x. Azeri Literature in Iran
The language spoken today in Azerbaijan is one of the branches of Oghuz Turkic. It was introduced into Iran by Turks entering the area in the 5th/11th and 6th/12th centuries and underwent a gradual development before assuming its present form. For two centuries after their appearance in Iran, the Oghuz Turks seem to have had only an oral literature. The origins of the stories attributed to Dädä Qorqut, which are about the heroic age of the Oghuz Turks, probably lie back in this period. The accepted text, however, was compiled only in the 9th/15th century. A written, classical Azeri literature began after the Mongol invasion, and developed strongly in the 10th/16th century after the Safavid dynasty established its dominance in Iran. From the beginning it was under the strong impact of Persian letters. Many poets produced works in both Persian and Azeri and, due to bilingualism among the educated Turkic-speaking people of the area, the use of Azeri prose was widespread until the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavī (1304-20 Š./1925-41), when publishing in Azeri was banned.
The history of Azeri literature in Iranian Azerbaijan can be divided into four main periods:
1) From the 7th/13th century to 1243/1828 when, as a result of the defeat suffered by Iran in the Perso-Russian wars, a number of regions in northern Azerbaijan, where Azeri was spoken, were ceded to Russia (now Republic of Azerbaijan).
2) From 1243/1828 to the mid-1300s Š./1920s, when the Soviets and the Pahlavi dynasty came to power in Russia and Iran. This includes the Constitutional era (1324-44/1906-25).
3) The Pahlavi era (1304-57 Š./1925-79) when, except for a brief period from 1941 to 1946 when the country was occupied by the Allied forces, the ban on Azeri publications was in effect and the official use of the language discouraged in Iran. Furthermore, because of the change of alphabet in Soviet Azerbaijan and due to that region’s being in the Soviet bloc, communication between the two Azerbaijans became more difficult. Only a few audacious poets managed to get some of their works secretly printed.
4) From the advent of the revolution of 1357 Š./1979 to the present. Though the desire of some fervent Azerbaijanis to make Azeri their official language has not been fulfilled, there is no longer a ban on Azeri publications in Iran, and more than 200 works in Azeri have appeared.
It was in the 7th/13th and 8th/14th centuries that a stylized poetry began to develop, partly due to Eastern Turkic traditions brought from Khorasan during the Mongol occupation. An example is the poetry of Khorasani Shaikh ʿEzz-al-dīn Esfarāʾīnī, known as Ḥasanoḡlū or Pūr(-e) Ḥasan (late 7th/13th and early 8th/14th century), two of whose Turkic and Persian ḡazals have survived (cf. J. Heyat, Azerbaijan ädäbiyat tarixinä bir baxiš, Tehran, 1979, p. 26). Two poets of the 8th/14th century, Qāżī Aḥmad Borhān-al-dīn (an East Anatolian) and the Hurufi ʿEmād-al-dīn Nasīmī played significant roles in the development of Azeri poetry. Having arrived in Tabrīz, the latter met Fażlallāh Naʿīmī who converted him to Hurufism. He was put to death in Aleppo around 810/1407 because of his fervent propagation of the Hurufi beliefs. The influence of Rūmī, Neẓāmī Ganjavī, and Shaikh ʿAṭṭār is noticeable in his poetry, and he mentions Ḥāfeẓ in his Persian Dīvān. Another bilingual Azeri poet, one whose Persian poetry takes precedence over his Azeri, is Moʿīn-al-dīn ʿAlī Shah Qāsem-e Anwār (b. 757/1356 in Sarāb, educated in Tabrīz). He was a pupil of Shaikh Ṣadr-al-dīn Mūsā b. Shaikh Ṣafī-al-dīn Ardabīlī, and established his Sufi order in Herat under the Timurid Šāhroḵ. Shah Qāsem-e Anwār wrote ḡazals, molammaʿs, and tuyuḡs in a simple Azeri (see M. Fuad Köprülü, “Azerî edebiyatının tekâmülü,” in İA II, p. 131a). The 9th/15th century saw the beginning of a more important period in Azeri cultural history. The position of the literary language was reinforced under the Qara Qoyunlūs (1400-68), who had their capital in Tabrīz. Jahān Shah (r. 841-72/1438-68) himself wrote lyrical poems in Azeri using the pen name of Ḥaqīqī. He sent his Dīvān of Persian and Azeri poems to ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī, who praised their form as well as their content (see J. Heyat, op. cit., p. 31).
