Emerson in Iran: The American Appropriation of Persian Poetry

SUNY Press
Free sample

Examines the impact of Persian poetry in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Emerson in Iran is the first full-length study of Persian influence in the work of the seminal American poet, philosopher, and translator, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Extending the current trend in transnational studies back to the figural origins of both the United States and Iran, Roger Sedarat’s insightful comparative readings of Platonism and Sufi mysticism reveal how Emerson managed to reconcile through verse two countries so seemingly different in religion and philosophy. By tracking various rhetorical strategies through a close interrogation of Emerson’s own writings on language and literary appropriation, Sedarat exposes the development of a latent but considerable translation theory in the American literary tradition. He further shows how generative Persian poetry becomes during Emerson’s nineteenth century, and how such formative effects continue to influence contemporary American poetry and verse translation.


“This is the book, on this subject, I have been waiting for. Indeed, Sedarat goes further than satisfying curiosity about familiar but undertheorized figures, texts, and traditions, he also reveals ones that I didn’t know I should know and care about. His prose is at once lucid and learned. He manages, with great tact and insight, to move from poet to poet, poem to poem, line to line, across time and tradition, so that the reader remains oriented to the idea at hand, and, moreover, capable of grasping its relevance to the project and its broader significance for our thinking about the legacy of Emerson’s writing and thought.” — David LaRocca, author of Emerson’s English Traits and the Natural History of Metaphor

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About the author

Roger Sedarat is Associate Professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York. His books include Haji as Puppet: An Orientalist Burlesque and Ghazal Games: Poems.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2019
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Pages
235
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ISBN
9781438474878
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / American / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet

A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
 
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently, Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
In his provocative, brave, and sometimes brutal first book of poems, Roger Sedarat directly addresses the possibility of political change in a nation that some in America consider part of “the axis of evil.” Iranianon his father’s side, Sedarat explores the effects of the Islamic Revolution of 1979—including censorship, execution, and pending war—on the country as well as on his understanding of his own origins. Written in a style that is as sure-footed as it is experimental, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic confronts the past and current injustices of the Iranian government while retaining a sense of respect and admiration for the country itself. Woven into this collection are the author’s vividdescriptions of the landscape as well as the people of Iran. Throughout, Sedarat exhibits a keen appreciation for the literary tradition of Iran, and inmaking it new, attempts to preserve the culture of a country he still claims as his own.

Thigh
With honesty of homemade butter,
paddle-churned cream (eshta in Arabic,
ecstasy foaming to the brim), a woman
river-bathes, sheet of oil-black hair breaking
in rapids, cut lemon scintillating
olive skin free of tree-stumped chador, skirts
within skirts, peal of her bell-body rung
muffled in Iran heat—a splash of white.
The rhythm of pumice scraping her feet,
sandbar against warm current, frothy cape
a bee-bubbled hive, honeyed trace curling
to her bare knees, thick transparent lather.
At a Tehran bazaar endless gold-stores
could never return me anywhere pure.
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