Nation and Novel : A Study of Persian and Kurdish narrative discourse

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The present work provides a description of the rise of the Persian and Kurdish novel, using as its background specific definitions and theories of the novel and its emergence. Considering the novel as an originally European genre, the study looks at the different prerequisites for its emergence, e.g. modernity, modernisation, nationalism, a publishing industry, institutionalised journalism, translation and socio-political conditions. It examines these prerequisites in the Persian and Kurdish context. Its aim is to investigate the emergence of the novel and its development in the case of a nation-state (the Persian) and in the case of a stateless nation (the Kurdish). Furthermore, through the close reading of five selected Persian novels and five Kurdish novels the author intends to scrutinise their various political, social and cultural characteristics. The study also attempts to investigate the contribution of the novel to nation building and whether there is any affinity between the novel genre’s appearance and the rise of the Iranian and Kurdish nations.The most important conclusion to be drawn from the present study is that while the Persian novel appears in the early 20th century, the Kurdish novel appears in the late decades of the same century. Moreover, the early Persian novels deal with the issue of country and nationalism, whereas the more developed Persian novels later on mostly concern themselves with the individual, social and political problems of the country. However, the failure of Kurdish nationalism in the building of a Kurdish state provides the Kurdish novel with a context for its struggle in the search for a national identity. The Persian novel, as it derives its support from the nation-state, largely enjoys the favourable conditions necessary for its development. The Kurdish novel, however, is deprived of such conditions and instead expresses itself in the diaspora.

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