HARVARD STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Cover: Visions of Persia: Mapping the Travels of Adam Olearius, from Harvard University PressCover: Visions of Persia in PAPERBACK

Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature 48

Visions of Persia

Mapping the Travels of Adam Olearius

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PAPERBACK

$27.50 • £20.95 • €24.80

ISBN 9780674012547

Publication: January 2004

Short

272 pages

46 halftones, 7 line drawings, 13 maps

Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature

World

This work examines the travel account of a German baroque author who journeyed in search of silk from Northern Germany, through Muscovy, to the court of Shah Safi in Isfahan.

Adam Olearius introduced Persian literature, history, and arts to the German-speaking public; his frank appraisal of Persian customs foreshadows the enlightened spirit of the eighteenth century (influencing Montesquieu’s Persian Letters as well as Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan) and prepares the way for German Romanticism’s infatuation with Persian poetry.

Brancaforte focuses on the visual and discursive nexus uniting Olearius’s text with the numerous engravings that supplement the book. The emphasis falls on contextualized readings of Olearius’s decorative frontispieces and his new and improved map of Persia and the Caspian Sea, as expressions of early modern subjectivity.