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Shiraz in the Age of Hafez: The Glory of a Medieval Persian City (Publications on the Near East) Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 192 pages

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Product Description

Review

"John Limbert attempts to acquaint the reader with the history of fourteenth-century Shiraz by recounting the wars between the rival dynasties ... [he] excels in his sections on the leading families of Shiraz."--Times Literary Supplement, November 25, 2005

About the Author

John Limbert, U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania, has taught at Shiraz University.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2166 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press (1 July 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IBGF6S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,420,906 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This is a competent work of love, exploring the city that surrounded Persia's possibly greatest poet, Hafez, during the 1300s. The book is comparable to a rather dry but insightful tour of Dante's Florence, full of the scholars, mob leaders, artists and warlord rulers who were backdrop to the poet's work. We see, for example, Shah Shoja Mozaffari, who conquered Shiraz in 1353 and subjected it's vibrant people to harsh control, closing the bars, opium houses and brothels -- at which Hafez wrote:

They have closed the tavern doors.
O God don't let them open the doors to the house of deceit and hypocrisy.
If they have closed them for the sake of the selfish ascetic,
be strong, for they will open them for the sake of God

Where many works focus on Hafez himself, here we have a focus on his dramatic surroundings. The citations of poetry are sparing, but more powerful for Limbert's context. Like China's Li Po but more saintly, this hard-drinking, huge hearted Hafez gives voice to Iran's real soul, in verses which still rankle the country's rulers:

Everyone, whether drunk or sober, seeks the beloved.
Every place, whether it be mosque or synagogue, is the house of love.
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