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Welcoming Fighani. Imitation and Poetic Individuality in the Safavid-Mughal Ghazal.

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Literature Series 5
Availability: Out of stock
Published: 1998
Page #: xiv + 398
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56859-070-9
appendix, bibliography, index

Quick Overview

Between 1475 and 1675, Persian poetry achieved an extraordinary range and popularity. In cities such as Tabriz, Herat, Isfahan, and Delhi, a lively culture flourished at all levels of urban society, from the royal court to the marketplace. To chart the development of the lyric ghazal in this little-studied period, Welcoming Fighani examines the work and artistic legacy of one of its most influential poets, Baba Fighani of Shiraz (d. 1519).
A critical study of medieval biographies traces the dramatic up-and-downs of Fighãn^'s career and critical reception, showing how he came to be regarded as the founder of two major schools of Safavid-Mughal poetry. The limitations of the biographical reading of Fighãn^'s poetry, however, call for an alternative approach to his role in literary history. This is based on the widespread practice of poetic imitation, known in Persian as javãb or istiqbãl. Studying Fighãn^'s responses to his predecessor Am^r Khusraw serves to define Fighãn^'s distinctive poetic style and voice. A comparison of his imitative methods with those of his contemporary Jãm^ shows how Fighãn^ diverged from the major tendencies of Timurid-Turkmen poetics. In their responses to Fighãn^, Safavid-Mughal poets, such as Naz^r^, Shãp¬r, and SãËib, forged fresh, individual literary voices in an act of creative imitation, demonstrating how widespread and how diverse Fighãn^'s influence was.
In addition to providing an in-depth introduction to Bãbã Fighãn^'s life, poetry, and critical reception, Welcoming Fighãn^ offers a broad overview of two of the most dynamic and neglected centuries in Persian literary history. It examines the interaction of biography and convention in the lyric ghazal. Offering a new perspective on influence and imitation in medieval literature, this study explores how innovation and poetic idividuality emerge from tradition and literary norms. Original translations of over forty complete ghazals, together with their Persian texts, enliven these discussions.

Paul E. Losensky

Paul Losensky (Associate Professor of Central Eurasian Studies; Associate Professor Comparative Literature; Adjunct Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) - received his Ph.D from University of Chicago in 1993. His current research includes classical Persian literature of the 16th and 17th centuries in Iran, India, and Central Asia and in biographical writing devoted to poets and to Sufi mystics. He's current projects are completing an annotated translation of Farid ad-Din 'Attar's Tazkerat al-Owliyä entitled The Memorial of God's Friends.

Acknowledgments
Note on Transliterations, Dates, and Translations
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 A Firm, Magical Poet and a Strange, Prodigal Lover: Baba Fighanis Life and Literary Reception in the Tazkirah Literature 17
Ch. 2 Poetry as Biography and the Modern Fighanis: Problems of Defining the Poetic Voice 56
Ch. 3 "I am the Wild Tulip": Imitation and Poetic Self-Definition 100
Ch. 4 The Spread of Poetry and the Consolidation of the Tradition in the Ninth/Fifteenth Century 134
Ch. 5 "Death Cannot Tyrannize the Lords of Poetry": Imitatio and Innovation in Safavid-Mughal Poetry 193
Ch. 6 Imitation and Three Perspectives on Fighani's Poetic Legacy 250
App. A Unpublished Biographical Notices on Baba Fighani 315
App. B Models and Imitations of Baba Fighani: a Table 325
App. C Persian Texts of Poetic Citations 343
Works Cited 366
General Index 381
Index of First Lines 390

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