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HomeAbstracta IranicaVolume 2811. Littérature11.1. Littérature persane11.1.0. GénéralitésPersian Literary Influence on Eng...

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Hasan Javadi

Persian Literary Influence on English Literature: With Special Reference to the Nineteenth Century. Costa Mesa, Mazda Publishers, 2005, xiii + 254 p. (Bibliotheca Iranica, Literature Series, 8)

Book review by Franklin Lewis

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1This work, begun as a Cambridge dissertation under A. J. Arberry, surveys the English encounter and literary adaptation of Persia and Persian literature through the 19th century, highlighting the specifically Persianate contribution to orientalism in Europe. This 2nd edition, with new preface (first published Calcutta, Iran Society, 1983), makes the work accessible to a wider audience, and fills a needed gap by drawing together in one place information that had been scattered in several solid, but now dated works of scholarship (Conant, The Oriental Tale in England, 1908; Chew, The Crescent and the Rose, 1937; Gail, Persia and the Victorians, 1951). Javadi adds some discoveries of his owngleaned from manuscript works (Persian and English) held by the British Museum, and punctuates his narrative with judiciously chosen quotations that illustrate the style and tenor of the works under discussion. Chapter one (pp. 1-47) recovers the early image of Persia in England up to the last quarter of the 18th century, drawing upon travel narratives, Elizabethan drama, poems and scholarship. The focus of Chapter two (pp. 48-71) is the impact of William Jones and other scholars of the late 18th/early 19th century on the Romantic movement. The rediscovery of the neglected role of Dr. John Leyden (1775-1811) is a particularly important contribution to the survey (pp. 59-63). Chapters three (pp. 72-107) and four (pp. 108-36) cover the Romantic writers and poets and 19th century travelers, with a special focus on James Morier. Chapter five (pp. 137-208) considers the poetic translations and imitations of Ferdowsī, the Sufi poets, Ḫayyām, Sa‘dī and Ḥāfeẓ. A selection of black and white illustrations precedes the bibliography and index. Various individuals or aspects of this study have been treated elsewhere at greater length (D. Metlitzki on Islamica in medieval England; Sir D. Ross on Anglo-Persian interchanges; J. Yohannan on literary influences in the 20th century, and H. Johnston on James Morier), but Javadi’s excellent overview of the topic will serve as a useful reference for scholars of Persian, English, and Comparative Literature, as well as the general reader.

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Franklin Lewis. Hasan Javadi, « Persian Literary Influence on English Literature: With Special Reference to the Nineteenth Century. Costa Mesa, Mazda Publishers, 2005, xiii + 254 p. (Bibliotheca Iranica, Literature Series, 8) », Abstracta Iranica [Online], Volume 28 | 2007, document 323, Online since 18 September 2007, connection on 19 October 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/20491 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.20491

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