Forugh Farrokhzad: A New Edition of Her Collected Works
Professor Domenico Ingenito discusses his new book من از نهایت شب حرف میزنم / Io parlo dai confini della notte / I Speak from the Edges of the Night (Bompiani 2023, 800 pp.) offering a critical edition and Italian translation of Forugh Farrokhzad’s entire poetic production.
Forugh Farrokhzad (1934-1967) is the first female Iranian poet who playfully renegotiated the formal rules and dominant imagery of classical Persian poetry and wrote about sex and desire from the perspective of women. After publishing four collections of poetry (Asir, Divār, ‘Osiyān, Tavallodi digar) and working on a number of short films and documentaries, she received international acclaim at film festivals in Germany and Italy. It was only after Farrokhzad’s untimely death and, most notably, following the publication of her posthumous poetry collection (Let’s Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season, 1974), that her voice gained global recognition, thanks to the contributions of scholars and translators from around the world. Until recently, due to censorship and editorial misunderstandings, no reliable editions of Forugh Farrokhzad’s collected works were available on the market.
Dr. Ingenito’s new book features the Persian text of all the original collections of poetry published by Farrokhzad during her lifetime, along with pieces published posthumously, verses co-authored with Yadollah Roya’i, lines extracted from the film Khāne siyāh ast, as well as Farrokhzad’s proto-feminist afterword to Asir (1955). This edition includes a literary biography of Farrokhzad’s life and works as well an annotated critical study that traces the editorial development of Farrokhzad’s poetry collections until the time of her death.
Domenico Ingenito is Associate Professor of Iranian Studies and Persian Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, Bahari Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) and former director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia (2016-2021). His research interests center on ancient and medieval Iran, Persian poetry, visual culture of Iran and Central Asia, gender and translations studies, and premodern manuscript culture. His most recent books are Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry (Brill, 2020, reviews appeared in Iranian Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Literatures, Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies) and a critical edition and Italian translation of Forugh Farrokhzad’s collected poems (Io parlo dai confini della notte. Forugh Farrokhzad: tutte le poesie, Bompiani, 2023, 800 pp.). His current research projects focus on kingship and desire in Ghaznavid praise poetry and the relationship between artistic creativity and the visual arts in the narrative poems (Khamsa) of Nizami Ganjavi. Professor Ingenito co-leads the UCLA Afghan Scholars at Risk program, which aims to bring to campus scholars and writers who face repression in Afghanistan.
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