M. Reisner

‘Udhri Codes of Love and Early Persian Romance Verses (5th/11th Century) 

Abstract. The article is devoted to the analyses of love letters in the verse romance of Wis wa Ramin by Fakhr al-Din Gurgani (5th/11th century). This romance is one of the early examples of love story in Persian Classic literature. Ten letters of main heroine addressed to the beloved who betrayed her, is situated in the separate chapter and represent a specific sort of introduction to the science of love.

The combination of lyric and didactic elements in “Ten Letters” equally with monologs and dialogs of personages gave the author a sort of method for transformation of old epic subject into romance with its description of inner life of person. This “love didactic” is a necessary basis of the conception of individual love which is the key idea of medieval romance as a specific genre. One can find the didactic elements both in form and content of “Ten Letters”. There are some thematic coincidences in the letters with the famous Arabic treatise of love by Ibn Hazm entitled Tawq al-hamama (“Dove's Necklace”). The book was written in Andalusia in the same 5th/11th century. Independently Gurgani and Ibn Hazm represented the same conception of individual love, which was formed in the medieval Muslim East and was reflected in literature.

Key words: Persian Classic epos, medieval romance, conception of individual love, transformation of epic subject into romance, inner life of person


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