Said Nafisi

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Nafisi, Said


Born June 8, 1895, in Tehran; died there Nov. 13, 1966. Iranian scholar and writer. Member of the Iranian Academy (1935).

Nafisi obtained his higher education in Paris. In 1934 he became a professor of the history of Persian literature at the University of Tehran. Nafisi first appeared in print in the early 1920’s. He wrote fundamental works on the literature and history of the peoples of Iran, Middle Asia, and India, as well as on Russian and Western European literatures. His most significant works are a monograph on Rudake (vols. 1–3, 1931–40), The History of Bahrein (1955), and The Social and Political History of Modern Iran (1956).

Nafisi wrote poetry about modern life. The influence of Western European literature is noticeable in his prose. His epistolary novel Farangis (1931) criticizes Iranian society; however, Nafisi sees the depravity of modern man as the main cause of social evil. In his satirical novel Halfway to Paradise (1953; Russian translation, 1960), he exposed the behind-the-scenes activities of big-shot politicians. He translated literature and scholarly works from Oriental and European languages. He was one of the founders (1943) and a member of the board of the Iranian Society for Cultural Relations With the USSR.


Golchini az diwane ostade Said Nafisi. Tehran, 1954.
Dasture logatnevisi. Tehran, 1337 A.H. (A.D. 1958).


Komissarov, D. S. “S. Nafisi: Vydaiushchiisia uchenyi i pisatel’ sovremennogo Irana.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1962, no. 2.
Giunashvili, L. S. Khudozhestvennaia proza S. Nafisi. Tbilisi, 1966.
Halhali. Tazkeree shuaraye moasere Iran. Tehran, 1333 A.H. (A.D. 1955).
Yad-name-i Said-e Nafisi. Tehran, 1972.