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Shahnameh embodies Iranian identity: scholar

TEHRAN, Nov. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- Persian literature expert Mohammad-Ali Eslami Nadushan believes that Ferdowsi's masterpiece, the Shahnameh, embodies the identity of the Iranian people.

"Every nation has a book that represents the personality of that nation. For example: the British people have the works of Shakespeare, the Greeks have the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Italians have The Divine Comedy by Dante, and we have the Shahnameh," he told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

"The Shahnameh not only contains the history of Iran but is also a symbol of our national character that should be used by Iranians as a guideline," he added.

"Knowledge of the Shahnameh leads to self-knowledge, without which we will be unable to choose the right path," he explained.

Eslami Nadushan, 82, expressed his satisfaction over the increased interest in the studying of the Shahnameh in academic centers over the past few years. However, he said that it is still insufficient.

He recommended the version of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh corrected by Jalal Khaleqi-Motlaq as being the most reliable edition published in the world so far.

This version was unveiled in July during a ceremony at the Great Islamic Encyclopedia Center in Tehran.

Khaleqi-Motlaq, a distinguished Shahnameh researcher who currently resides in Britain, has spent the ten years from 1970 to 1980 studying various copies of the Shahnameh in order to produce his corrected version.

"The young generation does not have the patience to scrutinize the Shahnameh for new analysis and all studies date back to past decades... This generation ignores all things from the past," Eslami Nadushan lamented.

To solve the problem, special institutes undertaking research on the Shahnameh should be set up to train students on the proper methods of studying the Shahnameh and Ferdowsi, he suggested.

... Payvand News - 11/3/07 ... --

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