(8/16/03 4:18 pm)
Persian Cupid and Psyche?|
A book completely unrelated to folklore that I was looking through today made reference to a Persian Cupid and Psyche tale, but gave no title. Anyone familiar with a Persian variant, and if so, possible title or collection title?
(8/21/03 5:12 pm)
Re: Persian Cupid and Psyche?|
These are the only two little scraps of info i could find, and i think they're a long shot to being what you were looking for. If there is a Persain version of Eros and Psyche I dont know enough to find it.
"THE genius of Eastern nations," says an established and respectable authority, "was, from the earliest times, much turned towards invention and the love of fiction. The Indians, the Persians, and the Arabians, were all famous for their fables. Amongst the ancient Greeks we hear of the Ionian and Milesian tales, but they have now perished, and, from every account we hear of them, appear to have been loose and indelicate." Similarly, the classical dictionaries define "Milesiae fabulae" to be "licentious themes," "stories of an amatory or mirthful nature," or "ludicrous and indecent plays." M. Deriege seems indeed to confound them with the "Moeurs du Temps" illustrated with artistic gouaches, when he says, "une de ces fables milesiennes, rehaussees de peintures, que la corruption romaine recherchait alors avec une folle ardeur."
My friend, Mr. Richard Charnock, F.A.S.L., more correctly defines Milesian fables to have been originally " certain tales or novels, composed by Aristides of Miletus "; gay in matter and graceful in manner. "They were translated into Latin by the historian Sisenna, the friend of Atticus, and they had a great success at Rome. Plutarch, in his life of Crassus, tells us that after the defeat of Carhes (Carrhae?) some Milesiacs were found in the baggage of the Roman prisoners. The Greek text; and the Latin translation have long been lost. The only surviving fable is the tale of Cupid and Psyche, which Apuleius calls 'Milesius sermo,' and it makes us deeply regret the disappearance of the others."
After the Kingdom of Lydia fell to the Persian king Cyrus in 546 BC, the fear that Persian rule would expand brought all lonian cities together again under the Panionion League. Following discussions, defence preparations against the Persians were begun, and also help was asked from the Spartans. In spite of all these measures however, the cities were not able to defend themselves against the Persians, and beginning with Ephesus, they almost all came under Persian rule.
However miletus, again acting politically, signed a treaty with the Persian king Cyrus similar to the one it had made with the Kingdom of Lydia, and stopped the Persians from besieging the city.
Could be completely unconnected. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
(8/21/03 11:35 pm)
Not sure if it is relevant|
but Margaret Ann Mills at Ohio State University wrote an article many years ago regarding the Cupid and Psyche myth in Afghanistan. My computer wouldn't copy the site (darn it!) but you should be able to locate the relevant information with a google search. The site I found also had her e-mail - maybe you could get a reprint of the article.
(8/22/03 7:14 am)
Re: Not sure if it is relevant|
Jess and Gorm -
Thanks for the help. I certainly will follow up. Also, considering Donna Jo Napoli's take on Beauty and the Beast, I might look into what she was reading while she researched.
Any other comments appreciated.
(8/22/03 10:55 am)
Re: Not sure if it is relevant|
I have been trying to track this down since last week through "Animal
Bridegroom" variants but have not had much success once I got
to Charles Lamb's poem Beauty and the Beast, so I emailed
Donna Jo Napoli this morning and she kindly wrote right back. Here
is her response:
Nice to meet you.
I completely understand your fascination with tracking it down. No, I didn't find anything about Lamb's source materials. But I didn't look for them, either. Once I read his version, I went straight to Persian literature and just read that. I'm convinced he was right -- this is a Persian tale at least in spirit. But I didn't find any analog of it in the Persian lit that I read.
About Cupid and Psyche -- I don't know any Persian variant of it, either.
I'm no help to you at all. I'm sorry.
Sorry, that it's not of more use. The most likely course might be to track back through Charles Lamb. Alternatively, if I could ask which book the reference came from?
Angela aka aliera
Edited by: Aliera at: 8/23/03 5:20 am
(8/22/03 2:49 pm)
A few leads?|
Some names I have run across in searching for the keywords "Persian Cupid Psyche" are:
Yusuf & Zuleyha (Persian)
Tristan & Iseult (sometimes refered to as Tritram and Isolde) (Arthurian)
Wis & Ramin (also Vis and Ramin) (Persian)
Diarmaid & Gráinne (Celtic)
Here's what I've found:
Parallels to certain famous stories, such as that of Tristan and Iseult, have been found in regions as wide apart as Persia and Ireland: in the mid-11th-century Persian epic of Wis and Ramin and in the Old Irish Diarmaid and Gráinne;"
Story of Yusuf and Zuleyha (Jami: 1414-92)
of Women in Classical Persian Literature and the Contemporary Iranian
Pursuit of Díarmait and Gráinne
If any of this sounds close, let me know and I'll research some more.
(8/22/03 4:09 pm)
Re: A few leads?|
The most important point in these scenes is that women play
a central role in any form of change in the society. Indeed, in
most Iranian narratives women are central to the plot and given
much space. My main goal is to analyze various images of women in
the contemporary Iranian novel by looking at their antecedents in
classical Persian literature. In fact, I would like to construct
a literary history for the recurring images of women in the contemporary
Iranian novel, rewriting them through the shine and shimmer of their
enigmatic past. www.rozanehmagazine.com/j...fisi1.html
The phrasing of this is very close to something I read last night on the Cupid and Psyche legend, that points to Psyche as symbolic of the cultural change and also points to the feminine actors within the tale as the motivators behind Psyche's growth. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. Aphrodite. Her sisters. Although it's a negative force, it's what leads to growth. Interesting.
(8/22/03 6:08 pm)
Fabulous - thanks to you all. I'll start looking into these tomorrow or the next day. Kerrie, et al, I'll let you know what I find.
Angela - the reference is from an odd place, a baby name book. No source note, of course. Still, the listing sparked my curiousity because of something I'm working on.
Anyway, you've all be quite helpful. If you run across anything more, please post it. And I'll be digging in, as well.
(9/25/03 7:25 am)
Kudos to Jess|
Tracked down Margaret Ann Mills who was kind enough to send me "Cupid and Psyche in Afghanistan," which includes a translation of Xasteh and Xomar - an Afghan version of the Cupid and Psyche tale. Not quite what I was looking for, but fascinatiing and helpful all the same.