Art And Culture

Prof. Ulrich Marzolph Honored

Prof. Ulrich Marzolph HonoredProf. Ulrich Marzolph Honored

German Professor Ulrich Marzolph, an expert in Islamic studies and Persian narrative tradition, was honored for his 35 years of studies on Iran at a conference organized by the Book House in Tehran on Saturday (Feb. 27).

Marzolph, 63, a professor at the Georg-August University, Germany, studied Persian Literature at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran and later got his Ph.D from the University of Cologne in oriental studies.

“I am indebted to Iranians and their culture as without their cooperation and support, I would have never managed to compile or author any of my books,” said Marzolph. “I feel like I’m back in my spiritual home country whenever I travel to Iran.”

One of Marzolph’s great works on Persian literature is ‘Shahnameh Album’, which is a narrative lithographic illustration of Ferdowsi’s epic poem Shahnameh (book of kings). For many years he collected all the copies of lithographs published about the book and studied them. It is a unique collection of Iranian art in the 19th century.

Director of the Book House Majid Gholami-Jaliseh, editor-in-chief of Art Quarterly Book Review Ali Bouzari, and Roxana Zenhari, researcher and a student of Marzolph were also present, IRNA reported.

“I first visited Iran when I was 19 and had just heard of a field called ‘oriental studies’. I remember my first professor told me I had to learn Turkish, Arabic, and Farsi if I wanted to study in the field; I learned Russian, Sanskrit, Farsi, and Ottoman Turkish instead,” Marzolph recalled.

Gholami-Jaliseh said the innovation in the book ‘Narrative Illustration in Persian Lithographed Books’ had introduced and encouraged a new research field in Iran.

“Discipline, determination, and a logical outlook on the subject matter as well as in presenting theories and analyses were among things I learned while working with Marzolph,” Zenhari said, IBNA reported.

 Beads of a Rosary

Bouzari referred to Marzolph’s years of research on Shahnameh, The Arabian Nights, Iranian murals, and other areas of Iranian culture, and said, “It may seem as though his work is scattered and lacks interconnectedness, but in fact, these subjects are all beads of one rosary.”

The book “20 Articles on Lithography” compiled by researcher and translator Mohammad Javad Ahmadinia was also unveiled at the event. It is a compilation of Marzolph’s works published in journals and magazines up till the year 2015 on various topics concerning lithography.

Among Marzolph’s many other works on Iranian literature and culture are The Arabian Nights: An Encyclopedia (two volumes), The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective, Oral Literature of Iranian Languages Other Than Persian, The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective, The Arabian Nights Reader, Nasreddin Hodja: 666 True Stories, and Typology of Persian Folklore.

Marzolph, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Near Eastern narrative culture, was also conferred a commemorative plaque.