November 20, 2017 - Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles hosted on November 16, 2017 the presentation of the English translation of the renowned Azerbaijani writer Mir Jalal’s selected short stories. Published by ADA University in Baku this year, this was the first presentation of the book in the United States.
The event was attended by foreign diplomats, members of various communities, faith leaders, journalists, representatives of think tanks, cultural and literary organizations, and others.
Opening the event, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev informed the attendees about the life, literary works and pedagogical activity of Mir Jalal. Speaking of Mir Jalal’s literary legacy, Aghayev mentioned that Mir Jalal is remembered for his originality, for the depth of his vision, humanity, for his pungent sense of humor and memorable characters that he created. Highlighting Mir Jalal’s tremendous contributions to the development of Azerbaijani literature, scolarship and education, the Consul General stressed that Mir Jalal will always live in the hearts and minds of Azerbaijani people.
Then a video clip prepared by the Consulate General and dedicated to Mir Jalal was screened. Afterwards the floor was given to Betty Blair, the editor of the aforementioned English translation of the writer’s selected short stories. Informing the audience about the history of the book, Betty Blair stressed that Mir Jalal’s short stories poked fun at Soviet bureaucracy which had established itself in his country in 1920 when he was a mere boy of 12 years old. Mir Jalal’s glimpses of everyday life are entertaining, informative and, on occasion, hilariously exaggerated, but they document the psychological transformation of the Soviet society that for generations was rewarded for denying common sense and for stifling personal intuition and initiative.
Following the remarks, Los Angeles-based American actors Marc Jacobson, Cristina Gerla and Chris Aguila performed three short stories from the presented book, namely “Anket Anketov”, “Dried Up in Meetings” and “The Shade of the Willow Tree”. Their phoneomenal performance was received with many applauses and ovations by the entire audience.
After the performance, young members of the Azerbaijani community – violinist Elvina Gurbanova and vocalist Nail Gurbanov performed Azerbaijani and European classical music, which had a very warm reception by all attendees of the event.