The True Dream: Indictment of the Shiite clerics of Isfahan, an English translation with facing Persian text, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The True Dream

Indictment of the Shiite clerics of Isfahan, an English translation with facing Persian text, 1st Edition

Edited by Ali-Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, Sen McGlinn


148 pages

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pub: 2017-02-01
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The True Dream is a Persian satirical drama set in Isfahan in the lead up to Iran’s Constitutional Revolution of 1905-11. Although its three authors hail from the clerical class, they criticize the arrogance, corruption and secularity of the Iranian ruling dynasty and clergy, taking Isfahan as their example. The work blends fact and fiction by summoning the prominent men of the city to account for themselves on the Day of Judgement. God speaks offstage, delivering withering judgements of their behaviour. The dream of the authors is a vision of an Iran governed by law, where justice prevails and the clergy are honestly religious.

This book has the Persian and English translation on facing pages. The introduction presents brief biographies of the authors – who wrote anonymously, but were all executed. One of the authors was the father of Mohammad-Ali Jamâlzâdeh, a pioneer of modern Persian fiction, and The True Dream was one of the first dramas, in European style, to be written in Persian. The book shows that today’s struggle for a modern society began more than a century ago, and then and now pivots on the role of the Islamic clerics (the ulama).

Using colloquial language, this first English translation of a significant and humorous Persian satirical drama will prove an accessible and valuable resource for students of Persian. By marking a significant point in the influence of Western political philosophy and Western drama on the Persian intellectual classes, this book will also appeal to students and scholars of Middle Eastern History and Political Science.

Table of Contents

Introduction Translation of The True Dream Appendix: The True Dream in Malekzâde’s History of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

About the Editors

Ali-Asghar Seyed-Gohrab is Associate Professor at Leiden University. He has authored a wide range of books, articles and translations in the field of Persian Studies and Islamic Spirituality and Mysticism (Sufism).

Sen McGlinn is a student of religion and a translator, with a particular focus on religion and politics in Iran in the modern period. He writes on Bahai Theology and related topics.

About the Series

Iranian Studies

Since 1967 the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) has been a leading learned society for the advancement of new approaches in the study of Iranian society, history, culture, and literature. The new ISIS Iranian Studies series published by Routledge will provide a venue for the publication of original and innovative scholarly works in all areas of Iranian and Persianate Studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies