Afghanistan in Ink: Literature Between Diaspora and Nation

Overview

Afghanistan in Ink uses a vast and largely unknown corpus of twentieth-century Afghan Dari and Pashto literature to show how Afghans have conceived of their modern history and how writers' patronage or exile has dominated the contours of that history. Drawing on an abundance of Afghan-language sources, chapters by international experts reveal a disruptive twentieth-century dynamic, in which literary globalization has caused the destabilization of the state by importing multiple,...

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Overview

Afghanistan in Ink uses a vast and largely unknown corpus of twentieth-century Afghan Dari and Pashto literature to show how Afghans have conceived of their modern history and how writers' patronage or exile has dominated the contours of that history. Drawing on an abundance of Afghan-language sources, chapters by international experts reveal a disruptive twentieth-century dynamic, in which literary globalization has caused the destabilization of the state by importing multiple, conflicting ideologies.

Afghanistan in Ink situates the twentieth century's itinerant and exiled Afghan writers within their transnational contexts and maps Afghan artistic and ideological interactions with Muslim and Western nations. The volume emphasizes the social and political dimensions of this literature and, through its extensive introduction, provides both specialists and nonspecialists with unique, "inside" perspectives on the religious, political, and cultural debates shaping modern Afghan society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Few countries have been as poorly imagined--or exposed to parochial strategists and commentators--as Afghanistan. Excavating and examining previously unknown Afghan literary texts and authors, this wonderfully timely and stimulating book radically deepens our sense of the country's history and culture."--Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia

"Afghanistan in Ink demolishes the myth that the country has remained isolated from the the currents of international cultural influences. For more than a century powerful connections to an influential intellectual diaspora have played a significant role in the development of Afghan literature and language politics--and one that continues to the present day."--Thomas Barfield, Professor of Anthropology at Boston University and author of Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

"An extremely absorbing collection of essays: not only does this book take the reader deep into the literature of Afghanistan over the last few centuries, but it explores fruitful questions about the ways in which literature and language, state-formation, ethnic identity, and history are intertwined. Highly informative and though-provoking."--Tamim Ansary, author of Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted Story of Afghanistan

Thomas Barfield

Afghanistan in Ink demolishes the myth that the country has remained isolated from the the currents of international cultural influences. For more than a century powerful connections to an influential intellectual diaspora have played a significant role in the development of Afghan literature and language politics -- and one that continues to the present day.

Pankaj Mishra

Few countries have been as poorly imagined -- or exposed to parochial strategists and commentators -- as Afghanistan. Excavating and examining previously unknown Afghan literary texts and authors, this wonderfully timely and stimulating book radically deepens our sense of the country's history and culture.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199327768
  • Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
  • Publication date: 12/15/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nile Green is professor of South Asian and Islamic history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and chair of the university's Program on Central Asia.

Nushin Arbabzadah is a research scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Introduction: Afghan Literature between Diaspora and Nation
Nile Green
2. Modernizing, Nationalizing, Internationalizing: How Mahmud
Tarzi's Hybrid Identity Transformed Afghan Literature
Nushin Arbabzadah
3. The Afghan Afterlife of Phileas Fogg: Space and Time in the
Literature of Afghan Travel Nile Green
4. Demarcating Pashto: Cross-border Pashto Literature and the
Afghan State, 1880-1930 Thomas Wide
5. Ambiguities of Orality and Literacy, Territory and Border
Crossings: Public Activism and Pashto Literature in Afghanistan,
1930-2010 James Caron
6. The Poetry and Prose of Pazhwak: A Critical Look at Traditional
Afghanistan Chaled Malekyar
7. Mastering the Ego Monster: Azhdaha-ye Khodi as an Allegory of
History Wali Ahmadi
8. Lyric Realism: Poetic Reflections of Refugee Life in Iran
Zuzanna Olszewska
9. Afghanistan and the Persian Epic Shahnama: Historical Agency and the Epic Imagination in Afghan and Afghan-American
Literature Shafiq Shamel
10. Gnomics: Proverbs, Aphorisms, Metaphors, Key Words and Epithets in Afghan Discourses of War and Instability
Margaret A. Mills

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