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Epic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh [Paperback]

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Item description for Epic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh by Dick Davis...

Iran's national epic, the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, has traditionally been regarded by both Persians and Westerners as a poem celebrating the central role of monarchy in Persian history. In this groundbreaking book, Dick Davis argues that the poem is far more than a patriotic chronicle of kingly deeds. Rather, it is a subtle and highly ambiguous discussion of authority, and far from being a celebration of monarchy, its most famous episodes and heroes amount to a radical critique of the institution. Davis demonstrates that the public world of kingly authority is shadowed in the poem by a series of tragic father-son relationships, and that in both the royal and familial spheres, authority figures are invariably presented as morally inferior to those whom they govern. The Shahnameh's complex aesthetic structure and its tragic resolution of problem of authority and hierarchy make it an artistic artifact able to take its rightful place beside the major masterpieces of world literature.

"Davis explores the main themes of the Shahnameh with great insight and provides some convincing answers to these questions. In doing so, he rightly emphasizes the poet's own dramatic conception of the work, thus rescuing it from the notion that it is simply a versified chronicle of the kings of Iran.... Davis discusses complex interlocking themes cogently.... The main issue emerges with great clarity and force." -Times Literary Supplement

"Davis has succeeded in bringing alive the issues and the conflicts which inform the Shahnameh in a study which will undoubtedly remain important for many years to come." -Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

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Item Specifications...

Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 14, 2006
Publisher   Mage Publishers
ISBN  1933823054  
ISBN13  9781933823058  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dick Davis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Persian lyric poet Hafiz (born Khw ja amsu d-D n Mu ammad H fez-e r z ) grew up in Shiraz. Very little is known about his life, but it is thought that he may have memorized the Qur anafter hearing his father recite passages. He became a poet at the court of Abu Ishak and also taught at a religious college. As the author of numerous ghazals expressing love, spirituality, and protest, he is one of the most celebrated of the Persian poets andand his influence can be felt to this day.
Dick Davisis a translator, a poet, and a scholar of Persian literature who has published more than twenty books. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Ohio State University. He lives in Columbus, the foremost English-speaking scholar of medieval Persian poetry now working in the West. He read English at Cambridge, lived in Iran for eight years (where he met and married his Iranian wife Afkham Darbandi), then completed a PhD in Medieval Persian Literature at the University of Manchester. He has resided for extended periods in both Greece and Italy (his translations include works from Italian), and has taught at both the University of California and at Ohio State University, where he was for nine years Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages, retiring from that position in 2012. In all, he has published more than twenty books, including the award-winning poetry collections Seeing the World and Belonging. His translations include Ferdowsi's Shahnameh: the Persian Book of Kings and Farid ud-Din Attar's The Conference of the Birds. The Times Literary Supplement has called him 'our finest translator of Persian poetry'."

Dick Davis currently resides in Columbus Indianapolis Indianap, in the state of Ohio. Dick Davis was born in 1945.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Middle Eastern > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Literary Theory

Reviews - What do customers think about Epic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh?

Sheds light on a great piece of world literature  May 11, 2000
Davis shows that Ferdowsi's Shahnameh is not just a celebratory chronicle of Persian monarchy, but an examination of the relationship and duties between ruler and ruled. My first encounter with the Shahnameh was in high school where I was informed that the story of Rostam and Sohrab indicates an Iranian penchant for treachery. A Viking romance with essentially the same story somehow does not indicate the same for Norwegians.

It is hoped that Epic & Sedition will bring more attention to this great piece of world literature or at the very least dispell some of the more extreme Orientalist analyses of the poem.


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