I know, the title is a clickbait and will disappoint most. Still, those thinking that exegesis is a matter of highly theological speculation, reserved for those educated in the study of scripture, might be wrong. Exegesis hits when you expect it the least. The following text, for instance, is an excerpt from an e-mail that I received in May 2018. It questions the relationship between holy scripture, oaths, and truth:
If for nothing else, Hafez is a genius just for this one line:
در تنگنای حیرتم از نخوت رقیب
یارب مباد آن که گدا معتبر شود
Must be a universal feeling, as Robert Walser seems to have felt similar: “Wenn Schwache sich für stark halten”!
There is a documentary of 27 minutes on Zoroastrian/Parsi attempts of finding love through community events. The clip I posted previously is part of this radio documentary. You need to be registered and signed in to be able to listen to the documentary.
Not my style of literature, but whoever writes about walking, mountains and silence gets my attention! Werner Herzog’s (
@wernerhurtzog) “Vom Gehen im Eis” and Robert Walser’s “Der Spaziergang” remain clear favourites.
“There There”, a beautifully written novel and incredible storytelling by Tommy Orange. I sometimes read e-samples before buying a book. This one’s caught my attention immediately and read it to the end. I got off the plane and almost went to Dussmann shortly before midnight to buy the book. Luckily they had an open Sunday the next day. I look forward to reading more by
Last week, I taught about Anquetil-Duperron, William Jones, the discovery of language similarity and the beginnings of IE Studies. Disciplines such as Iranian Studies or #Indology, as we know them today, would not have been possible without those efforts and contributions. I also made it a point to at least briefly discuss “genesis amnesia” and the critical examination of Oriental Studies offered by @tavak in
The University of Bergen (Norway) and the Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies at SOAS, University of London, offer this autumn (23–27 September 2019) a short course on Zoroastrianism. This free course takes place in Rome and offers international students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of this religion with its rich history. The course is taught by Sarah Stewart (SOAS) and Michael Stausberg (Bergen) who will be joined by Jenny Rose (Claremont). Application deadline is 24 June 2019.
I love cats, but am not crazy about them and certainly not a cat vs dog person. I like cats a reasonable amount. A while ago, however, I stumbled upon Junichiro Tanizaki’s cat story, read it out of curiosity and absolutely loved it. Months later, I caught myself remembering it as a B&W film, so lucid and expressive is its language and storytelling.
Another photo essay by Behrad Mistry, again from last year and over at the Ajam Media Collective.
The Zoroastrian New Year coincides with the Spring Equinox. It marks not only the beginning of the calendar, but the renewal of life in its perennial struggle with death. This annual milestone is an occasion for celebration, and involves a series of ritual arrangements and acts.