DĀNEŠKADA, amonthly literary journal published from Ṯawr 1297/April 1918 to Ṯawr 1298/April 1919 in Tehran by the distinguished poet, literary critic, and scholar Moḥammad-Taqi Malek-al-Šoʿarāʾ Bahār, considered the leading Persian literary figure of his time. It was named for a literary society founded by Bahār a year earlier, which included such leading Persian literati as Ḡolām-Reżā Rašid Yāsemi, ʿAli-Asḡar Heḳmat, ʿAbbas Eqbāl, and Saʿid Nafisi; these men contributed most of the articles, poems, and translations published in Dāneškada.

Dāneškada was the second literary periodical established in Persia, after Bahār, which had been published by Mirzā Yusof Khan Eʿteṣām-al-Molk in 1328-29/1910-11. Because of the distinction of contributors, particularly Bahār himself, Dāneškada attracted considerable attention and exerted a strong influence on the literary development of the period. Nevertheless, it did not meet the expectations of those who were committed to bringing about fundamental reforms in literature; Taqi Rafʿat, a leader in this reform movement, sharply criticized Dāneškada in the paper Tajaddod.

In the lead article of the first issue, entitled Marām-e mā (Our goal), Bahār defined the objectives of Dāneškada: to create and encourage formal, as well as thematic, innovations in literature in order to reflect contemporary life, but without breaking completely from traditional norms established by the great masters of the past. The editor also pledged to adopt in Persian prose useful elements from the works of Western authors. Like its predecessor Bahār, Dāneškada included translations of works by Johann Friedrich Schiller, Alexandre Dumas, Jean de La Fontaine, and other European writers; a fiction serial entitled Salṭanat (Kingship), attributed to Dumas and translated by Ḡolām-Reżā Eqbāl-al-Solṭān Baḵtiāri, appeared throughout the run of the journal. No such title is known among the works of either the elder or the younger Dumas, however.

Moḥammad Moḥiṭ-Ṭabāṭabāʾi (pp. 240-241) has reported that Dāneškada received financial support from the government; that, while Bahār was editor of the semiofficial newspaper Irān, he took advantage of the facilities to print Dāneškada; and that Dāneškada ceased publication only when he was dismissed from his position at Irān. There is no evidence, however, that Dāneškada ever received financial support from the government or anyone else, even though Bahār did issue it from his office at Irān. In fact he complained in one of his poems about the financial losses he had sustained in publishing Dāneškada (Moširi, p. 190). Nor is there any evidence for Moḥiṭ-Ṭabāṭabāʾi’s claim (p. 168) that the purpose of establishing Dāneškada was to draw the younger generation away from Kāva, a Persian-language periodical published in Berlin. During the period when Dāneškada was in circulation Kāva was a pro-German political magazine; it became a literary journal only on 22 January 1920, nine months after Dāneškada had ceased publication.

Dāneškada had a print run of 500 copies. Its unassuming cover bore the title written in nastʿliq script style and details of publication. Each issue contained 54-66 single-column pages measuring 14 x 20 cm. It was printed at the Tehran publishing house. The cost of an annual subscription was 30 qerāns, and each issue sold for 2 qerāns. Complete sets of the journal can be found in most Persian libraries and in the libraries of the University of Cambridge in England and Harvard and Princeton Universities in the United States.



Fehrest-e majallāt dar Ketāb-ḵāne-ye Āstān-e qods-e rażawi I, Mašhad, 1361 Š./1982, p. 127.

I. Afšār, "Jarayānhā-ye adabi dar majallāt-t fārsi,” Rāhnamā-ye ketāb 20/11-12. 1356 Š./1978, pp. 770-772.

Āryanpūr, Az Ṣabā tā Nimā, pp. 225, 332-33, 436-37, 445-51.

M.-T. Bahār, Divān, ed. M. Malekzāda, 4th ed., I, Tehran, 1358 Š./ 1979, p. q.

A. Mehrad, Die deutsche Penetration pacifique des iranischen Presse wesen 909-1936, Frankfurt am Main, 1988, p. 71.

M. Moḥiṭ-Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tāriḵ-e taḥlili-e maṭbuʿat-e Irān, Tehran, 1366 Š./ 1987.

F. Moširi, “Yādgārhā-i az Malek-al Šoʿarā Bahār,” Āyanda 8/3-4, 1361 Š./ 1982, pp. 190-91.

M. Nafisi, “Negāh-ee goḏarā be majallāt-e adabi-e Iran,” Soḵan 26, Āḏar 1356 Š./ December 1977, pp. 215-16.

A. Nikū-hemmat, Zendagāni wa āṯār-e Bahār, Kermān, 1334 Š./ 1955, pp. 11-12.

Ṣadr Hāšemi, Jarāʾed o majallāt II, pp. 270-72.

B. Sartippur and K. Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e majallahā-ye mawjud dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Irān, Tehran, 1357 Š./ 1978, p. 115.

N. Sims-Williams, ed., Union Catalogue of Persian Serials and Newspapers in British Libraries, London, 1985, p. 114.

M. Solṭāni, Fehrest-e majallahā-ye fārsi az ebtedā tā sāl-e 1320-e šamsi, Tehran, 1356 Š./ 1977, pp. 49-50.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: July 20, 2002

Last Updated: July 20, 2002