Kurdish literature


Kurdish literature

Kurdish literature (in Kurdish: Wêjeya Kurdî [http://ku.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%AAje] ) refers to literature written in Kurdish language. Literary Kurdish works have been written in one of the three main dialects of Gorani, Kurmanji and Sorani. There is no existing evidence of Kurdish literature in the pre-Islamic era. Some sources consider Ali Hariri(1425-1495) as the first well-known poet who wrote in Kurdish. He was from the Hakkari region [http://www.institutkurde.org/en/language/] .

Gorani Literature

Gorani is classified in some sources as a branch of Kurdish [http://www.kurdishacademy.org/english/literature/literature.html] and [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9046467?query=kurdish&ct=] but in many others as a non-Kurdish independent Iranian language belonging to the Zaza-Gorani branch. [http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/Papers/Hassanpour98.html] Vladimir Minorsky, an authority in this field mentions in his work "The Goran": "Gûrânî is very distinct from Kurdish there cannot be any doubt...". [http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/Papers/Hassanpour98.html] Some of the well-known Gorani poets and writers are Parishan Dinawari (d. ca. 1395), Mustafa Besarani (1642-1701), Muhammad Kandulayi (late 17th century), Khana Qubadi (1700-1759), Shayda Awrami (1784-1852) and Mastoureh Ardalan) (1805-1848).

Kurmanji Literature

Gulnar Eli, Kurdish poet,Iraqi Kurdistan

orani Literature

Contrary to Kurmanji, literary works in Sorani appeared only in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Haji Qadir Koyi of "Koy Sanjaq" in central Kurdistan (1817-1897), and Sheikh Rezza Talabani (1835-1909) were among the very first writers in this dialect. Closeness of the two dialects of Sorani and Kurmanji, is cited as one of the reasons for the late start in Sorani literature and the fact that during 15th to 19th century, there was a rich literary tradition in the Kurmanji dialect.

Despite its late start, Sorani literature progressed with a rapid pace, specially during the early 20th century and after recognition of Sorani as the main language of Kurds in Iraq. The language rights of Kurds were guaranteed by the British and school education in Kurdish started in earnest in the early 1920s. It is estimated that almost 80% of the existing Kurdish literature in the 20th century has been written in Sorani dialect.

Increased contact with the Arab world and subsequently western world led to a translation movement among Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan in the early 20th century. Many classical literary works of Europe were translated into Sorani, including the works of Pushkin, Schiller, Byron and Lamartine.

Kurdish is one of the official languages of Iraq and the central government assistance has been instrumental in supporting publication of books and magazines in Kurdish. In 1970s, an oraganization called "Korî Zaniyarî Kurd"(The Scientific academy of Kurds) was established for academic studies in Kurdish language and literature. It was centered in Baghdad. Kurdish language departments were also opened in some Iraqi universities including Baghdad University, University of Salahaddin and University of Sulaimaniya. The well known sorani poets include Abdulla Goran (founder of the free verse poetry in Kurdish), Sherko Bekas, Abdulla Pashew, Qanih. Many Kurdish writers have written novels, plays and literary analysis including Piramerd, Alaaddin Sajadi, Ibrahim Ahmad, Karim Hisami and Hejar.there are also some contemporary well-known novel and play writers such as Medhit Bexaw, Karim Sharaza, Abdul Khaliq Aladdin and Dr. Ezzadin Rasul.

A historical list of Kurdish literature and poets

Religious

*Mishefa Reş, The religious book of the Êzidî (Yezidi) Kurds. [http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/page.php?ID=325] (in French) It is held to have been written by Shaykh Hasan (born ca. AD 1195), a nephew of Shaykh Adi ibn Musâfir, the sacred prophet of the Yezidis.
* Serencam, The book of Yarsan.

In Goranî Dialect

* Perîşan Dînewerî (d. ca. 1395),
* Mustefa Bêsaranî (1642-1701),
* Muhemmed Kendulaî (late 17th century),
* Khana Qubadi (Xana Qubadî) (1700-1759),
* Muhemmed Zengene Xemnakî Kerkûkî (early 18th century),
* Mîrza Şafî Dînewerî (mid- 18th century),
* Şeyda Ewramî (1784-1852),
* Ehmed Beg Kumsî (1796-1889),
* Mastoureh Ardalan (Mestûrey Erdelan) (1805-1848)
* Mawlawi Tawagozi (Mewlewî Tawegozî ) (1806-1882)
* Muhammad Welî Kirmanşahî (d. ca. 1901)

In Kurmancî Dialect

* Elî Herîrî, (1425-1490)
* Ehmedê Batê (Ahmade Bate) (1417-1491) of Hekkarî, the author of "Mewlûda Kurmancî (Birthday in Kurmanji)", a collection of poems.
* Selîm Selman, (mid 16th century) (romance of Yusif u Zulaykha in 1586)
* Melayê Cizîrî(Şeyx Ehmed Cizîrî) (Malaye Jaziri) (1570-1640) of Buhtan region, poet and sufi. see [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0SBL/is_16/ai_n13784515] .
* Feqîyê Teyran (Faqi Tayran) (1590-1660) Student of Melayê Cezîrî. He is credited for contributing the earliest literary account of the Battle of Dimdim in 1609-1610 between Kurds and Safavid Empire. (see [http://www.iranica.com/articles/v7/v7f4/v7f446.html] ).
* Ehmedê Xanî (Ahmad Khani) (1651-1707) (The epic drama of Mem û Zîn) (Born in Hakkari, Turkey) (see [http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Ahmad_e_Kani.html] )
* Mehmûd Bayazîdî (Mahmud Bayazidi), (1797 - 1859 ) Kurdish writer.

