Walt Whitman, a world poet and the father of American free verse, has been read by diverse audiences from around the world. Literary and cultural scholars have studied Whitman’s interaction with social, political and literary movements of different countries. Despite his continuing presence in Iran, Whitman’s reception in this country has remained unexplored. Additionally, Iranian reception of Western literature is a field still in its infancy and under-researched, particularly due to contemporary political circumstances.
The Persian Whitman examines Whitman’s heretofore unexplored reception in Iran. It is primarily involved with the “Persian Whitman,” a new phenomenon born in diachronic and synchronic dialogue between the Persian culture and an American poet.
Specialising in comparative literature, Behnam M. Fomeshi is interested in Iranian studies, American studies and in particular the intersection of the two. In addition to a Humboldt fellowship, he has received several grants including two for research at the University of St Andrews and Leiden University.
"The Persian Whitman is a very impressive study of the American poet’s reception, and influence on modern Iranian literature and culture. It is methodologically innovative in theoretical sense but particularly strong in its empirical perspective."
"Based on solid research, this well-written and thought-provoking book is sure to attract the readers’ attention and inspire follow-up research."
“Iranian reception of Western literature is an under-researched field, particularly due to contemporary political circumstances. The Persian Whitman is a timely contribution to the field; it offers a groundbreaking study of the reception of an American poet in Iran from 1922 when a one-page translation of Walt Whitman appeared in the literary journal Bahar. (…) Replete with thought-provoking details, The Persian Whitman goes beyond a literary reception; it provides the reader with a history of modern Iran and Iranian modernity. (…) An interdisciplinary study, The Persian Whitman will move the field of Iranian comparative literature forwards and will facilitate further conversations among scholars of modern Persian literature, translation studies and Iranian modernity.”
"Were he still alive, perhaps no reader would more greatly praise this academic study on the reception in Iran of America’s most seminal nineteenth century poet than Walt Whitman himself. (…) this book will appeal to those in the fields of both American and Persian studies along with translation studies, transnational (Iranian-American) literature, cultural criticism, political science, and more."