Afghanistan in Ink

Afghanistan in Ink : Literature Between Diaspora and Nation

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Afghanistan In Ink uses a wide and largely unknown corpus of twentieth century Afghan Dari and Pashto literature to show not only how Afghans have reflected on their modern history, but also how the state has repeatedly sought to dominate the ideological contours of that history through the patronage or exile of writers. Drawing on an abundance of Afghan language sources, the chapters by leading international experts reveal a disruptive twentieth century dynamic between the importing of multiple conflicting ideologies through literary globalisation and the destabilisation of the state as a consequence of these literary and ideological flows. As the first scholarly survey of modern Afghan literature, Afghanistan In Ink places the twentieth century's itinerant and exiled Afghan writers into their transnational contexts to trace Afghan artistic and ideological interactions with Muslim and Western nations. The volume emphasises the study of literatures in their social and political contexts. With its extensive contextualising introduction, this book provides both specialists and non-specialists with unique 'inside' perspectives on the interweaving of religious, political and cultural debates that have shaped modern Afghan society.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 145 x 225 x 24mm | 528g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1849042047
  • 9781849042048
  • 1,910,893

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Afghan Literature between Diaspora and Nation

Nile Green

2. Modernizing, Nationalizing, Internationalizing: How Mahmud Tarzi's Hybrid Identity Transformed Afghan Literature

Nushin Arbabzadah

3. The Afghan Afterlife of Phileas Fogg: Space and Time in the Literature of Afghan Travel

Nile Green

4. Demarcating Pashto: Cross-border Pashto Literature and the Afghan State, 1880-1930

Thomas Wide

5. Ambiguities of Orality and Literacy, Territory and Border Crossings: Public Activism and Pashto Literature in Afghanistan, 1930-2010

James Caron

6. The Poetry and Prose of Pazhwak: A Critical Look at Traditional Afghanistan

Chaled Malekyar

7. Mastering the Ego Monster: Azhdaha-ye Khodi as an Allegory of History

Wali Ahmadi

8. Lyric Realism: Poetic Reflections of Refugee Life in Iran

Zuzanna Olszewska

9. Afghanistan and the Persian Epic Shahnama: Historical Agency and the Epic Imagination in Afghan and Afghan-American Literature

Shafiq Shamel

10. Gnomics: Proverbs, Aphorisms, Metaphors, Key Words and Epithets in Afghan Discourses of War and Instability

Margaret A. Mills
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Review quote

Few countries have been as poorly imagined--or exposed to parochial strategists and commentators--as Afghanistan. Excavating and examining previously unknown Afghan literary texts and authors, this wonderfully timely and stimulating book radically deepens our sense of the country's history and culture. -- Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia A fascinating history of a complicated region as it struggles to establish and solidify a national identity through language and literature. ... Afghanistan in Ink is the first book of its kind to treat the region with the depth and subtlety necessary for a reader to properly learn something, and one hopes that those who pick up the reins will continue to put as much care into their work as those who contributed here. -- LSE Review of Books Afghanistan in Ink demolishes the myth that the country has remained isolated from the the currents of international cultural influences. For more than a century powerful connections to an influential intellectual diaspora have played a significant role in the development of Afghan literature and language politics -- and one that continues to the present day. -- Thomas Barfield, Professor of Anthropology at Boston University and author of Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History An extremely absorbing collection of essays: not only does this book take the reader deep into the literature of Afghanistan over the last few centuries, but it explores fruitful questions about the ways in which literature and language, state-formation, ethnic identity, and history are intertwined. Highly informative and though-provoking. -- Tamim Ansary, author of Games Without Rules, The Often Interrupted Story of Afghanistan Afghanistan in Ink, a timely and important volume, is full of...striking illuminations...It does important service bringing to notice a variety of Afghan writers...and placing them in their literary and social contexts...An excellent attempt to provide as comprehensive an overview as possible of Afghan Literature in the modern period. -- Bijan Omrani, Asian Affairs
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About Nile Green

Nile Green is Professor of South Asian and Islamic History at UCLA and chair of the UCLA Program on Central Asia. His research focuses on the history and literature of the Muslim communities of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Indian Ocean. His books include Indian Sufism since the Seventeenth Century and Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean. Nushin Arbabzadah is a Research Scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Raised in Afghanistan, she writes regularly on Afghanistan for The Guardian. Her books include No Ordinary Life: Being Young in the Worlds of Islam and From Outside In: Refugees in British Society.
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