Another poet-ruler of great significance is Shah Esmāʿīl I (892-930/1487-1524), founder of the Safavid dynasty, who established Shiʿism as the state religion of Iran. The strong adherence of the Turks of Azerbaijan to Shiʿism was among the factors that were to weaken their ties with the rest of the Turkic world, giving Azeri literature a local identity and restricting it to Azerbaijan and the area just north of it (now Republic of Azerbaijan). Writing with the pen name of Ḵaṭāʾī, Shah Esmāʿīl declared his own devotion to ʿAlī and his family in passionately ecstatic ḡazals. His dīvān also includes robāʿīs and maṯnawīs and a didactic “Naṣīḥat-nāma.” His Dah-nāma (Ten letters; comp. 911/1506), a maṯnawī of more than 1,400 distichs, contains ten love letters exchanged between the lover (i.e., the poet) and his beloved. The poetry of Shah Esmāʿīl shows the influence of the folk poetry and the ʿāšeq (q.v.) style.
Among the Azeri poets of the 9th/15th century mention should be made of Ḵaṭāʾī Tabrīzī. He wrote a maṯnawī entitled Yūsof wa Zoleyḵā, and dedicated it to the Āq Qoyunlū Sultan Yaʿqūb (r. 883-96/1478-90), who himself wrote poetry in Azeri. The most important poet of this period is Ḥabībī. He was the poet laureate of Shah Esmāʿīl but in 1514, when the Ottoman army occupied Tabrīz, he went to Turkey and died in Istanbul in 925/1519. Another Sufi poet is Shaikh Alvan of Shiraz who translated the Golšan-e rāz of Shaikh Maḥmūd Šabestarī into Azeri verse.
The reigns of Shah Esmāʿīl and his son Ṭahmāsb (r. 930-84/1524-86) are considered the most brilliant period in the history of Azeri language and literature at this stage of its development. The great poet Moḥammad b. Solaymān Fożūlī of Baghdad (ca. 885-963/1480-1556; q.v.), who wrote in Turkish, Persian, and Arabic, played an important role in the development of Azeri poetry in Iran. As F. Köprülü has pointed out (“Fuzûlî,” in İA IV, p. 697), very few Turkish poets had the far-reaching influence that Fożūlī had on later generations. One of his followers was Moḥammad Amānī (d. ca. 951/1544-45), whose work is also a useful historical source, as he took an active part in Safavid campaigns. He wrote poems in both the classical and popular ʿāšeq style and provided the first examples of Azeri narrative verse with a religious content (Ḥātem wa Ḡarīb, ʿAlī wa šīr; see A. Caferoğlu, “Die aserbeidschanische Literatur,” in Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta, Aquis Mattiacis (Wiesbaden), 1964, II, p. 645). Another disciple of the Fożūlī school is Ṣādeqī Afšār (b. 939/1532), the author of a taḏkera entitled Majmaʿ al-ḵawāṣṣ, which was modeled on Amir ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī’s Mājāles al-nafāʾes and written in Chaghatai Turkish (see ʿA. R. Ḵayyāmpūr, tr., Taḏkera-ye majmaʿ al-ḵawāṣṣ, Tabrīz, 1327 Š./1948). In this work, Ṣādeqī deals not only with Azeri poets, but also with Chaghatai and Ottoman poets and writers. Among the Safavid poets mentioned in the taḏkeras reference should be made to Qāżī ʿAbdallāh Ḵoʾī, Kalb(-e) ʿAlī Tabrīzī and Yaʿqūb Ardabīlī.
