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Iranian Studies Book Launch: The Rebellion of Forms in Modern Persian Poetry

April 26, 2024

Iranian Studies Book Launch: The Rebellion of Forms in Modern Persian Poetry

Farshad Sonboldel shines new light on the history of modern Persian poetry by re-imagining the roles that the aesthetic experimentations of alternative poets played in different phases of the literary revolution in modern Persian poetry. Dominant narratives portray modern Persian poetrv as a garadual, rational, and moderate change in the classical regime of aesthetics as well as a response to - and reflection of - cultural and socio-political changes within Iranian society. They also disregard the significance of radical experiments by alternative poets and undervalue the part they played in the initiation and progress of the so-called “literary revolution.” These mainstream narratives minimize the socio-political engagement of literary works with the direct reflection of the social reality, and thus neglect the way many alternative poems struggle with socio-political issues through deconstructing the old and constructing new aesthetic systems.

Each chapter of The Rebellion of Forms in Modern Persian Poetry is centred around poems chosen for their potential to showcase notable experiments of pioneer movements and individuals in each given period. Examining the formal and thematic aspects of these poems, this book reformulates the story of modern Persian poetry and unravels the relationship between radical aesthetic changes in the practice of poetry and resistance against political and cultural domination in society.

Farshad Sonboldel is the World History and Cultures Librarian at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD in Modern Languages from the University of St. Andrews, following a Master’s in Persian Language and Literature from the University of Tehran. In addition to his academic research and publications in English, he is an award-winning poet, literary critic, and researcher in Persian, in which he has published four books: two selections of poems, titled Metropolis (2015) and She’r-e Boland-e Sharayet (2019); Gozaresh-e Nahib-e Jonbesh-e Adabi-e Shahin (2016), a research monograph on the works of an avant-garde Persian poet of the first halt of the twentieth century; and an edited volume on current trends in the literary criticism of Persian literature, titled Naqd-e Irad. His most recent book, The Rebellion of Forms in Modern Persian Poetry, was published in 2024 by Bloomsbury Academic. Sonboldel is the editor of MELA Notes: The Journal of the Middle East Librarians› Association. He is currently a Bahari Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.