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Literary Anthropology

The Sub-disciplinary Context

Máiréad Nic Craith and Laurent Sebastian Fournier

This special issue on anthropology and literature invited proposals for original contributions focusing on relationships between anthropology and literature. We were especially interested in the following questions: what role does literature play in anthropology? Can literature be considered as ethnography? What are the relationships between anthropology and literature, past and present? Are anthropology and anthropological motives used in literature? We also looked for critical readings of writers as anthropologists and critical readings of anthropologists as writers. Moreover, we wanted to assess the influence of literature on the invention of traditions, rituals and cultural performances. All these different questions and topics are clearly connected with the study of literacy, illiteracy and popular culture. They also lead to questions regarding potential textual strategies for ethnography and the possibilities of bringing together the field of anthropology (more associated with the social sciences) and literary studies (traditionally part of the humanities).

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Farideh Pourgiv

In her novels, acclaimed Armenian Iranian novelist Zoya Pirzad engages her characters in transgenerational and transnational conflict in their interaction with each other. In her last novel, We’ll Get Used to It (‘Âdat Mikonim), a household of three women, consisting of a widowed grandmother, a divorcee mother and a daughter, is presented, and the absentee father, who lives in France, pulls the strings of the young daughter to gain control. The novel represents the conflict of three generations, two decades after the 1979 revolution. This article examines the ways this fictional representation of transgenerational and transnational conflict reflects and throws light on the nature of everyday life in contemporary Iran, thus contributing to anthropological knowledge and analysis of Iran and the complexities of its diverse communities.

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Appalling Tehran

Translation of the French Serial Story and Its Effect on the Persian Serial Story

Manizheh Abdollahi and Ehya Amalsaleh

This article examines French-Iranian literary interactions in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, which arguably had ongoing effects in Iran on attitudes towards links between morality and social and economic inequality. Some of the earliest fictional stories published in Persian-language newspapers, in the 1850s, were French. This trend continued, through Iran’s Constitutional Revolution (1906), into the early decades of the twentieth century. During this period, Morteza Moshfeq-e Kazemi began writing the first Persian serial story and novel, Tehran-e Makhuf (Appalling Tehran). The present study investigates the effects of the translation of French serial stories on Persian ones, with a specific focus on the impact of the novel Les Mystères de Paris (1842– 1843), by Eugène Sue, on the Persian novel Tehran-e Makhuf (1924).

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Johannes Görbert, Russ Pottle, Jeff Morrison, Pramod K. Nayar, Dirk Göttsche, Lacy Marschalk, Dorit Müller, Angela Fowler, Rebecca Mills and Kevin Mitchell Mercer

German Literary Anthropology: Across Cultures, Across Genres Stefan Hermes and Sebastian Kaufmann, eds., Der ganze Mensch – die ganze Menschheit: Völkerkundliche Anthropologie, Literatur und Ästhetik um 1800 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 318 pp., 10 illustrations, €89.95

What’s Old Is New Again, Mostly Julia Kuehn and Paul Smethurst, eds., New Directions in Travel Writing Studies (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 325 pp., $90

Complex Journeys around the World and through Literary and Intellectual Traditions around 1800 Johannes Görbert, Die Vertextung der Welt: Forschungsreisen als Literatur bei Georg Forster, Alexander von Humboldt und Adelbert von Chamisso. Weltliteraturen/World Literatures, Schriftenreihe der Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, vol. 7 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), vi, 426 pp., 8 illustrations, €109.95

Travel as Cultural Work Gary Totten, African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015), 170 pp., $26.95

Colonial Encounters between Africa and Europe—with Special Reference to Austria and Switzerland Manuel Menrath, ed., Afrika im Blick: Afrikabilder im deutschsprachigen Europa, 1870–1970 (Zurich: Chronos, 2012), 329 pp., €43

Social Formations and Literary Forms in Long Nineteenth-Century Travel Writing Mary Henes and Brian H. Murray, eds., Travel Writing, Visual Culture and Form, 1760–1900 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 248 pp., 21 illustrations, $95

Travel Accounts of Polar Regions and Colonial Discourse Mike Frömel, Off ene Räume und gefährliche Reisen im Eis: Reisebeschreibungen über die Polarregionen und ein kolonialer Diskurs im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert (Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2013), 288 pp., €29.50.

“Imagined Geographies” and the Navigation of British European Identity Katarina Gephardt, Th e Idea of Europe in British Travel Narratives, 1789–1914 (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014), 248 pp., 15 illustrations, $104.95

Terminal and Threshold: Experiencing the Airport Christopher Schaberg, Th e End of Airports (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 216 pp., 25 illustrations, £13.99

NOVEL REVIEW Finding Purity Jonathan Franzen, Purity (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), 563 pp., $28