There was also considerable development in the popular literature, especially bayātīs (four-lined poems) and long narrative poems. The best-known folk poem of the period, Korōglï dästanï, reflects the resentment of the people against the tyrannical rulers of the time. Other ballad-like compositions such as Šāh Esmāʿīl, ʿĀšeq ḡarīb, and Aṣlī wa Karam are accounts of romantic love and heroic deeds. Qorbānī is considered the foremost ʿāšeq of this century (see A. Caferoğlu, op. cit., pp. 646f.). Finally, an interesting document related to folk literature in this period is a short work by Rūḥī Anārjānī (from a village near Tabrīz). The writer gives a humorous account of conversations between various common people in Tabrīz. These are not in Azeri Turkish, but in the old Persian dialect of Azerbaijan, showing that during the reign of Shah ʿAbbās I (996-1038/1587-1629) bilingualism was prevalent in Azerbaijan (see above, Azerbaijan vii).
In the 11th/17th century, although the transfer of the capital to Isfahan favored Persian at the court, Azeri poetry in the style of Fożūlī and the Chaghatai poet Navāʾī still flourished. ʿAlījān Esmāʿīloḡlū Qawsī Tabrīzī (born in Tabrīz and educated in Isfahan), was an important poet who combined classical refinement with the candor of popular poetry. Rokn-al-dīn Masʿūd Masīḥī (d. 1656), was a musician and poet who wrote three romantic maṯnawīs—Dām wa dāna, Zanbūr-e ʿasal, and Varqa wa Golšāh. The last was modeled on a Persian work of the same name by ʿAyyūqī (q.v.). In addition to his Persian works, the great poet of the period Mīrzā Moḥammad-ʿAlī Ṣāʾeb Tabrīzī (d. Isfahan, 1081/1670) wrote 17 ḡazals and molammaʿs in his native Azeri (see T. Yazıcı, “Sâib,” in İA X, pp. 75-77).
Shah ʿAbbās II (r. 1052-77/1642-66; q.v.) was himself a poet, writing Turkic verse with the pen name of Ṯānī. In the same century Ṭarzī Afšār, who was from Ray, wrote a small dīvān of humorous poems in a mixture of Persian and Azeri. This type of poetry, known as tarzilik, became quite popular at the Isfahan court for a while. The poets Darūnī and Mīrzā Moḥsen Taʾṯīr were natives of Tabrīz, their families having migrated to Isfahan in the reign of Shah ʿAbbās I. Moḥsen Taʾṯīr became a notable courtier and poet at the courts of Shah Solaymān (r. 1077-1105/1667-94) and Shah Sultan Ḥosayn (r. 1105-35/1694-1722), devoting most of his Turkish and Persian poetry to eulogy of the imams. This was a practice greatly encouraged by the Safavid kings. Other Azeri poets of the period include Reżā-qolī Khan, the governor of Bandar ʿAbbās, Mīrzā Jalāl Šahrestānī, Mīrzā Ṣāleḥ, the Šayḵ-al-eslām of Tabrīz, Waḥīdī Tabrīzī, the historian of ʿAbbās II, and lastly Mālek Beg “Awjī,” who was influenced by Fożūlī and Ṣāʾeb.
Due to political events, the 12th/18th century was a period of decline in the Azeri literature of Azerbaijan. In the north, however, the forerunners of modern Azeri literature, Mollā Panāh Wāqef (1717-97) and Wadādī (1709-1809), were active. In fact, a contrast is seen in this period in that whereas bilingualism continues to be practiced in Azerbaijan, writing is almost exclusively in Azeri in the north. In general the time from the fall of the Safavids (1135/1722) to the end of the century is a period of stagnation in Azerbaijan. However, there is an abundant Shiʿite literature, especially elegies and taʿzīa poems. Well-known authors of such dirges are Neẓām-al-dīn Moḥammad Dehḵāraqānī (d. 1756), Sayyed Fattāḥ Ešrāq Marāḡī (d.1175/1761-62), and Ḥājjī Ḵodāverdī Tāʾeb Ḵoʾī (d. 1201/1786). Other poets of this period include Mīrzā ʿAbd-al-Razzāq Našʾa Tabrīzī (d. 1158/1745), who was greatly influenced by Ṣāʾeb, Mortażā-qolī Khan Nāmī, who went as an envoy to Istanbul in 1721, and the famous Loṭf-ʿAlī Bīg Āḏar, author of the Ātaškada (q.v.), the well-known Persian taḏkera (see M. F. Köprülü, in İA II, p. 139; J. Heyat, op. cit., pp. 67-68).
