A Poet Builds a Nation: Hafez as a Catalyst in Emerson’s Process of Developing American Literature

  • Behnam Mirzababazadeh Fomeshi Independent scholars
  • Adineh Khojastehpour Independent scholars
Keywords: Hafez, Emerson, comparative literature, reception, national identity


Numerous studies have tried to elucidate the relationship between Emerson and Hafez. While most of these studies laid emphasis on influence of Hafez on Emerson and others on similarity and/or infatuation, they left untouched some vital historical aspects of this relationship. Taking into consideration the political and literary discourses of Emerson’s America may illuminate the issue. America’s attempt to gain independence from Britain, Emerson’s resolution to establish an American literary tradition, his break with the European fathers to establish that identity, his open-mindedness in receiving non-European cultures and the correspondence between Emerson’s transcendentalism and Hafez’s mysticism led to Hafez’s reception by Emerson.


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