Persian Literature and Modernity recasts the history of modern literature in Iran by elucidating the bonds between the classical tradition and modernity and exploring textual, generic and discursive formations through heterodoxical investigations. This is first done through the rehabilitation of concepts embedded in tradition, including the munāzirah (debate), Ahrīman (the demonic), tajarrud (radical aloneness) and nāriz̤āyatī (discontent). Following this are broader structural and processual treatments, including the emergence of the genre of the social novel, the international dimension of Persian and Persianate canon formation, and the development of salvage ethnography and anthropological discourse in Iran.

Covering literary experiments from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries, the chapters in this volume make a case for stepping outside the bounds of orthodox literary scholarship in Iranian studies with its associated political and orientalist determinants in order to provide a more nuanced conception of literary modernity in Iran.

Offering an alternative reading of modernity in Persian literature, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars and students interested in the history of modern Iran and Persian Literature.

chapter 1|21 pages


part 231|139 pages

chapter 2|60 pages

Rival texts

Modern Persian prose fiction and the myth of the founding father

chapter 3|27 pages

Reactionary interbellum literature and the demonic in Iran

ʿAlavī and Hidāyat

chapter 4|29 pages

Linguistic realism and modernity

The ontology of the poetic from Suhrawardī to Ṣāʾib

chapter 5|21 pages

A predestined break from the past

Shi‘r-i Naw, history, and hermeneutics

part 1632|80 pages

chapter 6|20 pages

Intimating Tehran

The figure of the prostitute in Iranian popular literature, 1920s–1970s

chapter 7|28 pages

Classical Persian canons of the revolutionary press

Abū al-Qāsim Lāhūtī’s circles in Istanbul and Moscow *

chapter 8|30 pages

Pneumatics of Blackness

Nāṣir Taqvā’ī’s Bād-i Jin and modernity’s anthropological drive