Parviz Natel-Khanlari


Parviz Natel-Khanlari was born in Tehran in 1914. He graduated from the University of Tehran, earning a doctorate in Persian literature, and taught in the schools of Gilan and at the University of Tehran. In 1949 he attended the University of Paris and studied linguistics. Natel-Khanlari held some of the highest positions in the government of Persia in the 1960s and 1970s. He served as the Governor of Azerbaijan Province, as the Deputy Prime Minister, and later as the Minister of Education of Persia. He represented the province of Mazandaran in four sessions of the Persian Parliament. Director of the Shahname Foundation and the Persian Cultural Foundation, Natel-Khanlari was instrumental in the establishment and operation of the Academy of Arts and Literature of Persia, the Franklin Institute, and other similar institutions.


Natel-Khanlari's early works consist of both prose and poetry. His first essay appeared in Eghdam in 1931.This was followed by research in Persian poetics, linguistics, and the history of Persia, both before and

after the Islamic invasion. In 1932 he translated Dokhtare Sarvan from the French. The success of this work led to a series of translations of European works into Persian, including translating works of Pushkin, Rilke, Arthur A. Pope, and others.


Probably the most unique and lasting contribution of Natel-Khanlari is his editorship of Sokhan, a monthly magazine to which many major figures of Persian culture and literature of his time contributed. His editorship, which lasted, with some interruption, for 35 years (1944-1979), provided scholars in Persian studies with a most useful tool for the study of aspects of Persian culture.


A close friend of Rouhollah Khaleghi since his youth, Natel-Khanlari wrote the lyrics for some of Khaleghi’s compositions. Natel-Khanlari’s younger sister, Pari Khanlari, taught English at Khaleghi’s School of  National Music in Tehran and was instrumental in introducing the AFS international exchange program in Persia. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Natel-Khanlari was identified with the Pahlavi regime and was imprisoned for four months. The prison term exacerbated his already poor health and he died in the same year, 1991, at age 77.