Indiana University Bloomington
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Persian Literature in Translation



This course carries Culture Studies & A & H Distribution credit

For most of us, modem Iran calls to mind only hostages, terrorism, and gun-toting clerics. But behind the headlines, there is a highly literate people with a cultural history going back many centuries. Their struggle to come to grips with Western economic and cultural influence and to forge a modem identity is most fully expressed through a variety of new literary forms and the emerging medium of film. In this course, we will look at some of the major voices and themes of twentieth-century Persian literature, including short stories, novellas, poetry, and film. Through brief lectures and long discussions, we will explore how modem Iranian writers use imagery, character, and plot to give voice to the rapidly and sometimes violently changing society in which they live. Among the topics we will consider are: the impact of the West, the tension between tradition and modernity, the search for narrative voices, the changing roles of women, the "engaged" writing of the 60's and 70's, village versus city, and writing since the Islamic revolution.

Regions Covered



Department of Central Eurasian Studies