Hamid Dabashi's "The World of Persian Literary Humanism"

Harvard University Press (2012)

Book Description: What does it mean to be human? Humanism has mostly considered this question from a Western perspective. Through a detailed examination of a vast literary tradition, Hamid Dabashi asks that question anew, from a non-European point of view. The answers are fresh, provocative, and deeply transformative. This groundbreaking study of Persian humanism presents the unfolding of a tradition as the creative and subversive subconscious of Islamic civilization >>>


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iraj khan

It took 2 clicks

by iraj khan on

and I was reading the introduction. It's Mr Dabashi's take on Iranian Humanism. 

It's a book written from an Iranian perspective for the benefit of the non Iranians such as Americans. The book itself has a beautiful cover, a Persian miniature painting.

The author starts by sharing his memories of Ahvaz and Karun river. It reminds me of Ahvaz before the Iraq war and Ahvaz during the war. Mr Dabashi compares the world of the Persian Literary Humanism to Karun, always moving and flowing. He is talking about the last 14 centuries, after the Arab invasion. The first chapter of the book starts with the great Iranian poet, Sa'adi Shirazi. 

Instead of attacking and humiliating our thinkers and writers, we need to encourage all Iranians to write their own versions of our cultural heritage that may include our history, poetry, painting, literature and humansim.

As the chinese proverb puts it: 'Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom' 

Anonymous Observer

So, "Palestinian cinema" didn't pay off?

by Anonymous Observer on

He's an expert on Persian litertaure now?!!!  I actually had a talk recently with someone who knows this creature, Dabashi, and we talked about how this guy is all over everything.  My friend's response: "this guy thinks he knows everything there is about every single issue and subject."  

Oh, he also runs "Havar," a seemingly "green" organization whose sole mission seems to be mixing Iranian issues with Palestinian issues.   



by masoudA on

You are wrong buddy -

First of all he has no business to write anything about Persian psyche or Literature........he does not have the background.    But more importantly, as recent as 2010, Dabashi tried to derail a grassroots movement and establish a leadership/representation for the Iranian Green movement oustide Iran.  

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Yes, Dabashi has been an IRI apologist and a leftie, so what?

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

I have read his books and know of his point of view, which is the same as many ex-commies.

To the eyes of a devote Shiite, everyone else is a filthy sinner.

To the eyes of a commie, everyone else is a filthy exploiter.

To the eyes of a monarchist, everyone else is a traitor.

But here, the guy is talking about Persian Humane literature. So give all of us a break. Again, we need to understand what is important and what is not.

Let's concentrate on common issues and common grounds, instead of tormenting our fellow Iranians with harsh and insulting attacks.


Beware, the Grand Inquisitor: "The Silly Moose" has Spoken!

by Zendanian on

Or is it  that Silly  Goose?

I'm still not sure why your parents  allow you to spend so much time on the internet.

And why is it when my comments fit your narrow sectarian purpose it's all good and dandy (see below):


Pure racism by vildemose on

zendanian: Good job of peeling away at the right-wing religious racist veneer of fake anti-war brigad.

But when the truth is written about how mullahs and monarchists are two sides of the same coin, all of a sudden we're not BFF anymore?

And exactly what is the difference between Ayat Shaytan Khomeini who hadn't read a page of Salman Rushdie's book but gave a death sentence against him, and all of you monarchists (both closet type and out-in-the-open-type) who haven't read a word of Hamid's book but KNOW what's written in it?

Anyone with the slightest integrity and decencey would see monarchists and mullahs are "birds of the same feather."


BTW, as I enlightened and informed you, again, yesterday:

the writer you keep quoting every single day in your avatar, namely Ms. Simone De Beauvoir,
was a big Marxist herself, married to a very big time Mraxist, had met repeatedly with Cuban leaders and was also a big time fan of Socialist Cuba. You had promised to delete it. But I reckon the infantile character is just incapable of any consistency. Do try to grow up. Cheers


There's no substantial difference between monarchists fascist

by Zendanian on

Thugs, and ruling fascists mullah thugs in Tehran. 

One might ask why?

They both have ZERO TOLERANCE for any opposition.

They both believe in monopoly of political power.

They both think of Iranian people as mere instruments for their benefit.

Monarchist fascist thugs support starving of Iranian people to death, through sanctions, mullah thugs create the conditions for implementation of such sanctions.

And we all know how both monarchists thugs and mullah thugs feel about war. War is the only path both of these bankrupt traditions see their survival.