In Soranî Dialect

* Nali (Nalî) (1798-1855)
* Haji Qadir Koyi (Hacî Qadir Koyî) (1817-1897)
* Sheikh Rezza Talabani (Şêx Reza Talebanî) (1835-1910)
* Mahwi (1830-1906)
* Wafaei (1844-1902)

For more details see [http://www.kurdishacademy.org/english/literature/literature.html] .Also see [http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/coldwater/322/mehname0005-03.html] for an English translation of a poem by Ehmedê Xanî and [http://www.navkurd.de/edebiyat.htm] for a list of Kurdish poets and writers.

Famous Poets and writers of the 20th century

* Piramerd or Pîremêrd (Tewfîq Beg Mehmûd Axa) (1867-1950) Poet, Writer, Playwright and Journalist.
* Celadet Alî Bedirxan (Jaladat Ali Badirkhan (1893-1951) Writer, Journalist and Liguist.
* Arab Shamilov (Erebê Şemo) (1897-1978). Kurdish novelist in Armenia.
* Cigerxwîn or Cegerxwîn(Jigarkhwin) (Sheikmous Hasan) (1903-1984) poet, born in Mardin, Turkey. Died in Sweden.
* Abdulla Goran (1904-1962). The founder of modern Kurdish poetry.
* Osman Sabri (1905-1993) Kurdish poet, writer and journalist, Turkey/Syria.
* Hemin Mukriyani(Hêmin Mukriyanî)(1920-1986) Poet and Journalist, Iran.
* Hejar (Abdurrahman Sharafkandi) (1920-1990), Poet, Writer, Translator and Linguist, Iran.
* Jamal Nebez (1933- ) Writer, Linguist , Translator and Academic, Germany.
* Sherko Bekas (Şêrko Bêkes) (1940- ) Poet, Iraqi Kurdistan. His poems have been translated to over 10 languages.
* "Geheimnisse der Nacht pfluecken" translated by Shirwan Mirza, Reingard Mirza, and Renate Saljoughi, and The English translation "The secret Diary of a Rose", by Shirwan Mirza, and Reingard Mirza.
* Latif Halmat (Letîf Helmet) (1947- ) Poet, Iraqi Kurdistan.
* Abdulla Pashew (Ebdulla Peşêw) (1947- ) Poet.
* Rafiq Sabir (1950- ) Poet, Sweden.
* Mehmed Uzun, (1953-2007), Contemporary Writer and Novelist.
* Firat Cewerî, (1959- ),Contemporary Writer and Novelist.

References and links

* [http://www.encislam.brill.nl/data/EncIslam/C4/COM-0544.html T. Bois, "Kurdish Folklore and Literature", Part VI of Kurds and Kurdistan] , Encyclopaedia of Islam.
* [http://www.kurdishacademy.org/english/literature/literature.html Kurdish Literature] , by Prof. Mehrdad R. Izady, Kurdish Academy.
* [http://www.institutkurde.org/en/language/ The Kurdish Language and Literature] , By Joyce Blau, Professor of Kurdish language and civilization at the National Institute of Oriental Language and Civilization of the University of Paris (INALCO).
* [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/ot_grp7/ot_kurdishwritten_20050223.html Kurdish Written Literature] , By Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Encyclopaedia Iranica, Feb. 2005.
* [http://www.institutkurde.org/en/ The Kurdish Institute of Paris]
* [http://www.korizanisti.ir/Default.aspx?alias=www.korizanisti.ir/aenglish Kurdish Language Academy in Iran]
* [http://languages.usalah.org/kurdish.htm The Kurdish Language Department, University of Salahaddin]
* [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/mideast/cuvlm/kurdish_lit.html Kurdish Literature] , Columbia University
* [http://learning.lib.vt.edu/slav/lit_authors_kurdish.html Index of Kurdish Literature and Authors] , Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
* [http://www.kurdishlibrary.org/Kurdish_Library/KurdiKK/Poetry_KUR/Poetry_Index_Kur.htm The Anthology of Kurdish Poems]
* [http://www.kurdishlibrary.org/Kurdish_Library/Links/Links_ENG/Kurd_Links_Lit_Eng.htm Links for Kurdish literature, Kurdish Library]
* [http://www.ofkparis.org/english/mem-zin.htm Mem and Zîn or the burning wings of love] , Interview with Sandrine Alexie, the translator of "Mam and Zin" into French.
* [http://www.enstituyakurdi.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=45 Publications of Kurdish Institute of Istanbul]


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