An Ecocritical Reading of Saʿdī’s “The Mocaddamah; or, Introduction to the Gulistan of Shaikh Sadi”

Document Type: Research Papers


Assistant Prof. of English Literature


In his article, “An Ecocritical Reading of Saʿdī’s ‘The Mocaddamah; or, Introduction to the Gulistan of Shaikh Sadi’” Massih Zekavat argues that some aspects of ecological conceptualizations seem to have remained unchanged in Iran since the thirteenth century. He also explores the possibility of applying one of the most recent western critical approaches to a distinguished text in the Persian literary canon and offers the novel understanding that such reading can provide. After a brief introduction to the main pertinent tenets of ecocriticism, a rhetorical reading of Saʿdī’s “Introduction” to Gulistān within the framework of ecocriticism explicates its environmental attitudes, some of which are still prevalent in the contemporary Iranian episteme. Cornucopia is a dominant notion in the “Introduction” and some of its descriptions resemble those of the pastoral tradition. Moreover, human/nature, man/woman, and culture/nature binary oppositions partly shape the logic of domination in the “Introduction”; and the privileged status of the dominator in these binaries leads to the otherness of nature, androcentrism and anthropocentrism.


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