I could continue examinig the parallels between these two criminal groups (monarchist theiving murderers and mullah theiving murderers) but at the momnet real tasks in the real world need my immediate attention. So I shall continue this comparison shortly after I'm done with those urgent tasks.

I leave you with this final observation: They both don't need to read a page from a book, if they deem the writer is opposed to their point of view. Ayat Shaytan Khomeini condemned Rushdie to death without reading a page of his book.

Our "beloved" monarchist Ayatollahs and Grand Inquisitors condemn Hamid without having read a single page from him.

Just how much more similar could they get? Cheers.




 Dear Amir: You comment

by vildemose on

 Dear Amir: Your comment was more than fair. You exposed the hypocrisy of the komoleh and Castro-loving entity. For the longest time, in the spirit of inclusiveness, I stayed quiet and did not confront his diatribe against the monarchists but I finally had to take a stand to someone whose vision of utopia is Cuba and who prefers Stalin over our organic Iranian legacy/culture of 2500 years of monarchy. 


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Trita Parsi, Soosan, Iraj, Zendanian,....

by masoudA on

and other subliminal IR supporters.... Khejalat bekeshin, sharm keh nemikonin.... keep attacking monarchists, supporting Palestine,.....


This has been going on everyday for 34 years.   

Toilet Paper feels as he won the election.....TP is now telling Obama to jump and make a deal with IR!!  - of-course no surprise there...






Obama just won

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

saw romneys acceptance speech.



Soosan Khanoom so your point is

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

You hope to see a change from within, and away from ignorance towards wisdom, well me too.  Not necessarily that you oppose the persian shah-han-shahi culture of Iran, if it were to be in harmony with democracy.  And war is really the worst thing that could happen in the world and I don't even believe it is part of the US motive and agenda, so i don't spend any energy on opposing it, i can't see it in their plans.  I like you support Peaceful change from within by the people living in iran, but I see this as a double edged sword because the USA is heartlessly and shamelessly using this to support mek and anti-iran-sepratists.  The USA wants a system with nothing but illiterate people bowing down, that is not the shah-han-shahi.

Soosan Khanoom

Masud U R funny !

by Soosan Khanoom on

lol ... 

Soosan Khanoom

Amir Jan,

by Soosan Khanoom on

Shah had mullas in darbar who never hesitated to bow down to him.  I just used that word but did not mean for it to be misunderstood as something religious or whatever you are saying here. That was certainly not my intention.  This is not about the religion issue. Besides, which religion issue ?... while in Iran today instead of Shah same morons are bowing down to their Valieh fagih .. same thing .. same mentality...  so please do not mix things up...  

I do , however, appreciate your civil way of discussing things.  You and Dariush at least have some class and know how to conduct a civil discussion.  So thank you for that.    

As you said we are entitled to our opinion. I have always stated here on this site that we each have one vote and we should agree to disagree.  I personally think the era of shah is over and the era of Valieh fagih is going to be over soon...  Hoping a secular democracy for Iran the one that comes from within and based on the will of people rather than the bomb bomb campaign of Israel worshipers on this site, which, by the way, I know you also agree with me on this one. I do not believe that you support war. 





Please be a little quite!

by masoud5 on

You guys are making so much noise here we can hear you in other blogs.


Soosan Khanoom, that is fine I believe Zendanian is

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

entitled to his views and to express them and so are you and so am I.  However he says he wants everyone to respect one anothers views and that he respects their right to have a view, yet he hypocritically talks to a person who has expressed a legitimate view he opposes as a less than etc.  its boring too, in its predictability of the darn hypocrissy, so I feel My comment was a fair comment, an honest comment and really was pointed at the source of injustice and inequality the late shahs team did everything to fight against.  Though I also agree with you Zendani is not without sometimes some good insights, I think he's behaving confusingly.  And i agree even with ts9 I take freedom of expression seriously and am the first person in the room to stick it to any person, roylist/monarchist or not when they abuse it.  My View, for me personally, when i see how the late shah was for iran in reality not perception, in comparison to all the other leaders in the world from then to today in particular to the ones I study and see the most in the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, the uk even, I don't see their systems involving people even close to the calibre the shah was getting involved in his government in their governments, all factors considered, for me they are not even 20% as good.  Iran didn't go from 104th to 9th largest economy in the world out of the blue due to oil alone, infact that was part of its curse, look at all the others nigeria etc 

