This article explores how the Iranian poet and translator Ahmad Shamlu (1925–2000) reconceives the configuration of world poetics. Working at the intersection of global modernism and translation studies, it traces the formation of a Persian modernist poetics of solidarity on the basis of translations from so-called third-world literatures and explores how Shamlu’s political aesthetic traverses national borders to embrace ignored and marginalized poetic traditions. Rather than relying on French and other European modernisms to reinvigorate his national literature, Shamlu made available to his Iranian contemporaries a broad panorama of world literature that brought together Global Southern literatures, modernist poetics, and transnational political commitments. In tracing the literary and political forms shaped by Shamlu’s poetics of global solidarity, this article develops a post-Eurocentric framework for the study of Iranian literary modernism.
The Translational Horizons of Iranian Modernism: Ahmad Shamlu’s Canon of the Global South
Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literatures of Insurgency in the Caucasus (2016) and The Persian Prison Poem: Sovereignty and the Political Imagination (2021), and is coeditor (with Kayvan Tahmasebian) of the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism (2020). She is director of the ERC-funded project Global Literary Theory and professor of Islamic world and comparative literature at the University of Birmingham.
Kayvan Tahmasebian, Rebecca Ruth Gould; The Translational Horizons of Iranian Modernism: Ahmad Shamlu’s Canon of the Global South. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 March 2022; 68 (1): 25–52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-9668884
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