Monday, March 8, 2010
نخستین که نوک قلم شد سیاه
گرفت آفرین بر خداوند ماه
خداوند کیوان و ناهید و هور
خداوند پیل و خداوند مور
خداوند پیروزی و فرهی
خداوند تهیم و شاهنشی
خداوند جان و خداوند رای
خداوند نیکی ده و رهنمای
Afghanistan is diversed in linguistic group and so is the literature . There three major spoken language with distinct literature. Dari, Pashto and Uzbeki, Dari is Persian or Farsi dialect languages, Pashto also a group of Indo-Iranian languages, and Uzbeki is a Turkish dialect language .
Persian Literature, literature in the Modern Persian language of the Islamic era, written in Arabic script (see Persian Language). This vast literature, marked by the predominance of poetry, is not confined to the geographic limits; it was also cultivated in Turkey and northern India. Both poetic and prose traditions remained strikingly stable for a millennium. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, owing to the impact of Western culture, new trends have developed in the literature.
The pre-Islamic Persian literature, written in Old and Middle Persian between 650 bc and ad 650, includes the Gathas (divine songs), the most ancient of the sacred writings collectively named the Avesta; Middle Persian texts of Avesta; and epics to be recited at the court.
II. CLASSICAL PERIOD:
Following the Islamic conquest in the 7th century, Modern Persian gradually emerged as a literary language, incorporating an immense Arabic vocabulary and adopting Arabic script. Under the Samanids (9th-10th century) a new literary era began, and the ancient traditions of Persia merged with the culture of Islam. At the same time, in freeing Islam from an exclusive attachment to Arabic, Persian did much to universalize Islam and thus to expand and preserve it.
Persian poetry, which adopted Arabic forms, began sporadically in eastern Persia in the 9th century. Its four main genres are the epic, qasida (purpose poem), masnavi (long narrative poem), and ghazal (lyric). By the 10th century, Persian had become a mature and melodious medium—as is evident in the extant work of the versatile poet Rudaki, known as the father of Persian poetry. A few years after Rudaki's death, the Persian epic tradition, with its sources in the Avesta and Middle Persian texts, began. The first epic poet was Marvazi, who is alleged to have composed a Shah nameh (Book of Kings) in 910. This was followed by a better-known Shah nameh (975) by the 10th-century poet Daqiqi (died about 980); but the best known is that by Firdawsi, considered the great national Persian epic. Firdawsi devoted some 35 years to this monumental work of 60,000 couplets, completing it in 1010. Firdawsi's Shah nameh is a history of Persian kings from the earliest times to the death of the last Sassanid king in 651. Accounts of dynasties are followed with comments on the inevitability of change; the battle scenes are vividly depicted. Firdawsi was a superb storyteller; his characters are heroes and giants, but his language is comparatively free from hyperbole.
Very different from the epic is the qasida, a form first written by Rudaki. The majority of qasidas are panegyrics, but sometimes they are elegiac and didactic; occasionally, they deal with philosophical or biographical literature. The same rhyme is used throughout a qasida, which may be in any meter. The average length is between 60 and 100 lines, in couplets, but qasidas of more than 200 lines are not infrequent. The earliest exponents of the form, contemporaries of Firdawsi, were Unsuri (died about 1049), Asjadi, and Farrukhi, regarded as the greatest of the 400 poets alleged to have been maintained at the court of Sultan Mahmūd of Ghazna. Of the many panegyrists in the long history of Persian literature, Anvari is regarded as the foremost. An esteemed writer of philosophical qasidas is Nāser-e Khosrow (died about 1072); one of his works has been translated into English as Book of Lights (1949). Almost contemporary with Nāser-e Khosrow was Omar Khayyam, the greatest writer of the ruba'i (quatrain). He was a poet of singular originality, conveying his philosophy of life, a hedonism tempered with skepticism, through the medium of this simple, epigrammatic form.
