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  • The Enchanting Lives of the Pīrs: Structures of Narrative Romance

    Tony K. Stewart

    Chapter from the book: Stewart, T. 2019. Witness to Marvels: Sufism and Literary Imagination.


    All pir kathas share events that Todorov classifies as fantastic, standard elements of hagiographies, yet here fictional, their worlds autotelic. As a genre, they exhibit Frye’s characteristics of romance as illustrated by the tale of Badar Pir. Allah sends Badar to father Manik Pir, savior of the world. Badar’s tigers capture the Hindu princess Dudbibi, who in lives past has always been the consort of Narayan. Badar manifests his divinity as Narayan, Ram, and Krishna, and Dudbibi submits. Badar abandons Dudbibi to continue preaching. Though apart, she is impregnated by an enchanted flower sent by God. Out of fear, the child is abandoned to the waters, found and raised by gardeners, and just as Badar returns home, the manuscript breaks off.

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    Stewart, T. 2019. The Enchanting Lives of the Pīrs: Structures of Narrative Romance. In: Stewart, T, Witness to Marvels. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.76.c

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    Published on Sept. 13, 2019


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