Classical and modern Kurdish literature

Authored by: Hashem Ahmadzadeh

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter the concept of Kurdish literature will be discussed thoroughly. It is meant to, first and foremost, define the concept and the extension of Kurdish literature and its connotation. Furthermore, this chapter will shed light on the classical and modern period of Kurdish literature. By comparing these periods this chapter will discuss how the modern period and the rise of nation states have caused division in the content and mission of Kurdish literature. By discussing these characteristic features of Kurdish literature, this chapter will evaluate the possible effects of literature on the Kurdish nationalist movement and at the same time the reflection of the nationalist movement on Kurdish literature. The chapter argues that there is a clear relationship between the political situation and the flourishing of Kurdish literature. In other words, whenever the political conditions are supportive of democratic rights, Kurdish literature flourishes and develops. It has played a decisive role in showing the long existence of a people with their own linguistic and cultural peculiarities, different from the other dominant ethnic groups and nations in the Middle East. This chapter aims to shed light on Kurdish literature in its both classical and modern forms and periods. At the same time the characteristic features of Kurdish literature in both periods will be discussed. The rise of the modern Kurdish literary discourse coincides with the emergence of the new nation states in the region, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The new era affects both the form and the content of Kurdish literature.

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