The second half of the 13th century and the first part of the 14th are often regarded as the golden age of Persian poetry. In this period, during the Mongol invasion, lived three of Persia's greatest poets. Sa'di, Rumi, and Hafiz excelled above all in the ghazal, a passionate, sometimes mystical lyric form that, like the qasida, is composed on a single rhyme. Usually consisting of between 5 and 15 couplets, it may be written in any of a great variety of meters. The masnavi, by contrast, is a relatively long narrative poem in rhymed couplets and is a suitable vehicle for epic and romantic stories or mystical and philosophical themes. The best-known masnavis are those written by mystics. The first purported mystic masnavi was the Hadiqat al-Haqiqa (The Enclosed Garden of Truth, trans. 1911) by Sanā'i. He was followed by Attar, an exponent of the mystical doctrines of Sufism, and Rumi, whose Masnavi-ye Manavi consists of six books, containing nearly 30,000 couplets. Its basic theme is love; Rumi was chiefly concerned with problems and speculations bearing on the conduct, meaning, and purpose of life and the longing of the human soul for union with God. The Masnavi, almost every page of which moves, absorbs, and surprises the reader, is considered the most profound and the greatest work of Persian literature, perhaps of all Islamic literature. Of romantic masnavis, the best known is Khosrow o-Shirin (Khosrow and Shirin), one of five poems in the Khamseh (Quintet) of Nezami.
The period of poetic decline began as early as the 14th century. The last great classical poet was Jami, who was remarkable for the quality and the quantity of his literary work in both poetry and prose. Meantime, however, Persian poetry had been cultivated in India since the 11th century, and the romantic masnavis of the Indian poet Amir Khosrow, modeled on those of Nezami, were of high quality. In the 15th and, particularly, the 16th century, many Persian poets were attracted to the court of the great Indian moguls. The style of the Indian school, finding its way back to Persia, became the dominant model under the Safavids (16th-18th century) and was known as the Indian style (sabk-e hindi). Its greatest exponent was Sa'ib, whose poems are renowned for their imagery.
Although earlier scholars and theologians for the most part wrote their learned work in Arabic, a tradition of Persian prose also exists. One of the oldest extant pieces of Persian prose is the introduction, finished in 978, to the prose Shah nameh of Firdawsi, composed early in his career and used as the basis of his famous poem. Another is a translation, into extremely simple Persian, of the Arabic commentary on the Qur'an (Koran) by the Arabic historian Tabari, made by a group of scholars between 960 and 977. Under the Seljuks (11th-12th century), a varied prose literature of pleasing erudition flourished. The most popular genre was that of “Mirrors for Princes,” books of practical wisdom and rules of conduct. Among the early Mirrors, the Qabus-nameh, written (c. 1082) by the 11th-century ruler of Gurgan, Kaikavus ibn Iskandar, is the most attractive. In later didactic writing, the greatest prose master was Sa'di, author of the famous book of maxims (some also in verse) the Gulistan (Rose Garden, 1218).
Drama does not constitute a genre in classical Persian literature. The tazia—Shia passion plays centering on the lives of Shiite martyrs—are lacking in literary merit, but they are deeply rooted in the national consciousness. They reached a peak of popularity in the late 19th century.
III MODERN TRENDS
Toward the end of the 18th century various influences, including contact with the West, started to bring about change in Persian literature. The greatest writer of the early 19th century was Qā'im Maqām, whose well-known Mon sha'at represented a new approach to the art of letter writing. In the second half of the 19th century, the florid style characteristic of Persian prose since the 12th century began to be simplified; a change in subject matter also occurred. Works drawing attention to social and political evils in Iran were written; by the turn of the century a vigorous and lively press developed; and some pioneering serious dramas on patriotic and nationalistic themes were produced. All these activities contributed greatly to the national awakening that culminated in the constitutional revolution of 1905.
Since 1919, when the first collection of short stories in Persian appeared, it has been in this genre rather than in the novel that Persian writers have excelled; best known are M. A. Jamālzādeh, Sadiq Hidayat, Buzurq Alavi, Sadiq Chubak, and Jalal Al-e Ahmad. Hidayat, whose cynical, morbid works deeply affected the younger generation of writers, is considered one of the most significant writers of modern Iran. Since World War II, poetry has gained a new vitality. Some modern poets, following Nimā Yushij as their model, broke from tradition and experimented in blank verse. Drama in the Western sense began in the 19th century; well-known dramatists are Malkam Khan and Sa'edi, a versatile satirist.