This course surveys the development of Persian prose literature from the tenth to fifteenth century, with a focus on prose genres, including scientific texts (e.g., Hodud al-`alam), mirrors for princes (e.g., Qabus-nama), political theory (e.g., Siyasat-nama), sufi hagiography (e.g., Attar's Tazkerat al-owliya), mystical treatises (e.g., Kashf al-Mahjub, Kimiya-ye sa`adat, Savaneh), philosophical allegories (e.g., `Aql-e sorx), historical texts (such as Tarix-e jahangosha), and belles lettres (e.g, maqamat of Hamidi, and prose romances), and religious texts (such as Rowzat al-shohada). We will become acquainted with a variety of authors, consider the ways that Persian language itself is changing, and how genres evolve. Throughout, we will consider how intellectual history is revealed through Persian prose texts and question the traditional categories of chronological or stylistic periodization, and evaluate how (or whether?) one might best write a literary history of Persian, or a vernacular intellectual history of Islam, from the perspective of the Persian prose tradition.
This course is suitable as a third-year Persian course for students who have completed the intermediate Persian sequence.
Ident. PERS 30010