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The Necklace of the Pleiades

24 Essays on Persian Literature, Culture and Religion

The Necklace of the Pleiades by Franklin Lewis
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The Necklace of the Pleiades is a volume on Persian literature, culture and religion by Persian scholars from around the world. This book reflects the state of the field of Persian literary studies and will be of substantial interest not only to scholars of Iranian culture, history and religions, but of Middle Eastern and South Asian studies, as well.The topics of the 24 essays range from the Persian Alexander romance, to Ferdowsi's Shahnama and other epics, the poetics and imagery of the ghazal and the qasida, Mughal court poetry, Sufism, Ismaili history, Baha'i literature, Iranian linguistics, the modern writer Sadeq Hedayat, and the reception of Salman Rushdie's novel in Persian translation.In Persian literature the Necklace of the Pleiades is a metaphor for the six or seven stars (Parvin, or Sorayyâ, high up in the constellation Taurus) which the heavens bestow, like precious pearls, upon a poet in gratitude and reward for composing a beautiful poem. The poem itself is compared to a string of pearls, with its carefully chosen words bored like unique pearls and strung in perfect metrical proportion. As Hafiz puts it:You've sung a ghazal, pierced the pearls, come and sing it sweetly, Hafiz!The heavens strew the very Necklace of the Pleiades upon your verse.
Leiden University Press; Read online
Title: The Necklace of the Pleiades
Author: Franklin Lewis; Sunil Sharma
 
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