Compared with numerous critical studies in Central Asian history, politics and society published during recent years, modern languages and literary traditions of Central Asia have received less scholarly attention in the West. If we consider specifically the Iranian world, especially in the modern period, it must be admitted that the linguistics and literature of Central Asia, compared to the linguistics and literature of Iran, remain in need of more investigation.
This collection sheds light on various issues of the Iranian linguistic and literary arena “outside of Iran”, offering a variety of twelve original contributions by both leading scholars and new names in the international academic setting. The regions of Afghanistan, Badakhshan, and Transoxania, important centers of Iranian languages and literatures, are here brought back into their broader Iranian context, for the benefit of modern Iranian studies.
The present volume is a collection of seven epic poems, including Bīzhan Nāmeh, Kuk Kūhzād Nāmeh, Dāstān-e Babr-e Bayān, Dāstān-e Patyāreh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Kūtāh, Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Boland, and Razm Nāmeh-ye Shakāvandkūh.
No biographical data have survived on the composers of the above poems in literary or historical sources. The late Zabihullah Safa and Jalal Khaleghi attribute the Kuk Kūhzād Nāmeh, Dāstān-e Babr-e Bayān, Dāstān-e Patyāreh and Razm Nāmeh-ye Shakāvandkūh to the 5th/6th centuries Hijrī. The Bīzhan Nāmeh was composed by ‘Atā’ī, who most probably lived in 10th century Hijrī. Linguistic features indicate that the Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Kūtāh and Tahmīneh Nāmeh-ye Boland could have not been composed earlier than the 9th/10th centuries Hijrī.
A Persian report on this volume is available here.
This work examines the entire corpus of the Sistani Cycle of Epics, both parts included in Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and those appearing in separate manuscripts. It argues that the so-called “epic literature” of Iran constitutes a kind of historiography, encapsulating reflections of watershed events of Iran’s antiquity.
By examining the symbiotic relationship of the texts’ content and form, the underpinning discourse of the various stories is revealed to have been shaped by polemics of political legitimacy and religious conflict. This discourse, however, is not abstract. The stories narrate, within their generic constraint, some of the affairs of the Sistani kingdom and its relationship to the Parthian throne, mainly from the first century BCE to the end of the second century CE.
About the Author: Saghi Gazerani received her doctorate in History from Ohio State University in 2007, and has been since researching and publishing on various aspects of medieval Persian literary and historical genres.
The volume demonstrates the cultural centrality of the oral tradition for Iranian studies. It contains contributions from scholars from various areas of Iranian and comparative studies, among which are the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition with its wide network of influences in late antique Mesopotamia, notably among the Jewish milieu; classical Persian literature in its manifold genres; medieval Persian history; oral history; folklore and more. The essays in this collection embrace both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, both verbal and visual media, as well as various language communities (Middle Persian, Persian, Tajik, Dari) and geographical spaces (Greater Iran in pre-Islamic and Islamic medieval periods; Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan of modern times). Taken as a whole, the essays reveal the unique blending of oral and literate poetics in the texts or visual artefacts each author focuses upon, conceptualizing their interrelationship and function.
Critical approaches to the study of topics related to Persian literature and Iranian culture have evolved in recent decades. The essays included in this volume collectively demonstrate the most recent creative approaches to the study of the Persian language, literature, and culture, and the way these methodologies have progressed academic debate.
[…] In dealing with these seminal subjects, contributors acknowledge and contemplate the works of Ahmad Karimi Hakkak and other pioneering critics, analysing how these works have influenced the field of literary and cultural studies.