Memories of an Impossible Future: Mehdi Akhavān Sāles and the Poetics of Time

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In Memories of an Impossible Future: Mehdi Akhavān Sāles and the Poetics of Time Marie Huber traces the quest for a modern language of poetry through different figurations of temporality in the works of one of Iran’s foremost poets. Akhavān is placed in dialogue with European thinkers and emerges as an original voice in world literature.

Chapters examine aspects of rhythm and metaphor, messianism and historicity, and functions of time in Akhavān’s lyric and epic poems. Through a range of close readings Huber seeks to understand Akhavān’s texts as crystallisations of a historical moment, both rooted in the Persian tradition and pointing beyond it. Her analyses combine attention to philological detail with meditations on the philosophical significance of Akhavān’s poetics.

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Marie Huber, Ph.D. (2013), Harvard University, is Assistant Professor of Persian and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Her research focuses on medieval and 20th century Persian literature, poetry and poetics, the intersections of literature with philosophy and ethics, and comparative mysticism.    
All interested in 20th century Persian poetry, comparative poetics, and the question of modernity in a non-Western context; scholars of comparative literature, philosophy, and Middle Eastern Studies.