In the nineteenth century under the Qajars, when Turkish was used at court once again, literary activity was intensified. A revival of interest in Ottoman and Chaghatai poetry and philology is evidenced by such works as Bahjat al-loḡat by Fatḥ-ʿAlī Qājār Qazvīnī and Āl tamḡā-ye nāṣerī by Moḥammad Ṣāleḥ Eṣfahānī, a work dedicated to Nāṣer-al-dīn Shah. Among Azeri poets of the period, mention should be made of Mīrzā Moḥammad Rażī Tabrīzī, with the pen name of Banda, who was a calligrapher and poet at the court of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah, Ḥosayn-qolī Khan Čāker Ḵamsaʾī, and Ḵalīfa Moḥammad ʿĀjez Sarābī whose dīvān was published in Tabrīz in 1856. Others are Mollā Mehr-ʿAlī from Ḵoy, Ātašī Marāḡaʾī, Mollā Ṣādeq Čartāb Tabrīzī, and the poetess Ḥayrān Ḵānom Donbolī (d. 1167/1753).
There was also a significant crop of elegy (marṯīa) literature, the most outstanding poets in this respect being Āḵūnd Mollā Ḥosayn Daḵīl Marāḡaʾī, Mīrzā Abu’l-Ḥasan Rājī Tabrīzī (1247-93/1831-76), and Moḥammad Amīn Delsūz Tabrīzī whose Azeri dīvān was printed in Tabrīz.
The second half of the 13th/19th century brought a period of transition in Azerbaijan, both in social and political thinking and in literature. The literary movements of the north (as well as those occurring in the Ottoman empire) are reflected to some extent in the south. Publications from the north, namely, the more realistic works of Qāsem Beg Ḏāker (1784-1857), ʿAbbās-qolī Āḡā Qodsī Baqīḵānov (Bakïxanlï; 1794-1847), Mīrzā Šafīʿ Wāẓeḥ (b. 1794-1852), Esmāʿīl Beg Gotgašīnlī (Gutgašïnlï; 1806-61), Mīrzā Fatḥ-ʿAlī Āḵūndzāda (1812-78; q.v.), and others, have some influence on the works written in the south. Several authors celebrate—in a noticeably simpler language and style—the values of enlightenment, liberty, and patriotism. At the same time, one of the most outstanding poets of Azerbaijan in this period is Sayyed Abu’l-Qāsem Nabātī (1812-73), a Sufi who wrote in both Persian and Azeri. He was influenced by Nasīmī, Jalāl-al-dīn Rūmī and Ḥāfeẓ, producing a famous sāqī-nāma on the model of that of Ḥāfeẓ. He also has numerous poems in the ʿāšeq style.
Another important poet is Mīrzā ʿAlī Khan Laʿlī, who was born in Erevan in 1261/1845, and came to Tabrīz as a young man. After completing his medical studies in Istanbul, he worked as a doctor in Tabrīz where he died in 1325/1907. Known as Ḥakīm Laʿlī, he wrote satirical poetry in the traditional style (see the introduction to Dīvān-e Ḥakīm Laʿlī by Moḥammad-ʿAlī Ṣafwat, Tabrīz, n.d.). Ḥājjī Reżā Ṣarrāf (1271-1325/1854-1907) and Ḥājjī Mahdī Šokūhī (d. 1314/1896) are mostly known for their elegy poetry. Moḥammad-Kāẓem ʿAlīšāh Asrār Tabrīzī (b. 1265/1848-49) was a Neʿmatallāhī Sufi and poet, who compiled two anthologies of Azeri poets: Bahjat al-šoʿarāʾ and Ḥadīqat al-šoʿarāʾ (1298/1881). The latter is a selection made from the former and is mostly devoted to satirical and humorous poetry. The former includes the works of eighty-six poets (for an account of these two unpublished works, see J. Heyat, op. cit., p. 137). Another poet of some significance is Mīrzā Moḥammad-Bāqer Ḵalḵālī, who was a mojtahed and wrote a well-known maṯnawī called Ṯaʿlabīʾa (1893). The style and the structure of this work somewhat resemble the Maṯnawī of Rūmī, and within the framework of a main story Ḵalḵālī brings in many folkloric stories, always trying to present a moralistic view (see H. Ṣādeq, Haft maqāla dar pīrāmūn-e folklor wa mardom-e Āḏarbāyjān, Tehran, 1978, pp. 142-98).
