Hedayat On Religion

Paul Sprachman, M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Literature Series 19
Availability: In stock
Published: 2024
Page #: xxii + 296
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1-56859-396-8
appendix, bibliography, index, notes, references


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Quick Overview

The most internationally recognized Persian fiction writer in the 20th century, Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951), was known as a secular intellectual whose controversial views on religion gained him both distractors and supporters in Iran, both during his life and even today. Hedayat on Religion explores Hedayat’s views on Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism through his short stories, novels, and plays, and includes translations of some of his most important works pertaining to those views.


Paul Sprachman

Paul Sprachman first began to understand Persian (Dari) as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English as a second language and trigonometry at Lyceé Sena’i in Ghazni, Afghanistan. He and his wife Susan served for two years in Afghanistan, and, before returning to the United States, traveled to Iran, Thailand, Burma, Singapore, Indonesia, England, and France. After studying Arabic and Persian at the University of Chicago and at the Ma’had Bourguiba in Tunis, Sprachman went to Iran to study Persian at the University of Tehran. One year later he took a position at the University of Isfahan teaching English to Iranians and Persian to non-native speakers from many parts of the world. He and Susan lived in Isfahan for three years. After leaving Iran, Sprachman worked at Columbia University as a researcher and, later, at Rutgers University where he taught Middle Eastern studies and Persian. Sprachman is the translator of a number of works from Persian to English. Among them are "Gharbzadegi" (“Plagued by the West”) by Jalal Al-e Ahmad; "Once Upon a Time" by M. A. Jamalzadeh; "A Man of Many Worlds: the Memoirs of Dr. Ghasem Ghani"; "Journey to Heading 270o" by Ahmad Dehqan; "Chess with the Doomsday Machine" and "A City under Siege: Tales of the Iran-Iraq War" by Habib Ahmadzadeh; "One Woman’s War: Da by Zahra Hoseyni"; and "Two Centuries of Silence" by Abdolhussein Zarrinkoub. Sprachman is also the author of two studies of censored Persian writing: "Suppressed Persian: an Anthology of Forbidden Literature" and "Licensed Fool: the Damnable, Foul-mouthed Obeyd-e Zakani" as well as a study of modern Persian "Language and Culture in Persian."

M. R. Ghanoonparvar

M. R. Ghanoonparvar is Professor Emeritus of Persian and Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Ghanoonparvar has also taught at the University of Isfahan, the University of Virginia, and the University of Arizona, and was a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Teachers of Persian (2021) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to presenting Persian culinary arts to the non-Iranian public from Encyclopædia Iranica (2009). He has published widely on Persian literature and culture in both English and Persian and is the author of: Prophets of Doom: Literature as a Socio-Political Phenomenon in Modern Iran (1984),In a Persian Mirror: Images of the West and Westerners in Iranian Fiction(1993), Translating the Garden (2001), Reading Chubak (2005), Persian Cuisine: Traditional, Regional and Modern Foods (2006), Iranian Film and Persian Fiction (2016), Dining at the Safavid Court (2016), and From Prophets of Doom to Chroniclers of Gloom (2021). His translations include Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s By the Pen, Sadeq Chubak’s The Patient Stone, Simin Daneshvar’s Savushun, Ahmad Kasravi’s On Islam and Shi’ism, Sadeq Hedayat’s The Myth of Creation, Nima Yushij’s The Neighbor Says: Letters of Nima Yushij and the Philosophy of Modern Persian Poetry, Davud Ghaffarzadegan’s Fortune Told in Blood, Mohammad Reza Bayrami’s TheTales of Sabalan and Eagles of Hill 60, and Bahram Beyza’i’s Memoirsof the Actor in a Supporting Role. His edited volumes include Iranian Drama: An Anthology, In Transition: Essays on Culture and Identity in Middle Eastern Societies, Gholamhoseyn Sa’edi’s Othello in Wonderland and Mirror-Polishing Storytellers, and Moniro Ravanipour’s Satan Stones and Kanizu. His most recent translations include Shahrokh Meskub’s In the Alley of the Friend and Leaving, Staying, Returning, Hushang Golshiri’s Book of Jinn, Moniro Ravanipour’s The Drowned and These Crazy Nights, Hamid Shokat’s Flight into Darkness: A Political Biography of Shapour Bakhtiar and Caught in the Crossfire: A Political Biography of Qavamossaltaneh, Ghazaleh Alizadeh’s The Nights of Tehran, Ruhangiz Sharifian’s The Last Dream and Doran, and Shahrnush Parsipur’s Blue Logos. He was the recipient of the 2008 Lois Roth Prize for Literary Translation. His forthcoming books are Swan Songs: On Diseases, Death and Dying in Persian Stories and Life Is a Fiction: A Memoir of Life and Literature. His forthcoming translations include Ghazaleh Alizadeh’s The House of the Edrisis and Two Views, Hossein Atashparvar’s From the Moon to the Well, and Reza Julai’s Jujube Blossoms.


Paul Sprachman and M. R. Ghanoonpatvar

PART ONE: Essays

Chapter 1
A Muslim Mission in a Human Zoo: Sadeq Hedayat’s Troubled Vision of Islam
Nasrin Rahimieh

Chapter 2
The Jew and Judaism in Hedayat’s Romantic
Paul Sprachman:

Chapter 3
Hedayat and Zoroastrianism
M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Chapter 4
Hedayat and Buddhism: The Blind Owl as a
Complex Text
Iraj Bashiri

PART TWO: Fiction

Chapter 5
The Caravan of Islam
Translated by M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Chapter 6
Madame Alavieh
Translated by M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Chapter 7
Fire Worshipper
Translated by M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Chapter 8
The Case of Frigid Hell and Infernal Hell
Translated by M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Chapter 9
Pearl Cannon: Chapter Two
Translated by Michael Beard and
M. Mehdi Khorrami

Chapter 10
The Pearl Cannon: Afterword
Michael Beard


Photographs from the Hedayat Family Album

Appendix A: A Brief Bio-Bibliography

Appendix B: Hedayat’s Hand-written Segment of Tup-e Morvari

Appendix C: Persian text of Karvan-e Eslam


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