feeling, he invents one. He hopes that he is not polluting English!
Parvin does not claim full credit for whatever he has accomplished and credits fate or luck for being born gifted, fortunate for having had special parents and teachers, and for getting acquainted with the works of great minds rather early in life. He has enjoyed good health all along. Taking full advantage of his opportunities, he has tried to share his knowledge and creations through his teaching and writing. He has had his share of misfortunes too. He feels one can learn from almost anyone and anything, even from a grain of sand singing the song of the universe! Please read his forthcoming autobiographical novel called Cyrus, the Old Man, and Uncle Sam to experience a contrast of the civilizations, of East and West.
Parvin feels privileged to have founded the first Chess Magazine in Iran when he was in Alborz High School in Tehran. He can still play chess blindfolded. Some say he is a creative cook, but he says he cannot cook blindfolded!
He says, “My shortcomings outnumber my longcomings. So, I will be an ongoing project until the last breath. The world would be better off if everyone felt that way and no one felt to be a completed person during her or his lifetime.”
Parvin became politically conscious and active while in elementary school. Contrary to his parents’ advice, he wrote slogans on the walls of Tehran protesting the allied occupation of Iran during WWII—although Iran had declared neutrality. Manoucher would throw pebbles from the roof at the soldiers on the street if he had read or heard of new misdeeds. He wanted them to know they were uninvited.
Years later, he wrote a historical novel called Cry for my Revolution, Iran exposing the tragic consequences of the US violation of the UN charter in Iran. The CIA engineered a coup in 1953 toppling the legitimate and popular prime minister, Dr. M. Mossadegh, who had nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. He was falsely demonized as a communist. The deposed Shah, a despot, was put back on the throne. The CIA has committed this type of international crime in many countries. While all citizens of Iran will remember it for all time to come, most US citizens have no clue about it, even now. This case was about the British and US joint oil theft leading to the revolution of 1978 and the rise of the Islamic Republic, and the complications thereof.
The Meeting of Civilizations
In response to the demonization of Iran and Iranians in the US and too much praise about the so-called Western Civilization, Parvin wrote the novel Avicenna and I: The Journey of Spirits. There, he has exposed some of the false-truisms of Western Civilization in history and has introduced Iranian civilization for comparison.
Parvin has demonstrated that the Italian Renaissance followed by the European Renaissance and modernity were merely a continuation of the Iranian Renaissance. No one has questioned this unheard-of proposition in the West since Eurocentrism and American-centrism dominate the history books of the West. Americans are not only clueless about the contributions of Iranian culture to the world as a civilization, but are misinformed about it. False impressions induced by mindmolding, as Manoucher coins it, is not new in the West. Cyrus the Great declared Human Rights in 539 BC and went to wars with slave empires across the world to implement it! The UN has designated Oct 29th as the International Day of Cyrus—a first in history—to emphasize his incomparable contribution to the human condition and human civilization. No one in the West has received this award. The slavery and other atrocities against the human soul and body, that Parvin calls beastism, dominated the US still more than two millenniums after the incredible achievement of Cyrus.
To observe a naked false history, please compare Cyrus’ accomplishment with that of Alexander the Great who was a brilliant general but also an arsonist, a plunderer, and slave taker. Why is Alexander a popular name in the West, but not Cyrus? Columbus did not discover America, he was a slave master, thief, and murderer. America had been discovered from all sides when he arrived. Parvin is deeply interested in facts that build up to truth.
While in elementary school, Manoucher began to teach the house staff, those that were illiterate, to read, write, and do arithmetic. Later, a tutor was hired to take his place. Since his youth, he has fought for democracy, human rights, environmental protection, equality of opportunity for all, and access to health for every person. He joined civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s in the US.
He has struggled for real academic freedom, a semi-fiction in the US, especially related to the teaching and writing of social sciences and history. The absence of State control does not mean the absence of coercion by administrators and the ordinary people hypercharged by the milieu to induce self-censorship. The problem of type and extent of freedom, in general, and academic freedom, in particular, is explored in Parvin’s witty novel Alethophobia. The invented word Alethophobia means “fear of truth.”
Parvin has written against indoctrinating children with various religions, nationalism, and racism before they can think independently and demand reason and evidence for the claims. Such indoctrinations are an example of mindmolding, or even mind-molestation, practiced over geography and history. Parvin suggests that the initial teachings must be geared toward universal values like honoring truth, justice, peace, and developing empathy for life and nature. Mankind must become objective to ascend to the potential apex of humanity. Where else should mankind be heading to survive, to prosper, and to discover the origins of the existence, life, consciousness, conscience, and love?
