Classical love story Khosrow and Shirin adapted for modern novel on revolution 

June 28, 2021 - 18:50

TEHRAN – Iranian writer Khosro Babakhani has adapted Nezami’s classical Persian love story Khosrow and Shirin for a modern novel of the same title, which is set in Iran of 1979 in the heat of the Islamic Revolution.

In “Khosro and Shirin”, Babakhani focuses on ordinary love, however, his outlook of love is different from the clichés, publisher Ketabestan-e Marefat said in an introduction to the book.

The story begins few years before the Islamic Revolution, when Khosro, the main protagonist, is an adolescent and goes on until the early years of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

The story is set in the southwestern Iranian city Abadan, which had different urban spaces after World War II.     

Babakhani uses lucid dynamic prose in the book to represent the world from the protagonist’s perspective.

The book also provides a deep insight into the revolutionary struggles in Abadan and, away from political propaganda, features the valor the city’s people showed in the early months of the Iran-Iraq war.

The original story of Khosrow and Shirin was created by Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi in 1177.

Nezami’s great work had a tremendous influence on later authors and many imitations of this work were made. With complete artistic and structural unity, the epic of Khosrow and Shirin turned out to be a turning point not only for Nezami, but also for all Persian literature.

The story of pre-Islamic Persian origin, which is found in the great epic-historical poems of the Shahnameh, is based on a true story that was further romanticized by Persian poets. 

The story was commissioned by and dedicated to the Seljuk Sultan Toghril II, the Atabek Muhammad ibn Eldiguz Jahan Pahlavan and his brother Qizil Arsalan. 

About 6,500 distiches in length, the story depicts the love of Sassanid Khosrow Parviz towards his Armenian princess Shirin. 

The book recounts the story of King Khosrow’s courtship of Princess Shirin, and vanquishing of his love rival, Farhad. 

The story has a complex structure with several genres exploited simultaneously and contains many verbal exchanges and letters, all imbued with lyrical intensity. Khosrow endures long journeys, physical and spiritual, before returning to Shirin, his true love.

Photo: A poster for Iranian writer Khosro Babakhani’s latest novel “Khosro and Shirin”.

MMS/YAW
 

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