The Oral Background of Persian Epics: Storytelling and Poetry


This volume discusses the indirect influence of oral transmission on the genesis and evolution of the Persian written epic tradition. On the basis of formal characteristics of naqq¢li (Persian storytelling) performance, a set of formal and thematic criteria is proposed to determine the extent to which written Persian epics show structures ultimately deriving from oral performance. It is applied to the Sh¢h-n¢me of Ferdowsi (c. 1000) and to the Garsh¢sp-n¢me of Asadi (c. 1064-66). The first part of the book examines the Oral-Formulaic Theory and proposes an alternative approach focusing on naqq¢li. The book may be relevant to both oralists and Iranists; it demonstrates the complex process where orality interacts with written tradition in the genesis of the Sh¢h-n¢me.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boston
Publication year:
  • 2003


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