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Yusuf’s “Queer” Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions

Yusuf’s “Queer” Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions Claudia Yaghoobi Yusuf ’s “Queer” Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions In the Hebrew Bible, Joseph is one of Jacob’s twelve sons whose story is woven throughout the final chapters of Genesis. In the quranic account, Yusuf (Joseph) is the only prophet whose story gets a whole chapter of its own. According to tra- dition, the entire Sura Yusuf, which takes up 111 verses, was once revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. In Persian literature, Yusuf ’s story appears in the works of almost every poet from the classical period (900–1500). The most famous work involving the story of Yusuf is the narrative poem “Yusuf o Zulaikha” by ‘Abd a l- Rahman Jami (d. 1492). Jami’s poem, which has generated numerous commentaries, is a reinterpre- tation of Sura Yusuf. The poem has been the inspiration for various literary and historical texts and continues to be a central narrative in Islamic cultures. How- ever, the majority of these commentaries and works focus on the significance of female sexuality—feminine guile, fitna, and its negative implications—which is central to the understanding of sexuality as it is depicted in Islam, as opposed to male sexuality. For example, Denise A. Spellberg has discussed the political role http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Yusuf’s “Queer” Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions

The Comparatist , Volume 40 – Nov 11, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Claudia Yaghoobi Yusuf ’s “Queer” Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions In the Hebrew Bible, Joseph is one of Jacob’s twelve sons whose story is woven throughout the final chapters of Genesis. In the quranic account, Yusuf (Joseph) is the only prophet whose story gets a whole chapter of its own. According to tra- dition, the entire Sura Yusuf, which takes up 111 verses, was once revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. In Persian literature, Yusuf ’s story appears in the works of almost every poet from the classical period (900–1500). The most famous work involving the story of Yusuf is the narrative poem “Yusuf o Zulaikha” by ‘Abd a l- Rahman Jami (d. 1492). Jami’s poem, which has generated numerous commentaries, is a reinterpre- tation of Sura Yusuf. The poem has been the inspiration for various literary and historical texts and continues to be a central narrative in Islamic cultures. How- ever, the majority of these commentaries and works focus on the significance of female sexuality—feminine guile, fitna, and its negative implications—which is central to the understanding of sexuality as it is depicted in Islam, as opposed to male sexuality. For example, Denise A. Spellberg has discussed the political role

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2016

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