Life, Leisure, and Dardedel
Return to the first person narration. I take care of various plants, including two little cacti named after the legendary Persian poets Rumi and Hafez. They remind me of the giant cacti with rising arms that I met in the Sonora desert. I wrote a novel in verse, Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez & Love in New York, to tell that tale. The cacti were the reincarnations of Rumi and Hafez. I am Pirooz in this novel. I had gone to the Sonora desert to die from hunger and thirst, to escape an unbearable reality. At some point, one loses hope.
We engaged in dardedel, which is a heart-to-heart talk without shame or fear of judgment and betrayal. They persuaded me to go back to New York and give life another chance, at least for one more year. Later, in human forms, the cacti visited me in New York. This novel is about the clash of East and West, truth and untruth, beauty and ugliness, modernity and tradition. It is a mixture of science, art, faith, politics, poetry, and soul.
I run and swim now that I cannot play team sports due to the fear of injury. I enjoy various forms of music, especially classical, Jazz, Persian and Indian traditional, and New Age music. I watch mostly foreign films and some theater. I play chess. I read science, philosophy, history, psychology, political economy, astronomy, and art history. I’m not computer savvy, but have delved into the science of artificial intelligence and its interaction with mind and nature. I read and compose poetry, novels, and, via the internet, watch grandmasters play chess. I watch the ocean and sky come together at sunrise and sunset. They are beautiful reminders of my temporariness.
One time, I spent a whole day in the Darwin Museum in Moscow where the co-evolutions, especially of birds, are so creatively demonstrated. All things, both inanimate and animate, are always co-evolving—ideas co-evolve. Special places can be found no matter where one journeys if one keeps her or his eyes and mind open and focused.
I have studied several languages, none of which I know well. They began deteriorating when I landed in the US more than six decades ago. When I am pressured, like starving for time, I become forgetful and confuse Persian words with English words and try to use them as I write in English! I have even tried to find them in the English dictionary to check the spelling. I look for my hat, glasses, watch, and other objects even when I am wearing them. I look for forgotten ideas in the fridge when I am hungry! These comical incidences make me laugh at myself. I induce my students and friends to laugh at me, to laugh at themselves, and at the world as it is—the universe plus our artificial world on top of it. I have problems, including the fact that I’m not a practical person!
When I was a child, I used to roll a paper into a tube and pretend it was a telescope. I did not mind people laughing at me—just as I do not mind now. I could at least focus my sight on a spot of sky, especially from the flat roof of our house near the Alborz mountains. I used to focus on the constellation Pleiades, which is called “Parvin” in Persian. I would imagine I was there, or would wish to go there.
Later, I got a telescope for amateur astronomers. It became my third eye and a companion that thwarted my sense of being alone in this world.
Below, please find me in front of a huge picture of the universe at the entrance to the gigantic Moscow Planetarium. I spent hours in that cosmological place. I drank espresso in the café called Telescope! The picture indicates where our cosmic home is located. But who are we, where are we, what is our collective intention and purpose? Do we know? Do we think about it? Do we care?
Forthcoming Novels and Poetry
Cyrus, the Old Man, and Uncle Sam
Wind Poems Love Story: Leily and Majnoon in the New World
Cosmological Accent: A Collection of Poems
Square Root of Me: A Biography
In my home in Iran, I had fallen in love with a pomegranate tree that lived in our yard.
Everyone called her Roya. In Persian, Roya means “sweet dream, fantasy,” or even “premonition.” The word is also used by people of Turkish and Arabic culture.
Though I have not seen Roya for almost sixty years, I dedicate the poem below to her. A simpler and shorter version of this poem was composed when I was in high school. It won a prize for me. Google calls a version of it “a celebrated poem of Manoucher Parvin.” Truly, I have no idea why! But it is one of my oldest poems.
Pomegranate Blossom Love
My pomegranate blossom, let me watch you, let me touch you, let me inhale your aroma to resurrect and take flight. When you are ready, let me kiss you, love you. Let nature and me, like truth and love, be your wings to ascend into a pomegranate pregnant with seeds of ruby.
Let your scent stone me to squeeze you with quivering fingers into the juice of utter delight, to quench my yen for you to soothe my loneliness, for you to calm the gushing blood in my ruffled heart.
Let us journey beyond this world. You within me and I lost in you—where, in absence of discontent, our love will thrive. Pomegranate Jaan, the thirst I feel for you is so new to me, I savor it on my blistered lips and barren sand-swept soul. But with the season ripening, I am aware that your offer is nearing and our vassal is budding. The future is ours though it is temporarily away!