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Distributed for Leiden University Press

A Fire of Lilies

Perspectives on Literature and Politics in Modern Iran

A Fire of Lilies examines the role of Persian literature in the politics of the tumultuous period of Iranian history from 1950 to 2000, illustrating how intellectuals used poetry, plays, novels and short stories to comment on socio-political developments. It analyses how Persian intellectuals dealt with censorship, suppression, imprisonment, exile and even execution for the sake of expression of free speech. The book offers a strong empirical perspective, as Karimi-Hakkak has participated in the events he is writing about.
 

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Reviews

“Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of modern Persian literature, and using a contemplative and an extremely eloquent language, Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak captures the mood of different time-periods of contemporary Iranian history by analyzing a wide range of literary events – topics, personalities, encounters – which travel across a variety of disciplines. A Fire of Lilies is a significant contribution to the field of Persian studies, and it is indeed a very pleasant read.” 

M.M. Khorrami, Professor Emeritus of Persian Language and Literature, New York University

"Karimi-Hakkak’s wide-ranging  and original collection of essays is an essential reading for any student or scholar of Persian literature and culture. The author’s profound knowledge of Iran’s modernist literature and his innovative approach to rethink the relationship of literature and politics challenge some of the current assumptions and misunderstandings about this massively underexplored area of research. Through a remarkably rich examination of history, politics and literature, Karimi-Hakkak explores some of the most important yet underexplored shifting points in the history of modern Persian literature."

Fatemeh Shams, Assistant Professor of Modern Persian Literature, University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, Notes, and a Dedication
Prologue by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak
Introduction by Asghar Seyed-Gohrab – The Bleeding Pen: Literature and Politics in Modern Iran
Part One
1 – Revolutionary Posturing: Iranian Writers and the Iranian Revolution
2 – Protest and Perish: A History of the Writers’ Association of Iran
3 – Authors and Authorities: Censorship and Literary Communication in the Islamic Republic of Iran
4 – Of Hail and Hounds: The Image of the Iranian Revolution in Recent Persian Literature
Part Two
5 – A Well Amid the Waste: An Introduction to the Poetry of Ahmad Shamlu
6 – Up from the Underground: The Meaning of Exile in Gholamhossein Sa?edi’s Last Short Stories
7 – Poet of Desires Turned to Dust: In Memoriam Mehdi Akhavan Saless
8 – A Storyteller and His Times: Ali-Akbar Sa?idi-Sirjani of Iran
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments, Notes, and a Dedication
Prologue by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak
Introduction by Asghar Seyed-Gohrab – The Bleeding Pen: Literature and Politics in Modern Iran
Part One
1 – Revolutionary Posturing: Iranian Writers and the Iranian Revolution
2 – Protest and Perish: A History of the Writers’ Association of Iran
3 – Authors and Authorities: Censorship and Literary Communication in the Islamic Republic of Iran
4 – Of Hail and Hounds: The Image of the Iranian Revolution in Recent Persian Literature
Part Two
5 – A Well Amid the Waste: An Introduction to the Poetry of Ahmad Shamlu
6 – Up from the Underground: The Meaning of Exile in Gholamhossein Sa?edi’s Last Short Stories
7 – Poet of Desires Turned to Dust: In Memoriam Mehdi Akhavan Saless
8 – A Storyteller and His Times: Ali-Akbar Sa?idi-Sirjani of Iran
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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