The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies

Overview

In the context of a growing scholarly literature devoted to the topics of biography and autobiography, especially in the Arabic literary tradition, the essays in this volume explore the forms and meanings of these genres with particular reference to Persian writings, as well as to writings in Arabic and Turkish that were also composed in Persianate societies.

The authors address, among other topics, biographies and autobiographies of women; biographies of specific occupational ...

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Overview

In the context of a growing scholarly literature devoted to the topics of biography and autobiography, especially in the Arabic literary tradition, the essays in this volume explore the forms and meanings of these genres with particular reference to Persian writings, as well as to writings in Arabic and Turkish that were also composed in Persianate societies.

The authors address, among other topics, biographies and autobiographies of women; biographies of specific occupational groups, such as poets; the relation of traditional “lives of poets” to the reception of their literary works; intertextuality across biographical and autobiographical writings and across languages; and the processes involved in translating written biographies for the contemporary television screen.

Readers are invited to glimpse the lives of figures from the past and to appreciate the historical, cultural, and literary contexts that shaped their biographical and autobiographical narratives, and to reflect on the continuing significance of these narratives into the modern era.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674060661
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Ilex Series , #4
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,126,088
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Marlow is Director of Middle Eastern Studies at Wellesley College.

Stephen F. Dale is Professor Emeritus of History and Distinguished University Scholar at The Ohio State University.

Olga M. Davidson is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction L. Marlow 1

The Testing of the Shahnama in the "Life of Ferdowsi" Narratives Olga M. Davidson 11

Biography and the Image of the Medieval Historian: The Tarikh-i jahan-gosha of 'Ata-Malek Jovayni Mohammad Jafar Mahallati 21

A Glorious Past and an Outstanding Present: Writing a Collection of Biographies in Late Persianate Central Asia Maria Szuppe 41

Autobiography and Biography: The Turco-Mongol Case: Babur, Haydar Mirza, Gulbadan Begim and Jahangir Stephen Dale 89

Women's Biographies in Islamic Societies: Mirza 'Abd Allah al-Isfahani's Riyad al-'ulama Devin Stewart 106

Al-Ma' mun and 'Ali al-Rida (Emam Reza) on Iranian Television Michael Cooperson 140

Contributors 165

Index 169

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