The Reception of Ḥāfiẓ in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Persia
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The main subject of this study is the analysis of the effect of Ḥāfiẓ’s poetic language, thought, philosophy and teachings on nineteenth and twentieth-century Persian poets and writers. By placing Ḥāfiẓ in economic and sociopolitical context, the research examines and compares the work of contemporaries with that of Ḥāfiẓ. This study juxtaposes verses of selected poets of Qājār and Pahlavi Persia, and expands the examination as far back as the fourteenth century. It offers insight into the sociopolitical milieu of the home city (Shīrāz) of the poet and examines his relation with the court, kings and rulers of his time and the influence he had on them, as well as on the poets and the scholars who were contemporary to him. This research reveals many unanswered questions and examines information that has not been discussed before, such as Ḥāfiẓ’s influence on certain poets and scholars who openly denied this fact. I have made a case that Ḥāfiẓ’s poetic language is such a deep and integral part of Persian, the national language of Iran that it would be an impossible task to separate the two. The influence of Ḥāfiẓ on Persian political and cultural writings during the nineteenth and twentieth century is also discussed, taking into account the critical views of contemporary Iranian scholars such as ʿAlī Dashtī, ʿAbdul Ḥusayn Zarrinkūb, Bahāʾ al-Dīn Khurramshāhī, Muḥammad Istiʿlāmī, Manūchihr Murtaḍavī and Muḥammad Riḍā Shafīʿī-Kadkanī. The research demonstrates the reasons this fourteenth-century classical Persian poet had such a profound influence on contemporary Iranian culture and society. By providing ample comparative statements, the thesis concludes that most poets of nineteenth and twentieth-century Iran have, in one way or another, been influenced or inspired by Ḥāfiẓ.
PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies