facebook
Cart

WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE <---> SUMMER SALE IS GOING ON NOW! <---> CELEBRATING 38 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE IN PUBLISHING ---> SOME OF OUR TITLES ARE AVAILABLE IN IRAN. CONTACT: FARHANG MOASER, 154 DANESHGAH AVE., TEHRAN, IRAN. Tel. 66 46 5756. --->

Language and Culture in Persian

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Literature Series 7
Availability: In stock
Published: 2002
Page #: x + 249
ISBN: 1-56859-144-6
bibliography, index

 
$25.00

+ Add to Cart

Quick Overview

Language and Culture in Persian lies at the intersection of what we ordinarily associate with language learning, standard vocabulary, idiom, grammar, etc. and a set of shared assumptions about the world that we call “culture.” The book is about what readers of Persian know but rarely express. It asks the question: What understandings do readers share that enable them to comprehend skillful writing in the language? Common sense of this sort comes in two ways:

explicitly in the form of the alphabet,
morphology, syntax, punctuation, and
other obvious aspects of writing, and

implicitly in the form of a shared set of basic facts and ideas that allows readers to construct the meanings of texts.

Language and Culture in Persian is a full course in Persian Lite. It offers sophisticated insights into the language without requiring months of laborious study. The book will interest both general readers and language specialists, especially autodidacts who want to learn about the languages and cultures of the modern Middle East and Central Asia but do not have time for formal language instruction. The type of language and culture awareness the book promotes not only helps one understand the way millions of people communicate in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan, but it also fosters an awareness of basic features of Arabic, Hindi, Kashmiri, Pashto, and other languages that have either contributed to the development of modern Persian or have been influenced by it.

The book also addresses certain fallacies about the nationality of the language. Not a text of Farsi or Dari or Tojiki, Language and Culture in Persian avoids linguistic partisanship, drawing a picture of the language that retains its clarity and color wherever it is used. At the same time, it also distinguishes Persian writing from other languages that appear in the dotted, toothed, and curved calligraphic dress of “Oriental” or “Islamic” script, what most people—even, as explained in the Introduction of the book, scholars of literacy—associate with Arabic.

While never the last word on any Persian-related subject, Language and Culture in Persian raises many topics that will not lose their topicality for years and years to come. It begins sensibly with one of Persian’s most durable opening lines, the first in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh [benam-e khodavan-e jan-o-kherad], and ends with Rushdie-species and other breeds of “blasphemy” that continue to absorb almost all users of the language.

author

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."

Login or Create Account