Nation, kingship, and language: The ambiguous politics of Ehmedê Xanî’s Mem û Zîn Cover Image
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Nation, kingship, and language: The ambiguous politics of Ehmedê Xanî’s Mem û Zîn
Nation, kingship, and language: The ambiguous politics of Ehmedê Xanî’s Mem û Zîn

Author(s): Michiel Leezenberg
Subject(s): Other Language Literature, Nationalism Studies, Politics and Identity
Published by: Transnational Press London
Keywords: Mem û Zîn; Kurdish literature; Kurdish nationalism;language;

Summary/Abstract: In this article, I argue that discussions of whether any Kurdish nationalism may be found in Xanî’s Mem û Zîn proceed from rather anachronistic assumptions. Through an exploration of the language ideology found in this work, I demonstrate that the work’s mystical meaning interacts in rather complex ways with its political views. In particular, the king or prince plays a crucial, if ambiguous, political, linguistic, and eschatological role in the poem. Thus, Mem û Zîn may be read as a specimen of vernacularisation rather than romantic nationalism.

  • Issue Year: 7/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-50
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English