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Dead Sea Media

Orality, textuality and memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert

Series:

Shem Miller

In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

Spaces of Longing and Belonging

Territoriality, Ideology and Creative Identity in Literature and Film

Series:

Edited by Brigitte le Juez and Bill Richardson

Spaces of Longing and Belonging contains theoretical and interpretative studies of spatiality centered on a variety of literary and cultural contexts. It offers new and complementary insights into creative uses of spatiality in artistic texts and generally into the field of spatiality as a cultural phenomenon, especially, although not exclusively, in terms of literary space. Ranging over questions of aesthetics, politics, sociohistorical concerns, issues of postcoloniality, transculturality, ecology and features of interpersonal spaces, among others, the essays provide a considerable collection of innovative scholarship on crucial questions relating to literary spatiality generally, as well as detailed analyses of particular works and authors. The volume includes ground-breaking theoretical investigations of crucial dimensions of spatiality in a context of increased global awareness.

The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil

A Seventeenth-Century Persian Popular Romance

Series:

Barry Wood

The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil recounts the dramatic formative years of the Safavid empire (1501–1722), as preserved in Iranian popular memory by coffeehouse storytellers and written down in manuscripts starting in the late seventeenth century. Beginning with the Safavids’ saintly ancestors in Ardabil, the story goes on to relate the conquests of Shāh Esmāʿil (r. 1501–1524) and his devoted Qezelbāsh followers as they battle Torkmāns, Uzbeks, Ottomans, and even Georgians and Ethiopians in their quest to establish a Twelver Shiʿi realm. Barry Wood’s translation brings out the verve and popular tone of the Persian text. A heady mixture of history and legend, The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil sheds important light on the historical self-awareness of late Safavid Iran.