In the twentieth century the Azeri literature of Iran has continued to reflect the political and social development of the country as a whole, but has been influenced especially by official attitudes and policies toward the use of Turkic as a literary language. In contrast to the flourishing of Turkic literature in Soviet Azerbaijan, therefore, Azeri literature in Iran has had a limited development. Many Azeri writers are better known for their contributions to Persian literature than to Azeri.
The Constitutional period, with its background of liberal and democratic ideas, proved a productive one for Azeri Turkic, both as a vehicle for poetry and in journalism. Of eight newspapers published in Tabrīz and Urmia at that time, five were in Turkic, three bilingual (see S. Berengian, Poets and Writers from Iranian Azerbaijan in the Twentieth Century, Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1965, p. 38). A number of journals also were published, the most outstanding and influential being Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn (first appearing in 1906). Although published in Tiflis, it counted many southern poets among its contributors, including the great satirist Mīrzā ʿAlī-Akbar Ṣāber (1862-1911). Ṣāber had a strong influence not only on other Azeri poets but also on Persian poets such as Abu’l-Qāsem Lāhūtī (1887-1957), Sayyed Ašraf Gīlānī (1287/1870-1313 Š./1934; q.v.), and ʿAlī-Akbar Dehḵodā (1297/1879-1334 Š./1956). In spite of the ban imposed by the government of Moḥammad-ʿAlī Shah aimed at stopping the journal from entering Iran, Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn and the poetry of Ṣāber in particular were extremely popular in Azerbaijan. The Constitutionalists fighting the Royalist forces in Tabrīz would recite the poems of Ṣāber to keep up their morale, and his poems touching on Iranian affairs would occasionally be answered by the journal Āḏarbāyjān (see Āzarbāyjān), published in Tabrīz in Azeri and Persian during 1906 and 1907. Jalīl Moḥammad-qolīzāda (Mämmäd-guluzade; 1869-1932) who, like Ṣāber, had deep-rooted associations with Iran, went to Tabrīz in 1921 and published eight issues of Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn there. Due to police interference, however, he returned to Baku, where he continued to publish the journal until 1929. In a letter dated April 26, 1906, Moḥammad-qolīzāda states that half of Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn’s fifteen thousand readers were in Iran (see S. Sardarınıa, “Mollā Nasreddīn in Iran,” Vārleg, January-April, 1986, p. 110).
The most outstanding poet of Azerbaijan to be influenced by Ṣāber was Mīrzā ʿAlī Moʿjez (1873-1934). One of the few Azeri poets to come close to the greatness of Ṣāber as a satirist, Moʿjez went to Istanbul at the age of sixteen and spent fourteen years there working as a bookseller and becoming acquainted with the literary and social currents in the Ottoman empire at that time. When he was thirty he returned to his native Šabestar and began to write biting satires in criticism of the absolutist rule in Iran and the backwardness of his countrymen. Prominent themes of his satires, which are written in a simple poetic language, include the abject condition of women, and religious hypocrisy and fanaticism (see ŠabestarĪ).
