• Marvellous histories: Reading the Shāhnāmah in India

    Author(s):
    Pasha Mohamad Khan (see profile)
    Date:
    2012
    Subject(s):
    Indian literature, Literature, Persian literature, Urdu literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Indian history
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/sp9b-je84
    Abstract:
    This article considers the reception and genre of the Shāhnāmah in India. It takes as its starting-point comments made by the poet Mirza Asad Allah Khan Ghalib in 1866, moving on to look at a Mughal Shāhnāmah adaptation, the Tarikh-i dil-gusha-i Shamsher-Khani, and its Urdu translations, as well as other Persian, Urdu and Arabic texts. It investigates the (mis)identification of the Shāhnāmah’s genre, looking at cases in which it was understood as historiographical rather than as a romance, and seeking an explanation for this ‘contamination’ of the sincere genre of history by the mendacious romance genre. A methodological split in the historiographical corpus is proposed, between a rationalist (‘aqli) and transmission-based (naqli) method. The contest between these two methods is considered, and the prevalence of transmission-based history and its similarity to romance is brought forward as a possible reason for the porousness of the border between these ostensibly opposing genres.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
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