Some time ago, I wrote about my wish to learn more about Ali Mirdrekvandi, whom I first heard about from Gary Westfahl, and several people got into the discussion. A few days ago, someone with a website called ShahreFarang dropped in to Bill Ectric’s Place to post this link about Mirdrekvandi from the Encyclopaedia Iranica.
The creators of ShahreFarang.com tell us, “Shahre Farang is the Iranian version of peep boxes, a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen. Shahre Farang were made of metal in the shape of an oriental castle with several holes. ShahreFarang.com is hoping to bring you visual treats. It is the brain child of two Iranian designers & culture vultures, Mehrdad Aref-Adib & Surena Parham.”
I also read that ShahraFarang translates to “chequered-world” in the Farsi language. Reminds me of a quote from Omar Khayyam, which I seem to recall was ripped-off by William S. Burroughs in one of his cut-up books, “Tis all a checker-board of nights and days/ Where destiny with men for pieces plays / Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays / And one by one back in the closet lays.”