On a personal note I feel most human beings posses imperfections the shah had some too to various degrees because he was a human, yet for me the public had the wrong impression of the late shah and perceiving him as heartless and that was the biggest error/imperfection of character to make, bigger than any of the shahs errors.  The late shah had high sensitivity and elevated Iranians using his feelings.  His generosity, his honesty, his straightforwardness, his reliability, as well as his slow, heartfelt and deep mental process were far above what I see in the west and its republics have been able to produce.  For the late shah a big issue with Iranians backwardness was more than anything he detested corruption and fought it hard as well as, he believed in always being lawful and acting within the law always.  Just compare that to the other systems especially now we see how the their finances run their government and how corrupt they are, its almost laughable, they are so busy playing machiavellian games the law is not even a consideration. 

So for me I feel and think very highly of a system that bases its government in protecting the positive side of irans culture, the playfulness, the happyness, the do what makes you feel good part of our culture, the good thoughts, the good words and the good deeds. 

No doubt the late shah truly angered the mullahs and deeply religious shia muslims by the truly Iranian example he was setting, so I can appreciate like many muslims this may have been a big disappointment for you and in a sense I can see that what the late shah-han-shahi represented is something you could not bow down to for religous reasons, the idea that this life matters a lot more than the after life and we need to make this entire world a paradise or a pardis, is not just alien to you or to commies, but to islamists too and while the west does a better job of it than these ideologies they only want the paradise for themselves in this world and to screw all the others, this is what machiavelianism is in practice.  Personally I like Iranian Culture alot and feel honored by it, I can see it will triumph and I can see that the west is on the wrong path for itself and humanity, so long as it acts to increase inequality and injustice in the world using the concept of might is right and exceptionalism, this is basically intolerant facism which is not far off from the communism we all know did not work.  Frankly the wests culture in my view to Iranian culture, has many more serious flaws and the freedom talk they do is great compared with IRI today, but not the Iran that the late shah was moving Iran gradually towards.    


How pathetic could one be?

by Mehrban on

One could be so pathetic to pretend to care about the "Persians" but subversively support a regime that is set to undo everything Persian.  That is how pathetic one could be.  


Ps.  I have not read Mr. Dabashi's book so I have nothing to say about him or his book. 



iraj khan

The unbearable weight of truth

by iraj khan on

on Cyberbullies shoulders.

A book written by an Iranian writer about the Persians,

their Arts, poetry, miniature paintings, philosophy and Humanity.

Meanwhile, the usual few cyberbullies on IC are burning the author along with his book!

What is Cyberbullying?

"Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.[1] As it has become more common in society legislation and awareness campaigns have arisen to combat it"

How pathetic could one be? 


Vildemose jaan

by Mehrban on

You don't have to take the quote out.  It is a good quote.  Many idealists at one time or another were communists and most were disillusioned by it. 

The quote is a good one.  Simone de Beauvoir is an important figure. Although she is known as a archetypal feminist, most of her adult life she stayed attached to a man (Jean Paul Sartre) who betrayed her repeatedly and publically.  

I still think it is a great quote and very relevant to the Iranian condition.  You were right in choosing it.   Be well my friend, for whatever you may be, you are not a hypocrite.  


All oppression create a state of war. Simon De Beauvoir.


- Thank you IranFirst for your support. 


Very well said Mehrban

by IranFirst on

Thank you for your comments and observations about SK the Islamist. By the way I think Islam is NOT just their own business. It is the rule of law (barbarity, really) that has been imposed by force on noble people of Iran, and as such it should be opposed and all its many flaws exposed for all to see. The day Islam is not rulling in Iran, then it becomes a private matter.


Soosan khanoom You are not only a muslim

by Mehrban on

The problem I have with you is not your religion it is involving Iran in your blind and obssessive Palestinian/Israeli politics that you hide behind a peace sign.  This quality is simply an Islamist trait.   I find people who think like you to be the ones that knowingly or unknowingly have stripped my country of its valour, freedom, integrity, its legitimate membership in the family of nations, its economic prosperity and its flag (the only country in the world that has a foreign language on its flag).

You and your kind is willing to destroy Iran for an imagined enemy called Israel. People's religion is their own business, I have never spoken ill of anyone's  religion but this Israeli obsession which is suffocating Iran is unbearable to me.  You in all your disguises behind a peace sign personify that subversive assault on everything that to me speaks of my country Iran.  



What does any of this has to do with Hamid's book?

by Zendanian on

Not a single thing.

