- 27 - 2004
- 4. Histoire, Période Musulmane
- 4.2. Histoire du XVe au XIXe siècle
- 4.2.1. Safavides et Qâjârs
« Book Translations as a Cultural Activity in Iran 1806-1896 ». Iran, 41 (2003), pp. 279-289.
This pioneering article provides intriguing insight into the energy with which Iranian intellectuals and bureaucrats set out to translate key works of European science, history-writing, philosophy, geography, and literature in the 19th century. The author suggests that the first translations, mostly involving books on military history and biographies of great men, were produced in the first decade of the century, and notes how much of the activity was court-sponsored, with especially Nasir al-Din Shah taking a personal interest in the results. The article also provides important information on the ways in which the translations remained imbued with traditional notions of proper style and idiom, leading to creative adaptation ranging from titles sounding like traditional ones to persianized proper names or even altered names, and the employment of devices such as synonyms and flowery locutions.