TL;DR: Yamamoto and Yamamoto discuss how oral tradition inter-connects with Middle Eastern literature and present a Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures (BSIL).
Abstract: KUMIKO YAMAMOTO Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures, 26. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2003. xxiv + 191 pp. ISBN 90 04 12587 6 The central argument of this book concerns how oral tradition intera...
01 Jan 2019
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors trace the musical constitution of moral, economic, material, and social relations between rural communities and the state in the Sultanate of Oman and argue that communities embedded within the authoritarian state hegemony of the country form and affirm social relations with the state through its embodied proxy, via the reciprocal exchange of state-directed giving and praise poetry responses.
Abstract: Poems to Open Palms: Praise Performance and the State in the Sultanate of Oman by Bradford J. Garvey Advisor: Jane C. Sugarman This dissertation traces the musical constitution of moral, economic, material, and social relations between rural communities and the state in the Sultanate of Oman. I argue that communities embedded within the authoritarian state hegemony of the Sultanate form and affirm social relations with the state through its embodied proxy, Sultan Qābūs bin Ṣa‘īd Āl Bū Ṣa‘īd, via the reciprocal exchange of state-directed giving and praise poetry responses. The circuit of exchange catalyzes the social production of political legitimacy and ensures continued generous distribution by mythopoetically presenting such cyclicity as resulting from elite and non-elite mutuality. This praise poetry is rendered within two song and dance complexes: al-razḥa, a collective war dance with drumming and antiphonal choral singing, and al-‘āzī, a choral ode with a solo singer, tight poetic structure, and a chorus of responders. Through a close analysis of the content and context of praise poems sung by Arab men’s performance troupes experienced over a year of participant observation fieldwork, I argue that praise poetry is an overlooked site for the construction and negotiation of state political legitimacy. Drawing on heterodox and Gramscian political economy, I show how musical performance operates within broader circuits of exchange by functioning as a site wherein non-market economic logics are fused with moral, performative, and political norms. Instead of simply tracing a circuit of utilitarian exchange (praise for gifts for praise), I focus on the how gifts and their responses reciprocally negotiate social relations between state elites and non-elites. By focusing on the words and actions of nonelites as they integrate the various proffered benefits of a distributive state into their own
17 Apr 2018
TL;DR: In this article, Hameen-Anttila analyzed the lost sixth-century history of the Sasanians, its lost Arabic translations, and the sources of Firdawsi's Shāhnāme.
Abstract: In Khwadāynāmag. The Middle Persian Book of Kings Jaakko Hameen-Anttila analyses the lost sixth-century historiographical work of the Sasanians, its lost Arabic translations, and the sources of Firdawsī's Shāhnāme .
02 Aug 2013
Abstract: Based on a broad survey of the reception of Firdausī‘s Shāhnāma in medieval times, this dissertation argues that Firdausī‘s oeuvre was primarily perceived as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly élites. The medieval reception of the Shāhnāma is clearly manifested in the comments of medieval authors about Firdausī and his work, and in their use of the Shāhnāma in the composition of their own works. The production of ikhtiyārāt-i Shāhnāmas (selections from the Shāhnāma) in medieval times and the remarkable attention of the authors of mirrors for princes to Firdausī‘s opus are particularly illuminating in this regard. The survey is complemented by a close textual reading of the Ardashīr cycle in the Shāhnāma in comparison with other medieval historical accounts about Ardashīr, in order to illustrate how history in the Shāhnāma is reduced to only a framework for the presentation of ideas and ideals of kingship. Based on ancient Persian beliefs regarding the ideal state of the world, I argue that Ardashīr in the Shāhnāma is represented as a Saviour of the world. Within this context, I offer new interpretations of the symbolic tale of Ardashīr‘s fight against a giant worm, and explain why the idea of the union of kingship and religion, a major topic in almost all medieval Persian mirrors for princes, has often been attributed to Ardashīr. Finally, I compare iii the Ardashīr cycle in the Shāhnāma with nine medieval Persian mirrors for princes to demonstrate that the ethico-political concepts contained in them, as well as the portrayal of Ardashīr, remain more or less the same in all these works. Study of the Shāhnāma as a mirror for princes, as this study shows, not only reveals the meaning of its symbolic tales, but also sheds light on the pre-Islamic roots of some of the ethicopolitical concepts presented in the medieval Perso-Islamic literature of wisdom and advice for kings and courtiers.
TL;DR: The special issue of the journal of Iranian Studies as discussed by the authors takes its theme from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh seen as a work of world literature, a term (Weltliteratur) which has earlier exponents.
Abstract: This special issue of the journal of Iranian Studies takes its theme from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh 1 seen as a work of world literature—a term (Weltliteratur) which, though it has earlier exponents,2 h...
01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: In this article, a collection of essays from scholars from various areas of Iranian and comparative studies, among which are the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition with its wide network of influences in late antique Mesopotamia, notably among the Jewish milieu; classical Persian literature in its manifold genres; medieval Persian history; oral history; folklore and more.
Abstract: The volume demonstrates the cultural centrality of the oral tradition for Iranian studies. It contains contributions from scholars from various areas of Iranian and comparative studies, among which are the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition with its wide network of influences in late antique Mesopotamia, notably among the Jewish milieu; classical Persian literature in its manifold genres; medieval Persian history; oral history; folklore and more. The essays in this collection embrace both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, both verbal and visual media, as well as various language communities (Middle Persian, Persian, Tajik, Dari) and geographical spaces (Greater Iran in pre-Islamic and Islamic medieval periods; Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan of modern times). Taken as a whole, the essays reveal the unique blending of oral and literate poetics in the texts or visual artefacts each author focuses upon, conceptualizing their interrelationship and function.