Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The World of Persian Literary Humanism Hardcover – October 22, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Dabashi is one of the world's most well-versed and learned scholars of Persian history and culture, and this book could only be written by someone of his intellectual stature who shows a mastery of Persian literature over a thousand years. His creative and engaging narrative carries the reader through a literary odyssey of great geographic breadth and skillful analysis. (Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, University of Pennsylvania)
This is a study of profound erudition, deep historical and literary knowledge, and professional acumen. Dabashi marshals an impressive amount of historical material blended into a wide historical narrative. (Arshin Adib-Moghaddam)
In this powerfully challenging book, Hamid Dabashi not only pays tribute to the achievements of such great Persian writers as Ferdowsi and Sa'di, who expressed a subversively humanistic vision in counterpoint to the transcendental Islamic scholasticism of the past, but he also shines his intellectual spotlight on influential occidental thinkers ranging from Kant to Said, whose humanism, whether philosophical or literary, fell short of true universality. In a masterful critique of the Eurocentrism he sees as being present, if masked, in the teaching of Comparative Literature, he rescues Persian literature from the 'overextended narratives of Orientalism and ethnic nationalism' and shows how its vibrant aesthetic and spiritual qualities find expression in the work of contemporary writers, filmmakers, and artists. This important work of cultural history has urgent contemporary relevance. (Malise Ruthven)
Elegant as well as passionate, Hamid Dabashi's scholarly writings always have a revelatory quality. Yet again he uncovers, in his new book, an astonishing new world for English readers. (Pankaj Mishra)
In this fascinating study of the metaphysical concerns of Persian literature, Dabashi presents Persian adab as a movement heretical to the ideological dispositions of Islamic empires. He traces the morality that informs the adab of the Persian language, and shows how a sustained history of a millennium and a half created an amorphous literary subconscious that remained irreducible to any religious identity. A landmark work that shall nurture all future discourse on the subject. (Musharraf Ali Farooqi)
In The World of Persian Literary Humanism, Hamid Dabashi revealed, with his usual brilliance, yet more aspects of a sophisticated culture to an Anglophone readership. (Pankaj Mishra New Statesman 2012-11-23)
Dabashi's effortless, capacious erudition is obvious all throughout. Even his offhand comments about Ferdowsi's Shahnameh or Muhammad Iqbal's Asrar-e Khodi (and dozens of other canonical Persian works) are uniformly brilliant. (Steve Donoghue Open Letters Monthly 2012-11-19)
Dabashi provides a rich and varied account of classical Persian literature. Such commanding figures as Ferdowsi, the 11th century poet of the 'Shahnameh,' or Book of Kings, one of the world's great epics, stand alongside the mystical lyrical poets Hafiz and Rumi, as well as the earthier Sa'di. It is one of Dabashi's accomplishments to demonstrate the unusual continuity of the Persian literary tradition which, despite political upheavals and stylistic revolutions--free verse is the norm in contemporary Persian poetry--remains strong even in the teeth of brutal governmental repression. (Eric Ormsby Wall Street Journal 2013-01-02)
Dabashi writes a thoughtful, comprehensive examination on how best to describe Persian literature's 1,400-year history. (W. L. Hanaway Choice 2013-04-01)
About the Author
Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Top customer reviews
Anyhow, the actual content of the book is very well written and provides a wealth of information about an important and overlooked area of scholarship. I actually purchased the book because of my own research interests regarding rhetoric and I found that there were a lot of interesting and worthwhile connections. So, if you think that you might be interested in the subject matter--I would certainly recommend it!
The eight chapters of the 327 pages book take the reader on a journey that begins about 1400 years ago and progresses chronologically from the early kingdoms of the Saffarids, the Seljuks, Tamerlane's conquest of Persia and ultimately ends at the revolution of 1979. Extra attention is focused on the Safavids who ruled throughout the 16th and 17th centuries and established Shiite Islam firmly in Persia. The book clearly demonstrates the erudition of its author about the subject matter, it is a complicated work made more opaque by the writer's penchant for academic verbosity. It is replete with obfuscating phraseology.. "By transcending transcendence he (Azim-abadi Bidel) turns his poetry into an intuition of transcendence in and of itself " and word gymnastics.. "diverse and diversifying," "deferred and differed defiance." Chapters are peppered with bizarre jargon.. "miasmatic, othered, wordling, autonormative, counterdiscourse ."
The professor then explains the term Adab, from the original Arabic, which means politeness, courtesy and social ethics but has been given further meaning by Persian authors to include literary abilities and humanism; and then goes on to explain that Adab is "a narrative institution unto itself, irreducible to any metaphysical certainty" "a literary decoy, "a counterdiscourse that opposed all other discourses of power," and on and on ad nauseaum.
As a humanist, I really wanted to like this book, hoping to visit some of medieval Muslim writers whom I had previously read in their original Arabic. But the unbalance of the writing, with some parts flowing smoothly while others almost incomprehensibly befuddled and obscured by academic-speak, caused my interest to wax and wane.
The author, a protégé of the late Edward Said, is an admitted Marxist and a strong supporter of Arab/Muslim independence movements. I found his gratuitous snipe at "western orientalism" that has "alienated and othered? Persian literature," ill placed and unnecessary in this compendium.
In summary, The World of Persian Literary Humanism is a great reference book for academics and/or for a reader willing to trudge through a thick fog of verbiage for the pleasure of contemplating the ancient yet vibrant, multifaceted, richly embroidered cultural tapestry of Persian humanism, offered by someone with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the subject.