The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies

TitleThe Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMarlow L
Series TitleIlex Foundation Series
Publisher Ilex Foundation; Center for Hellenic Studies ; Distributed by Harvard University Press
CityBoston, MA; Washington, D.C.; Cambridge, MA
ISBN Number9780674060661

This volume presents articles on the topics of biography and autobiography in a range of sources produced within Iran and the larger Persianate world. In the context of a growing scholarly literature devoted to these subjects, especially in the Arabic literary tradition, the volume presents studies that explore still neglected areas, including 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 in several languages; and the processes involved in the translation of written biographies to the contemporary television screen. Collectively these essays allow readers to glimpse the lives of figures from the past, to appreciate the historical, cultural, and literary contexts for their biographical and autobiographical narratives, and to reflect on the significance of these narratives in the present.

Table of Contents

Introduction [L. Marlow]

The Testing of the Shāhnāma in the “Life of Ferdowsī” Narratives [Olga M. Davidson]

Biography and the Image of a Medieval Historian: The Tārīkh-i-jahān-goshā of ‘Atā-Malek Jovaynī [Mohammad Jafar Mahallati]

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

Autobiography and Biography: The Turco-Mongol Case: Bābur, Haydar Mīrzā, Gulbadan Begim and Jahāngīr [Stephen Dale]

Women’s Biographies in Islamic Societies: Mīrzā ‘Abd Allāh al-Isfahānī’s Riyād al-‘ulamā’ [Devin Stewart]

Al-Ma’mūn and ‘Alī al-Ridā (Emām Reza) on Iranian Television [Michael Cooperson]