Pathetic clueless closet fascist monarchists need to bully, insult and character assassinate anyone they "deem" unfit and disloyal to their little  "King"  Wannabe Bachen Naneh.

The most ridiculous part is that when they accuse others of "Castro loving," while they:

A) Can't even spell Castro's name correctly,

B) The writer they carry below their avatar, has been the biggest Castro lover in the history.

Is that what they call Idiot Savant? 


That's just a typical hypocrite closet fascist monarchist. 

Soosan Khanoom

Mehrban and Vildemose,

by Soosan Khanoom on

You two need to stop bashing people on this site. It does not look good for your own resume.  Accusing and insulting anyone who disagree with your views is not smart.   I read all your desperate and rude replies to Zendanain and Souri on Fred's blog. Same here in this blog. 

In the past I have defended people whom I have found them to be treated unfairly.  My comments on those cases are here on this very site for everyone to see and to judge.

I did that for VPK, for Amir Parvarz, for Faramrz, and many more when i saw these people were treated unfairly.  This has nothing to do with anything. I did it regardless of the differences.  To be just and give credit where it is due requires a level of understanding that I do not expect either of you has. 

I am a muslim ...  If you have hard time understanding that then get some treatment.    Fox news also calls muslims Islamist ...  

But, do not expect me to bring myself down to your levels . that is why I am not going to respond to you or vildemose anymore.  

Over and over, you two have demonstrated to me  that your behavior and accusation towards me have to do with your egos rather than anything else.  I am sorry to see this amount of hate in you two people towards me.  I am really truly sorry ...  unless you two let go of your egos nothing will change. 







by vildemose on

Castro-loving commies envision a future Iran like their beloved Cuba, and Islamist envision a caliphate in the greater middle east with Israel eliminated.....What a "wonderful world it would be"... 


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir



by Truthseeker9 on

Thanks M. (phew)


Islamist fans

by Mehrban on

Not you TS9.  



by Truthseeker9 on

1. Who are  the islamist fans here?

2. And why are people afraid of free speech?

People are interested in knowledge/ experience and take away good points and reject the bad points from everybody here. 


Zandanian jaan your Islamist fans are all comin in

by Mehrban on

as soon as you said "Palestine" on Fred's blog!  It is like magic with these people.  Abra kadabra!    Tabrik!

Soosan Khanoom

Amir, Zendanian is a great commentator on this site

by Soosan Khanoom on

He is just not that much into the Shah-Han-Shah thingy ... so do not expect him to bow down for the king of the kings ...   Same here ! 



Great words of wisdom as usual

by Truthseeker9 on

Lets see you deliver the same advice for tolerance and manners publicly to your own circle. Otherwise it is just manipulation and used to serve your own agendas. BTW where is anglophile these days?

A Tribute Program for Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh



Acknowledging the extremist views of Zandanzadeh,

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

is important for members of IC in their own personal growth.  Zendanis intolerance of views which oppose his own and yet are not from extremists are evident from his blanket attacks on groups like monarchists that have represented and delivered freedom and justice better than the rest during their own time for the vast majority of the last 2500 years in Irans case.  He treats with contempt not just others, but those with moderate and non-extremist views both here and in general every other place you care to read his posts.

Mash/bachezendani, LOL says, that if we are to have democracy we need to be able to tolerate other peoples views, lecturing those of you who do not support extremists, on what he needs to acknowledge the most.  My only question from Zendani is, if you believe what you say, that we all need to be free to express our views, then why do you treat and refer to certain peoples (who are not extremists) as objectionable because of their views and less than others because of their views?  You don't really want to tolerate individuals if you are treating them like this for their views and you are not aware of the importance of moving people in a democratic direction based on a foundation of firm principals and watered by emotions.

This all brings me back to a personal hero of mine, the late shah of Iran, while not elected by the people, he was in fact the most democratically acting leader among all the world leaders of his time, including the USA and UK.  God Bless him for 1) being a democratic acting leader and helping Iranians in their fight against injustice and inequality, 2) defying extremists who acted against his team and iranians, 3) defying untrue friends who poisoned him and members of his team to death, who's aim was to thwart Iranians from a path of peace for the world and instead partnered with extremist anti-monarchists to manipulate, deceive and coerce Iranians into tyranny and dictatorship, a disasterous direction for iran and the world. 


As we all can see here,

by vildemose on

As we all can see here, the old commies and toudehis, anti-american and anti-semitisit have found a home in IC. Congrats to all of you. Wish you crushing defeat in wiping America and Israel off the map...