Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics: Seven Essays
Olga M. Davison, Ph.D. 1983
This work, a collection of seven essays, centers on classical Persian poetics, primarily the epic art of Ferdowsi's Shâhnâma. It combines traditional literary approaches with new comparative methods, especially those developed by Albert B. Lord in his ethnographic fieldwork on living oral traditions and by Georges Dumézil in his linguistic analysis of thematic parallelisms between heroes of epic and gods of myth and ritual.
The comparative methods applied by the book stem largely from the field of Comparative Literature. The basic question is not only how the methods of Comparative Literature enhance our understanding of Persian literature, but also how the Persian evidence in its own right illuminates some major topics of Comparative Literature today.