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The Jokeman Hardcover – Import, 1962
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Iranians are an individualistic, gregarious people who communicate in a very different way than we in the West. The protagonist Archie Bleeker is like many young American intellectuals of the 1960s: anti-materialistic, unwilling to play career games, and a practitioner of brutal honesty. For an Iranian such honesty is vulgar and falsely assumes that truth can be neatly packaged.
We know through experience and academic studies that whereas wealth does not bring happiness, poverty can take it away. Archie sees what wealth cannot give. His students see what poverty cannot give. When he speaks of his background and his goals, they think he is joking.