The case of Moʿjez, who ended his days in self exile in Šāhrūd, serves as a good example of the restrictions imposed upon Azeri poets and writers under Pahlavi rule. Pursuing a policy of national unification, Reżā Shah aimed at suppressing the use of Azeri as a literary medium. Thus, although the poems of Moʿjez were very popular, permission for the publication of his dīvān was withheld until after the abdication of Reżā Shah in 1320 Š./1941. Between then and 1325 Š./1946 it went through several editions. These years correspond to a period of weak central government and a strong Soviet military presence in Iranian Azerbaijan. With the active support of Soviet military forces, a local government was established in 1324 Š./1945 under Sayyed Jaʿfar Pīšavarī, only to be overthrown by a government force in December 1325 Š./1946. Short though it was, the period was a significant one for the cultural and literary life of the area. Azeri was recognized as the official language of the province and a number of newspapers and journals appeared in that language. New collections of poetry were published and many old dīvāns reissued. The nature of the literature produced was a combination of basic Persian literary conventions, Azeri folk and popular traditions, and Soviet-inspired socialist realism (see Berengian, op. cit., pp. vi-vii). One interesting development was the revival of syllabic meters. Many Azeri poets, including Ṣāber and Moʿjez, had used prosodic meters. Now, under the influence of folk poetry and ʿāšeq compositions in particular, some modern poets experimented with the syllabic tradition. Of the poets of this period, Ḥaddād and Karīm Marāḡaʾī are very much followers of Ṣāber and Moʿjez. Authors under Soviet Azerbaijani influence include Balaš Āḏaroḡlī (Azäroğlu; b. 1921 in Ardabīl), Madīna Golgūn (Gülgün; b. 1926), Ḥokūma Bolūrī (Bülluri; b. 1926 in Zanjān), ʿAlī Javāndāda “Tūda” (b. 1924; spent the years 1938-46 in Azerbaijan), and the political publicist Fereydūn Ebrāhīmī (b. 1919 in Āstārā, d. 1947 in Tabrīz). Many older writers also became active, including the satirical poet Ebrāhīm Ḏāker (b. 1891 near Ardabīl), ʿAlī Feṭrat (b. 1890 in Tabrīz, d. 1948), the poet and educator Mīr Mahdī Eʿtemād (b. 1900 in Tabrīz, d. 1981), and ʿĀšeq Ḥosayn Javān (b. 1916 in Azerbaijan).
With the fall of Pīšavārī’s government, the ban against the public use of Azeri was renewed, a ban that was in force for more than half a century overall. Even when, on rare occasions, a publication was allowed, the authorities had to be appeased. For instance, when ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Mojtahedī (1905-72) published his collection of Azeri proverbs and their Persian translations, he was not allowed to use the word “Azeri” on the title page. The book thus appeared as Amṯāl wa ḥekam dar lahja-ye maḥallī-e Āḏarbāyjān (2nd ed. by Ḥ. Javādī, Piedmont, California, 1984). Between 1326 Š./1947 and the Revolution of 1357 Š./1978-79, publications in Azeri were extremely rare in Iran. The most important poet of this period is Sayyed Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Šahrīār (b. 1285/1907-08 in Ḵošganāb, near Tabrīz). Known earlier for his Persian ḡazals, mainly written in the tradition of Ḥāfeẓ, in the 1320s Š./1940s he began to develop his colloquial Azeri idiom into a masterful literary language. His long lyric poem Heydär Babaya sälam (Ḥaydar Bābāya salām “Greetings to Ḥaydar Bābā,” published in two parts: I, 2nd ed., Tabrīz, 1954; II, Tabrīz, 1966) quickly became famous not only in Azerbaijan but across the rest of the Turkic world (see Muharrem Ergin, “Şehriyâr’a selâm,” Türk kültürü 29/3, 1965, p. 293; Ahmet Ateş, Sehriyâr ve Haydar-Baba’ya selâm, Ankara, 1964). Written in a lively, stanzaic form, the poem recalls memories from the poet’s childhood in a mountain village of the Tabrīz region. Bolūd Garāčorlī Sahand (Bulud Garačorlu Sähänd; b. 1926 in Marāḡa, d. 1979) is known for his excellent verse adaptation of the “Book of Dädä Qorqut” (4 vols.). Ḥabīb Sāḥer (b. 1903, Tabrīz, d. 1983, Tehran) began to publish his poems in the 1320s Š./1940s and continued his literary activities until the end of his life. Classified as one of the Haydar Baba School, he was educated in Istanbul, and the influence of both classical and modern Turkish poetry is noticeable in his poetry. As a result of the 1324-25 Š./1945-46 political events in Azerbaijan, his subsequent works became considerably more political. Other poets and writers of this period include Moḥammad-ʿAlī Maḥzūn (Mämmädali Mähzun; who joined the ranks of those writing in praise of events in the Pīšavārī period), Moḥammad Bīrīā (b. Tabrīz, 1918) who was a minister in the Democratic Party government, Ṣamad Behrangī (q.v.), who occasionally wrote poems, ʿAbbās Bārez, Jabbār Bāḡčabān, and Noṣratallāh Fatḥī (see M. ʿA. Farzāna, “Češmandāz-e šeʿr-e mobārez-e Āḏarbāyjān dar dawrān-e eḵtenāq,” Vārleq 3-4, June-July, 1985).
