The Indomitable Seekers of Ideas

Meskoob literary genius can best be seen in his two seminal interpretations of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. In the first few sentences of Moqaddame'i bar Rostam va Esfandiar [An Introduction to Rostam and Esfandiar he clearly set his interpretation of Ferdowsi's epic apart from those in the long tradition of Persian literature. Indeed, it can safely be claimed that Meskoob's explanations, interpretation and analysis of Shahnameh in this meager volume surpassed all previous works on the subject. His love for Ferdowsi's epic tale culminated in his second work, Syavosh dar Marg va Rastakhiz [Mourning for Syavosh in Death and Resurrection].

A serious evaluation of Meskoob life-long work on Shahnameh alone demands an independent and extensive research. For him, however, this was not and exclusive preoccupation. His other literary and historical interests ranged far and deep. He was as much engrossed in classical Sufi texts, both in Persian and Arabic, as he was in Iranian mythology and old religious texts. He believed in the symbiotic connection between the various parts of Iranian literature and culture far beyond the geographic boundaries of Iran itself. For him one could not fathom Iranian culture without being immersed, at the least, in western cultural norms and traditions. Hence, his constant striving to be able to read and interpret European literary and philosophical texts in their original languages.

Jalil Doostkhah
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