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Prophets of Doom.

Literature as a Socio-Political Phenomenon in Modern Iran

Availability: Out of Print
Published: 1984
Page #: xiii + 227
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 0-8191-4292-1
bibliography, index

Quick Overview

Prophets of Doom: Literature as a Socio-Political Phenomenon in Modern Iran is considered a source book for studying the literature of the Pahlavi era in Iran and has been indispensable for several generations of students of Persian literature. In seven chapters, M. R. Ghanoonparvar examines 20th-century Persian literature from a variety of literary and socio-political perspectives. With a review of the historical events and developments that brought about and influenced the social content of poetry and prose during that period, the author examines in the works of writers and poets the changes that took place in literature, which he terms a literary revolution, and explores the dual role of the literary artists as social prophets, both as pessimistic visionaries and as intellectual leaders of the community. Other chapters address the question of the writer's commitment to socio-political issues, literary experimentation with the structure and form of poetry and fiction, the didactic and at the same time escapist nature of this literature, and the issue of censorship which results in the development of ambiguity in the works of literary artists in attempts to evade the censors. The book concludes with the prophetic vision of literary artists who seemed to foresee not a better future but one of doom, which to many of them became a reality with the onset of the Islamic Revolution.

author

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 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), and "Dining at the Safavid Court" (2016). 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 "The Tales of Sabalan" and "Eagles of Hill 60," and Bahram Beyza’i’s "Memoirs of 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," Hushang Golshiri’s "Book of Jinn," Moniro Ravanipour’s "The Drowned and These Crazy Nights," and Hamid Shokat’s "Flight into Darkness: A Political Biography of Shapour Bakhtiar." He was the recipient of the 2008 Lois Roth Prize for Literary Translation. His forthcoming book is "Literary Diseases in Persian Literature," and his forthcoming translations include Hamid Shokat’s "Caught in the Crossfire: A Political Biography of Qavamossaltaneh," Ghazaleh Alizadeh’s "The House of the Edrisis and The Nights of Tehran," Ruhangiz Sharifian’s "The Last Dream" and "Doran," and Shahrnush Parsipur’s "Blue Logos."

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