Erotic Persian

Sprachman, Paul. 2020. Erotic Persian (Bibliotheca Iranica: Literature Series 15). Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers.

According to the content description (see below), this book contains a facsimile of "Alfiyeh va Shalfiyeh".

This book is a general survey of language and images that arouse sexual desire. The book begins by examining the works of the great Persian poets and prose authors who avoid direct mention of bodily functions and use imagery borrowed from nature and food when describing the charms of lovers and human sexual activity. The examination shows how erotic imagery, at one time innovative, hardened into clichés over centuries of repeated use. The book’s focus on the semantics of allusive Persian also leads to a general notion of what makes one poem or piece of prose sexually stimulating and another inspirational. Here “Erotic Persian” joins an ongoing controversy: namely, to what extent are some of the works of great Sufi authors like Rumi, Sa`di, Hafez, etc. erotic? Dealing with both the pleasures of the flesh and the spirit? The book asks: Can certain works be at once carnal and spiritual? The prevailing view frowns on such interpretations, insisting great authors never wrote solely to arouse readers’ desires. If erotic material found its way into the canon, many assert, it was there merely to divert the reader’s or listener’s attention away from the everyday and direct it toward spiritual truths.


Table of Transliteration.
Chapter 01: The Eroticism of Obsessive Piety and Transgressive Impiety.
Chapter 02: Classical Eroticism.
Chapter 03: Alfiyeh va Shalfiyeh: Pornography in Aid of Sexual Dysfunction and
Sex Education.
Chapter 04: Erotic Literature in the Modern Period.
Chapter 05: Erotic Persian in Exile.
Chapter 06: In Closing.
Alfiyeh va Shalfiyeh, The Facsimile.