Since 1357 Š./1978 there has been much literary activity again, especially in Tabrīz. A few Azeri periodicals began to appear just after the revolution, such as Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn (a satirical weekly published in Tabrīz in 1979) and Saṭṭār Ḵān Bayrāqī (a political monthly, Tabrīz, 1979; originally published in West Germany). None of them, however, lasted very long. An important journal now is Vārleq (Varlïg), currently in its seventh year of publication in Tehran. This serves as a forum for leading Azeri intellectuals and writers such as Ḥāmed Noṭqī, M. ʿA. Farzāna, Jawād Ḥayāt (its editor), Moḥammad Payfūn (author of a recent Azeri-Persian dictionary), and many others. Contemporary literature mainly consists of poetry, written in both ʿarūż and the syllabic meter. It is influenced by the poetry of both Soviet Azerbaijan and modern Turkey, and concentrates thematically upon social and cultural questions.
Many Soviet Azerbaijan authors (some of whom originate from southern Azerbaijan) have dealt with Iranian Azerbaijan in their works. Jalīl Moḥammad-qolīzāda (Mämmädguluzade) was proud of the fact that his forefathers were from Iran, and he considered himself an Iranian (see Sardarınıa, op. cit., p. 109). Moḥammad (Mämmäd) Saʿīd Ordūbādī (1872-1950) described Tabrīz in Bädbäxt milyoṇču (The unlucky millionaire; 1907) and the revolutionary movement of 1906-09, which he himself witnessed, in Dumanlı Täbriz (Misty Tabriz; 1933-1948). Bayrām-ʿAlī ʿAbbāszāda (1859-1926), who participated in the Constitutional Revolution, later wrote satirical poems in northern Azerbaijan that treated Iranian themes. Many works by the northern Azerbaijani author ʿAlī Naẓmī (1878-1946) also deal with the revolutionary movements in the south. The novel Gün gäläjäk (The day will come) by Mīrzā Ebrāhīmov (b. 1911, in Sarāb), is also about events during the Constitutional period. It was published in 1948 and has been translated into several languages. The poetry of Osman Sarïvelli (b. 1905) contains personal impressions of the south during the war, for example İki sahil (Two shores; 1950), which contrasts Iranian and Soviet Azerbaijan. Moḥammad (Mämmäd) Raḥīm (b. 1907) describes the south in a poetic cycle Täbrizdä (in Tabrīz). Anwār Moḥammad-ḵānlī (Mämmädxanlï; b. 1913), who also served with the Soviet army in Iran, deals with similar matters in short stories from Tabrīz and in the drama Od ičindä (In the fire; 1951 ).
See also M. ʿĀref, Adabīyāt-e Āḏarbāyjān, 1958.
Idem [M. Arif], Istoriya azerbaĭdzhanskoĭ literatury, Baku, 1971.
Ä. Axundov, Azerbaĭdzhanskie skazki, Baku, 1955.
