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Oral Literature of Iranian Languages

Éditeur : I.B.Tauris Date & Lieu : 2010, London
Préface : Ehsan Yarshater | Philip G. Kreyenbroek Pages : 247
Traduction : ISBN : 978-1-84511-918-8
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 145x225 mm
Thème : Linguistique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Oral Literature of Iranian Languages

Oral Literature of Iranian Languages
Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic,
Persian and Tajik

In the 1990s I gradually became convinced that the time had come for a new, comprehensive, and detailed history of Persian literature, given its stature and significance as the single most important accomplishment of the Iranian peoples. Hermann Ethé’s pioneering survey of the subject, “Neupersische Litteratur” in Grundriss der iranischen Philologie II, was published in 1904 and E.G. Browne’s far more extensive A Literary History of Persia, with ample discussion of the political and cultural background of each period, appeared in four successive volumes between 1902 and 1924. The English translation of Jan Rypka’s History of Iranian Literature, written in collaboration with a number of other scholars, came out
in 1968 under his own supervision.

Iranian scholars have also made a number of significant contributions throughout the 20th century to different aspects of Persian literary history. These include B. Foruzânfar’s Sokhan va sokhanvarân (On poetry and poets, 1929–33), M.-T. Bahâr’s Sabk-Âshenâsi(Varieties of style in prose) in three volumes (1942) and a number of monographs on individual poets and writers. The truly monumental achievement of the century in this context was Dh. Safâ’s wide-ranging and meticulously researched Târikh-e adabiyyât dar Irân (History of Literature in Iran) in five volumes and eight parts (1953–79). It studies Persian poetry and prose in the context of their political, social, religious, and cultural background, from the rise of Islam to almost the middle of the 18th century...


Given the status and importance of Persian culture and literature, the need for a modern History of Persian Literature has long been felt by specialists and non-specialists alike. In the field of “elevated” Persian literature—undoubtedly one of the world’s great literary traditions—a detailed, modern History was urgently needed to introduce a modern Western readership to the literary masterpieces of the Islamic Iranian world.

Those whose views on literature are informed by traditional definitions of the concept, may regard this Companion Volume as less of a desideratum. The fact that two only partially related fields of study—on the one hand oral and popular literature in various forms of Persian, and on the other the whole range of literary traditions of the Kurds, Pashtuns, Baloch and Ossetes—are included in one volume, may at first glance seem to strengthen the impression that these subjects are of no more than marginal relevance to those interested in the literatures and civilizations of the Middle East and Central Asia.

A closer examination, however, shows both the criss-crossing web of interrelations between the “high” and “popular” literatures discussed in this volume, and their links with the classical Persian tradition, with which this History is chiefly concerned. Moreover, although the study of the subjects discussed here has long occupied a relatively marginal position within the wider field of Iranian Studies, in the context of a modern approach to Oriental Studies their relevance is now increasingly understood. Not only is the information these studies offer essential for a more realistic understanding of the countries and regions in question, but research in relatively unexplored fields of study has also had the advantage of forcing academics to explore new, modern methods of study.

Much of the information contained in the contributions to this volume is published here for the first time, and the work may confidently be expected to facilitate and stimulate future research. However, the task that faced the present contributors, viz. systematizing, describing, and contextualizing the bewildering mass of information that had so far been left unstudied, is only a first step. In order to realize the full potential of Oral and Popular Studies and the study of “minority” literatures generally, methods must be developed to enable us to interpret the material in ways that
will truly further Western society’s understanding of the workings of another culture. The principal connection linking those working in fields on the margins of mainstream Persian literature is that both the nature of their material, and the insights of other disciplines touching on their field of study, force them to seek new definitions, novel methodological approaches, and above all a new understanding of what they are essentially looking for.




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