The reception of Hafiz

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For us non-Iranian readers of Hafiz's 14th-century ghazal poems, Iranian
attitudes toward the premier lyric poet in the 1,000-year history of Persian
literature, are almost as intriguing as Hafiz's poetry itself. First is the
inclination of Iranian readers to find deep, spiritual meaning in that poetry.
Second is their personal identification with what they perceive as Hafiz's
philosophy. Third is their linking of Iranian cultural identity with Hafiz's life and works to the point where some educated Iranians define part of their
Iranianness by referencing Hafiz and even consider him a relevant political
voice. These features of Iranian appreciation of Hafiz come alive on page
after page in The Reception of Hafiz in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century
Persia, while author Bahman Solati himself epitomizes Iranian love of and
identification with the poet's stances and themes in his poems.
Michael Craig Hillmann, The University of Texas at Austin

-Bahman Solati is Assistant Professor in Persian Language. He is the author
of several publications, including Rubaiyyat-i-Hakim Umar Khayyam, and
Persian Proverbs in three volumes.
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