Kindred Voices

A Literary History of Medieval Anatolia

Michael Pifer

View Inside Format: HC - Paper over Board
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The fascinating story of how premodern Anatolia’s multireligious intersection of cultures shaped its literary languages and poetic masterpieces

By the mid-thirteenth century, Anatolia had become a region of stunning cultural diversity, home not only to Armenians and Greeks, but also to Persians, Turks, Arabs, Mongols, Jews, and others. Kindred Voices explores how the Muslim and Christian poets of Anatolia grappled with the multilingual and multireligious worlds they inhabited, attempting to impart resonant forms of religious instruction to their intermingled communities. This unique, under-studied convergence produced fresh poetic styles and sensibilities, native to no single people or language, that enabled the period’s literature to reach new and wider audiences. This is the first book to study the era’s major Persian, Armenian, and Turkish poets, from roughly 1250 to 1340, against the canvas of this broader literary ecosystem. Although these poets were later constructed as foundational figures in their own “national” literary histories, they first emerged, before the rise of the Ottomans, from a shared and fraught terrain.

Michael Pifer is lecturer in Armenian language and literature at the University of Michigan. His publications include the coedited volume An Armenian Mediterranean: Words and Worlds in Motion. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

“A highly original work that reconceptualizes Anatolian literature not just as a combination of different national literatures, but as shared modes of (re)interpretation articulated in different linguistic registers.”—Sergio La Porta, California State University, Fresno

“This manuscript is a remarkable achievement and will immediately become a go-to reference for medieval Anatolian literature. A joy to read.”—Alison Vacca, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Kindred Voices is a work full of marvelous ‘chimeric couplings’ in which we witness medieval Anatolia through a prism never seen before.”—Rebecca Ruth Gould, author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus

Kindred Voices adds Armenian to an exciting new trend in Medieval Studies: reading literary texts not as foundational pieces of a national tradition but as witnesses of the lively exchange across languages, cultures, and religions.”—Sharon Kinoshita, Co-founder and co-director, The Mediterranean Seminar

Kindred Voices is a beautifully written, provocative, and masterful evaluation of the importance of poetry in medieval Anatolia. It brims with original ideas, and will continue to reach and inspire a broad readership in the years to come.”—Selim Kuru, University of Washington
ISBN: 9780300250398
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
320 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
7 b/w illus.