Idem, ed., Azärbayjan folkloru antologiyasï, 2 vols., Baku, 1968, Ankara, 1978.
Idem, Azärbayjan ašïglarï vä el šairläri, 2 vols., Baku, 1983-84.
Idem et al., eds., Azärbayjan dastanlarï, 5 vols., Baku, 1965-72.
M. F. Axundov (Āḵūndzāda), Äsärlär, 3 vols., Baku, 1938.
N. Axundov, Azärbaijan satira jurnallarï 1906-1920, Baku, 1968.
R. Azadä, Azärbayjan épik še’rinin inkišaf yollarï (XII-XVII äsrlär), Baku, 1975.
Azärbayjan šifahi xalg ädäbiyyatïna dair tädgiglär, 6 vols., Baku, 1961-81.
A. H. Billuri, Razvitie realisticheskoĭ demokraticheskoĭ poezii iranskogo Azerbaĭdzhana (1945-1960 gg.), Baku, 1972.
A. Caferoğlu, “Ādharī,“ in EI2 I, pp. 192-94.
Idem, “Die aserbaidschanische Literatur,” in Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta II, Aquis Mattiacis (Wiesbaden), 1964, pp. 635-99.
M. Ergin, Azerî türkçesi, Istanbul, 1971 (this work contains the text of “Heydar Babaya sälam” in Latin characters).
Fuzuli, Divan, ed. K. Akyüz et al., Ankara, 1958.
Idem, Leyli vä Mäjnun, 2 vols., Baku, 1958.
T. Gandjeï, ed., Il canzoniere di Šāh Ismāʿīl Haṭāʾī, Naples, 1959.
F. and Y. Gedikli, Cağdaş azerî şiir antolojisi, Istanbul, 1983.
J. Heyat, “20’inci asırda Güney Azerbaycan edebiyatı,” Beşinci milletler arası türkoloji kongresi. Tebliğler II: Türk edebiyatı I, Istanbul, 1985, pp. 119-29.
A. Ibrahimov, Azärbayjan klassik ädäbiyyatï, Baku, I: Xalg ädäbiyyatï, 1982; II: Imadäddin Näsimi, 1985.
Idem, ed., Azerbaĭdzhanskaya poeziya, Moscow, n.d. (after 1969).
Salāmallāh Jāvīd, Dostlar görüšü, n.p., 1980 (interesting collection of poems by contemporary Azeri poets in Iran with a short account of their lives).
F. B. Köčärli, Azärbayjan ädäbiyyatï I, Baku, 1978.
F. Köprülü, “Azeri edebiyatina notlar,” Darülfünun Edebiyat Fakültesi Mecmuası 4, 1925, pp. 68-77.
P. Makulu, Adabi maʿlumat jadvalï, Baku, 1962. I. Näsimi, Üč jilddä äsärlär, Baku, 1973.
Ḥāmed Noṭqī, “Honar-e Šahrīār,” Vārleq 3, April-May, 1984, pp. 115; 9-12, January-April, 1986 (devoted to Sāḥer).
Mīrzā ʿAlī Moʿjez Šabestarī, Taza tapïlan šiʿirlär, Tabrīz, n.d. B. R. Sahand, Sazmyn sözü, n.p. [Tehran?], n.d. (anthology of Azeri poetry from Iran).
M. H. Tähmasib, Azärbayjan xalq dastanlarï, Baku, 1972.
Idem et al., Azärbayjan naḡïllarï, 5 vols., Baku, 1961-64.
Idem et al., Azärbayjan mahabbat dastanlarï, Baku, 1979.
M. ʿA. Tarbīat, Dānešmandān-e Āḏarbāyjān, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935.
A. P. Vekilov, Narodnaya poèziya Azerbaĭdzhana, Leningrad, 1978.
S. Vurḡun et al., Azärbayjan ädäbiyyatï tarixi, 2 vols., Baku, 1960.
(H. Javadi and K. Burrill)
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: January 1, 2000
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 3, 1988, pp. 251-255