In October 1977, the German-Iranian Cultural Association in Teheran hosted a series of literature reading sessions, organised by the Iranian Writers Association and the German Goethe-Institut. During these reading sessions 57 of the country’s most prominent poets and writers read their works to thousands of listeners. This series of literature readings is to be regarded as an early manifestation of a public expression of social discontent and political protest against the Pahlavī regime. Here I shall provide a new account that aims at shedding light on the crucial event through the evaluation of a comprehensive range of sources including audio recordings of the Ten Nights and interview material. My theoretical perspective is inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the sociological fields. Thus, I argue that the struggle for the monopoly of literary legitimacy culminated in the Ten Nights and contributed to the erosion of the legitimacy of the Pahlavī regime.